What does “that dog won’t hunt” mean?
Have you ever heard the phrase “that dog won’t hunt” but didn’t quite understand what it meant? Well, let’s break it down. This Southern American expression is typically used to say that a plan or idea simply won’t work. It’s often used in situations where someone proposes something that seems flawed or unrealistic.
The origin of the phrase
The origins of this colloquialism can be traced back to rural America and specifically, hunting dogs. A good hunting dog had to be able to track, flush out and retrieve game effectively. If a particular dog couldn’t perform these tasks well enough, then they were considered useless for hunting purposes – hence the saying “that dog won’t hunt”.
How is it used today?
Today, this phrase has evolved beyond its original meaning in the context of hunting dogs. Now more generally applied across different areas of life such as politics or business strategy – “That proposal just isn’t realistic”, “We’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked”, or “These figures don’t add up” – all examples where ‘that dog wont hunt’ would apply.
When people use this idiom today they are using metaphors about effectiveness and success rather than actual dogs that are unable to complete their task when hunting.
In conclusion, understanding idiomatic expressions like ”that dog won’t hunt” can help us better communicate with others from different regions and backgrounds while also providing an insight into cultural reference points and contexts in which language evolves over time!