You're My Dawg, Dog: A Lexicon of Dog Terms for People

You're My Dawg, Dog: A Lexicon of Dog Terms for People




The clever and charmingly illustrated 94-page book that every one of the 78 million pet dogs in this country will want to get for his person!

Inside You’re My Dawg, Dog you’ll find 146 dog terms, idioms, proverbs and metaphors explained for people. On a single page you will find quotes from Shakespeare and Rihanna, Pre-Socratic philosophers, Black Sabbath and the NASDAQ.

You’re My Dawg, Dog gives us fascinating etymologies and vivid examples of familiar phrases like “dog days”, “dogfight”, “Dogfish”, and the “dog collar” worn by clergymen. Colorful dog terms are defined, like “black dog” which was Churchill’s nickname for his bouts of depression, “tough dog to keep on the porch”—Hillary’s descriptive for Bill, and “doggie style,” which the author drily explains is not “Vogue for Airedales and Cocker Spaniels.”

Not just a book for dog lovers, but also for readers and word-lovers. Seventy-five men and women randomly surveyed were uniformly enthusiastic upon reading a draft of You’re My Dawg, Dog. Visit the Praise page at for more quotes:


“Loved it! Great idea that should appeal widely. Illustrations are fun, funny and first-rate.”
— Massachusetts speechwriter with Golden Retriever

“Shows how dogs possess our language as they possess our souls. If only we knew what they call us. A wonderful book.”
— Theater producer with a much-loved stray rescued in 1997

“Simple, but brilliant idea—pulled off marvelously.”
— Berkeley clinical psychologist with Portuguese Water Dog

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
—Groucho Marx

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599621234
Publisher: Rizzoli
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 4.79(w) x 7.35(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

DONALD FRIEDMAN Donald is the author of the award-winning novel The Hand Before the Eye, and the internationally praised and translated The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers. For more information or to contact him visit his website

J.C. SUARES You're My Dawg's illustrator has designed, written, and illustrated more than one hundred books, including The Hollywood Dictionary, Art of the Times, Manhattan, Dogs in Love, Black and White Dogs, Hollywood Dogs, Fat Cats, Cool Mutts, Funny Dogs, and Funny Babies. His illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Time, and Variety. For more information or to contact him visit his website

Read an Excerpt

Dog (n) (Canis lupus familiaris) The wolf that after 30,000 years of domestication became the hairless xolo that shocked Columbus, a poodle you can stick in your pocket, and a border collie with a thousand-word vocabulary. Most especially, man’s best friend, his protector, helper, companion. Today, the dog detects cancers, seizures, and blood sugar levels, not to mention bombs, drugs, and missing people. He guards your home, hunts, herds, draws sleds and carts, soldiers, and carries messages. He leads you when you’re blind, gives you signals when you’re deaf, tows your wheelchair when you’re disabled. He regulates your heart. Your dog is the ultimate acolyte; he believes you are the very image of God. His centrality to our lives has led inevitably to an equally central place in our language—the word “dog” alone or as part of a description of dog qualities or behaviors finds dozens of everyday applications.

2. The person in your life who possesses the best of the canine’s traits. Your main man. The one who’s always got your back. The friend who’ll help you bury the body. Also, colloquially, dawg. “You’re my dawg, Josiah.”

3. An auto-antonym, “dog” means, as well, someone who possesses the worst of the canine’s traits, someone who exhibits mean, reproachful, or contemptible behavior. “Herb’s a real dog for selling knockoff watches to his friends as the real thing.” Shylock rebuffs the loan-seeking Antonio with “You spurn’d me such a day; another time / You called me dog.” The negative outlook defined by “cynic” finds its origin in the Greek philosophers who were called “Cynics” or “dog-like” (“kynikos” in Greek) for their rejection of social conventions.

4. A very unattractive woman. “Sally’s decision to shave her head, insert a bone through her nose, and tattoo ‘Black Sabbath’ on her forehead has turned her into a dog that even dogs shy away from.”

5. Something that’s failed or poorly performing, like a stock or a Broadway show. “Amalgamated Schmaltz has been the worst dog in the NASDAQ, falling in three months from $75 to 11 cents a share.”

6. An iron support for holding fireplace logs. An andiron. Also called a firedog.

7. One of a large variety of mechanical devices with teeth or claws used for gripping and holding—such as the tool barbers once used for pulling teeth. 8. (v) To follow closely. “Josiah’s beagle used to dog his every step, and since he died Josiah says the memory of his little companion dogs his every waking hour.”

Big dog (n) The boss, an important personage, or the most competitive in a field. 2. The constellation Canis Major. 3. The Boston Dynamics Big Dog robot, which looks and sounds like a giant mutated insect, can carry several hundred pounds for hours over any kind of terrain without losing its balance even when violently kicked from the side or traversing black ice, and without complaint. See it on YouTube.

Black dog depression (n) The phrase seems to conjoin a dark mood with being dogged or unshakably followed. Commonly associated with Winston Churchill, who often referred to the depressive side of his bipolar disorder as his “black dog.” The usage has been around for centuries: in the Middle Ages, melancholia was one of the less positive traits the dog represented. “When Sally told Josiah she couldn’t face the day, that she’d gotten up with a black dog in her bed, he asked whether it was better or worse than his daily awakening with an elephant’s foot on his chest.”

Hot dog (n) A precooked sausage, a frankfurter or weiner, usually served on a bun and de rigueur cuisine at a baseball game. From the early accusation that dog was the primary constituent of the emulsified meat that is stuffed in the casing. 2. (adj) Someone who performs daredevil stunts or shows off. “Herb, ever the hot dog at chess, loved to offer his queen in sacrifice.” Sometimes used pejoratively to describe a self-aggrandizing or nonteam player. 3. An exclamation of pleasure; also “hot diggity dog!” With the exception of Pat Boone and maybe Sarah Palin, last known.

Horn dog (n) Someone who thinks about sex all the time and may, as a consequence, become a “tough dog to keep on the porch.”

Love me, love my dog A metaphoric way of saying that a person must be accepted along with those people and things close to or attached to her; by extension, to be accepted with one’s foibles and weaknesses. Back in the 12th century, St. Bernard (appropriately enough) is claimed to have quoted the proverb in Latin: “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum” (literally, “Who loves me, loves my dog, as well”), although why he did that is unclear. “Sally’s friends were disgusted with Herb’s drunkenness and discouraged Sally from bringing him around, until she called them on it and declared, ‘Love me, love my dog.’”

Three-dog night (n) A cold night—i.e., one requiring three dogs to keep you warm. Also the American rock group that sang of their friend Jeremiah the bullfrog and wished joy to the world.

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You're My Dawg, Dog: A Lexicon of Dog Terms for People 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Lynie More than 1 year ago
YOU'RE MY DAWG, DOG is a charming collection of dog terms used in everyday language.  Mr. Friedman has infused humor and his own embellishments while providing the etymology of "dog words", referencing such luminaries as Groucho Marx, Jean Shepherd, Truman, Pat Boone, Mike Tyson, Sarah Palin and Rihanna, just to name a few.  After reading this small tome, you'll be ready for the category of dog terms on Jeopardy! Abundantly illustrated by J.C. Suares, YOU'RE MY DAWG, DOG is witty, informative and rude at turns........a must for the dog lovers or word lovers on your gift list.  Kudos to Mr. Friedman for reminding us of the richness and wit of the English language.  Doggone it, too bad our dogs can't read!