ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS

 

Hair Of The Dog

Definition:

"Hair of the dog?"

=

"Do you want some more alcohol to help your hangover?"

Application:

People use this expression to offer alcohol to others when

they have a hangover, in order to help reduce the effects

of the hangover.

Example:

Eliot:      “Crazy party last night, right babe?”

Akiko:   “Oh, yeah. My head is killing me.”

Eliot:      Hair of the dog?”

Akiko:   “Absolutely!"

Notes:

1. This expression is derived from the term "hair of the dog," which is used to describe any alcohol drunk to treat a hangover. "Hair of the dog" is a shortened form of "a / the hair of the dog that bit you." The term itself ultimately derives from a mistaken medical belief in ancient and medieval Europe that hair from a dog which bit someone could be used to treat the person for rabies.

2. Literature Reference: Author George Bernard Shaw uses this expression in his 1906 play The Doctor's Dilemma to explain how "hair of the dog" may be effectual: "This latest discovery of the remedial virtue of a very, very tiny hair of the dog that bit you reminds us, not only of Arndt's law of protoplasmic reaction to stimuli, according to which weak and strong stimuli provoke opposite reactions, but of Hahnemann's homeopathy, which was founded on the fact alleged by Hahnemann that drugs which produce certain symptoms when taken in ordinary perceptible quantities, will, when taken in infinitesimally small quantities, provoke just the opposite symptoms; so that the drug that gives you a headache will also cure a headache if you take little enough of it."

2. Media Reference #1: Journalist Rebekah Peppler uses the term "hair of the dog" in a November 27th, 2019 article for The New York Times ("The Trick to Hosting a Better Holiday Party") to describe alcohol preparation for a party: "Not a hosts-only trick, batch drinks are also portable and make a welcome gift: Bring one to the next house party you attend to relieve a harried pal. Better yet, slip it into the refrigerator to be discovered later as a day-after hair of the dog." (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/dining/drinks/big-batch-cocktails.html)

3. Media Reference #2: Journalist Renee Montagne uses the term "the hair of the dog" in a July 21st, 2014 NPR piece ("Company Says It Can Cure Your Hangover – For Up To $300 A Visit") to describe a new hangover treatment: "People waking up with a hellacious hangover often say they'd pretty much give anything to make it go away. And a new company promising to do just that is thriving in New York. For up to $300 a visit, it will send a nurse to your home armed with medicine and - this is key - an IV for instant rehydration. Given the treatment cost more than the night out at the bar, though, you might want to stick with the hair of the dog."

(https://www.npr.org/2014/07/21/333537766/company-says-it-can-cure-your-hangover-for-up-to-300-a-visit) (At 26 seconds into the broadcast.) 

4. Media Reference #3: Anastasia Griffith's character of "Emma Knightly" uses this expression in season 4, episode 11 of the television series The Blacklist ("The Harem") to offer alcohol to another character, who has a hangover: "Well, this should help. Hair of the dog." (At 14 minutes and 48 seconds into the episode. Originally aired January 19th, 2017.)  

Stay connected! 

Join our newsletter to receive updates on English courses and activities directly to your mailbox.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Logo
  • Meetup Logo
YTicon.jpg

MLS English Language Program

Davis Square

402 A Highland Avenue, Suite I

Somerville, MA 02144  United States of America

© 2019 by James Doyle