About That Dog #1LinerWeds

I don’t know about you and yours, but my family always excused ourselves from company for private purposes with this phrase:

Excuse me, I have to see a man about a dog.

Wikipedia says (so, of course, it must be true):

The earliest confirmed publication is the 1866 Dion Boucicault play Flying Scud[2] in which a character knowingly breezes past a difficult situation saying, “Excuse me Mr. Quail, I can’t stop; I’ve got to see a man about a dog.”[3][4] Time magazine observed that the phrase was the play’s “claim to fame”.[5]
During Prohibition in the United States, the phrase was most commonly used in relation to the consumption or purchase of alcoholic beverages.[4] In Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle Brown Ale commonly gained the nickname of “Dog” from the frequent use of the phrase to describe going to the pub.[6]

Since I’m rather fond of Newcastle Brown Ale, I approve this citation.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone needs to see a man about a dog.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

One thought on “About That Dog #1LinerWeds

  1. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA

    September 25, 2019 at 9:32am

    The first time I heard that expression was when I moved to the South. Not once did I hear it in NYC, Boston-Cambridge, or Ann Arbor. Nor do I miss it.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 25, 2019 at 10:12am

      I would apologize, if I had time, but I have to see a man about a dog.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. John Holton

    September 25, 2019 at 11:10am

    I played Santa Claus once and came up with “Santa’s gotta see a man about a reindeer.”

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Mitchell Allen

    September 25, 2019 at 2:34pm

    But, what about the horse? I’ve heard that one more often.

    I just duckduckgo’d it and the top result is from Wordnik, wherein seeing a man about a horse logically follows on from having seen him about a dog, or three…LOL



    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. Daniel Antion

    September 25, 2019 at 6:05pm

    I mostly heard it “about a horse” but it’d always interesting.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.