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  1. #1
    hdfan2 is offline Newbie
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    Drunken dog as ever lived

    Hi there! I'm translating an article about Peninsular war, and have trouble understanding a phrase that Wellington wrote about one of his officers: "a very good officer, but a drunken dog as ever lived." What exactly does this means? Thanks!

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Hi, and welcome to the forum.

    From context it's clear that Wellington meant "a drunkard if there ever was one; a perfect example of a habitual drunk". The expression isn't used in modern American English.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Have a look at definition 3 here- dog can be used for a person you don't think much of: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/di...ry/english/dog

  4. #4
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Quote Originally Posted by hdfan2 View Post
    Hi there! I'm translating an article about the Peninsular war, and I have trouble understanding a phrase that Wellington wrote about one of his officers: "a very good officer, but a drunken dog as ever lived." What exactly does this mean?
    Are you getting paid for that?
    Not a professional teacher

  5. #5
    hdfan2 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Thanks everyone!
    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    From context it's clear that Wellington meant "a drunkard if there ever was one; a perfect example of a habitual drunk". The expression isn't used in modern American English.
    That was my first thought, but then I've found the following text:
    In the eighteenth century, Creeks appear to have associated drunkenness with madness, the quality of bravery and recklessness that warriors sought, and men consequently consumed rum in greater quantities than did women.36 A Muskogee–English dictionary from the late nineteenth century glosses the Creek term hache as “drunk, crazy, resolute, daring,” a word related etymologically to hadjo, as in the warrior titles Efau Hadjo, meaning “mad dog” or “drunken dog,” and Itcho Hadjo Tassikaya, meaning “mad deer warrior,” or, translated another way, “foolish, mad, drunken deer warrior."
    This made me wonder if "drunken dog" is a synonym for "mad dog". I guess my first thought was correct.

  6. #6
    hdfan2 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Are you getting paid for that?
    No, just a hobby. I'm translating Wikipedia article about Nicholas Trant.

  7. #7
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Quote Originally Posted by hdfan2 View Post
    Thanks everyone!

    That was my first thought, but then I've found the following text:

    This made me wonder if "drunken dog" is a synonym for "mad dog". I guess my first thought was correct.
    The Creek language apparently extended the meaning of a word that meant "crazy" to encompass "intoxicated". The concepts drunken dog and mad dog would thus be expressed with the same Creek words. This has nothing to do with the use of the word pair "drunken dog" in English.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Quote Originally Posted by hdfan2 View Post
    No, it's just a hobby. I'm translating a Wikipedia article about Nicholas Trant.
    Note my corrections above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Drunken dog as ever lived

    Drunks are drunks in English.

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