My Dogs Are Barking


What does My Dogs Are Barking mean?

My dogs are barking is an idiomatic expression, literally meaning: “my feet hurt”.

In the expression “dogs” symbolize feet and “barking” refers to the pain experienced.

It is commonly used at the end of a long way or after walking great distances.

It is a rather old-fashioned term prominently known in the southern regions of the U.S. and alongside the Appalachian mountains.

Sometimes the idiom can mean “my feet smell” too.


What's the origin of My Dogs Are Barking?

The expression my dogs are barking can be traced to American journalist Tad Dorgan, who worked for the New York Evening Journal during the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

He was an acknowledged cartoonist, but he coined many of his own phrases as well.

Supposedly, he was inspired by an old Cockney rhyme, dog meat, which meant feet, when creating his idiom my dogs are barking in 1913.

Spread & Usage

How did My Dogs Are Barking spread?

The term my dogs are barking was popularized throughout the world by American servicemen during the first half of the 20th century.

Hush Puppies is an American brand of casual footwear, founded in 1958.

The company was named after the idiom and now sells shoes in over 120 countries worldwide.

External resources

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