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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #1

    There was one man and his dog

    Could you confirm that to describe a place "There was one man and his dog" means that the place was nearly deserted, and if so does anyone know the origin of the phrase?
    Many thanks

  1. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2

    Re: There was one man and his dog

    I've seen it used to descxribe a very small audience or atendance, but don't know the origin. I suppose the dog gets included for humour/bathos.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
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    #3

    Re: There was one man and his dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I've seen it used to descxribe a very small audience or atendance, but don't know the origin. I suppose the dog gets included for humour/bathos.
    There's a counting song called One Man Went to Mow, which I think might have something to do with it - '... three men, two men, one man and his dog, went to mow a meadow': CBeebies - Tweenies - Song Time; Sing a Song; O; One man went to mow

    I've usually heard the expression 'one man and his dog' used to refer to a small business: We supply all kinds of business - from a multi-national with a payroll of thousands, right down to a one-man-and-his-dog firm operating out of a garden shed with an ad in the parish magazine.

    b

  3. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
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    #4

    Re: There was one man and his dog

    I just had an idea for the name of a blog. But someone got there first: One Man & His Blog

    b

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: There was one man and his dog

    It is a good title.

  5. Ancestor
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    #6

    Re: There was one man and his dog

    I feel bad for the cat :(

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