‘Busy as a Dog’, ‘Tired as a Dog’, What Does ‘Dog’ Mean?| Chat With Chinese

By Ning Shuang, Yang Mingzhuo


Have you noticed that your Chinese friends like to compare themselves to dogs? Pile-up files drive them “busy as dogs”; working overtime exhausts them into “tired dogs”; scorching summer keeps them “sweating like dogs”; single status turns them into “single dogs” …

Actually, these are all Chinese self-mockery. Without any insult to anyone, they convey people’s complaints in a more relaxed way. In today’s China, though the word “dog” still bears somewhat negative meanings on certain occasions, with this trend of self-joking as dogs, “dog” is not a sheer insult.


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