اصطلاح To Kick The Dog

In this episode I explain the expression “to kick the dog” as well as how and when it is used. This may be a much more Australia specific, or even my family specific, expression, and it’s said in a more humorous setting.

 Expression – To kick The Dog

G’day guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.

Today I’m going to do another expression involving animals, and this one is
a little more Australian. It could be even a little more just my family, ‘cause it’s the kind of thing that my grandparents used to say quite a bit and especially my father, and I thought that I would add it in because it’s a little more humorous, it’s a little dirtier, it’s a little funnier.

So, the phrase today or the idiom, expression today is going to be, “To kick the dog”, “To kick the dog”. When do we use this expression? This is the kind of expression that my father would use if someone farted. So, if someone passed wind, if they let gas out of their rear end, you know, [the sound of someone farting], if you fart, and in order to sort of cover the fact that you accidentally farted and made a sound. So it’s done when people notice when you’ve made the sound [the sound of someone farting] So, when you fart [the sound of someone farting] when you’ve made that sound and someone’s accidentally overheard it. In order to kind of cover your tracks, in order to get away with it, my father would often say “oh, kick the dog!”, as in kick the dog and blame him for farting, you know? So, if the dog farted you’d kick the dog. So if someone overheard someone farting they could kind of cover it up or make a joke of it by saying “oh, kick the dog, mate!”

So, let’s go through what the different words in this phrase mean.

To kick”, I’m sure most of you know what it means. It’s to hit with your foot. So, if you kick something, you can kick a ball, you can kick a person and you can kick a dog [as] in this expression.

And “a dog” is an animal with four legs, fur, it has a tail. It wags its tail. It’s known as man’s best friend in English, and dogs often fight with cats. I’m sure you all know what a dog is. That’s a dog.

So, yeah, it’s almost exclusively used in that sense at least with my family that is when we would use the phrase “to kick a dog”. However, you can also use this phrase when referring to people taking something out, so, say um…, say you’ve gone to work and you’re boss above you has taken out a lot of his anger or issues or something on you. If you go home and then kick the dog and take out your anger and your issues on the dog that phrase can often be used to explain that situation. So, for when someone is sort of being bullied or being mistreated by someone above them, someone like their boss, someone who is employing them, someone that’s above them. If they go then and take it out on their wife or their kids or someone who is below them that act can also be called “kicking the dog”. So, you’re taking it out on the dog, you’re kicking the dog. However, in this sense I would always think of, when someone says kick the dog to me, that someone’s farted. So I would always… you know, it’s kind of a humorous situation that you would use to kind of make a joke about the fact that someone accidentally passed wind, they accidentally farted and someone’s heard it.

So, let’s do an exercise quickly:

Jesus, mate kick the dog.

Jesus, mate kick the dog.

Jesus, mate kick the dog.

Jesus, mate kick the dog.

Jesus, mate kick the dog.

Jesus, mate kick the dog.

So, that was the phrase “to kick the dog”, guys. Hope you liked it, and I’ll chat to you soon. Have a good one!

If you liked this expression episode guys then please jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English expression episodes to help you improve your Aussie English.

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