Tag Archives: phrase


Daisy bed photo

It’s been a long week  (for both of us) and so I started to wonder – where does the term ‘dog-tired’ come from?

Dog-tired is an old English phrase meaning physically tired to the point of exhaustion.   It comes from the tale of Alfred the Great who would send his two sons out with his large group of hunting dogs to chase the dogs down.  The sons (named Athelbrod and Edwin) competed to see who would catch the most dogs and the winner was allowed to sit at Alfred the Great’s right side during dinner.

These chases would leave them ‘dog-tired’.

And since we are both dog-tired tonight…we are heading to bed.

It’s raining cats and dogs

It’s been raining since last night here and the long-range forecast is that it will continue for the next few days.  And so that has gotten me thinking – what is the origin of the saying It’s raining cats and dogs?

On the face of it, this phrase just doesn’t make sense.  Some say that it comes from the days when all the animals in the household were kept in the rafters of the thatch-roofed cottages.  When it really rained heavily, the animals would fall out…

What does the Library of Congress say about this phrase (including de-bunking of the thatched roof theory)?

Read here for a well-referenced look at the origin of It’s raining cats and dogs