Dog's breakfast


      • something messy or chaotic
        Describing a situation or object that is disorganized, unappealing, or poorly done

      • a failure or disappointment
        Referring to a task or project that has been done poorly or with unsatisfactory results

    Examples of Dog's breakfast

    • After the team's disastrous performance in the game, the coach called it a 'dog's breakfast'.

      The coach was frustrated with the team's poor coordination, missed shots, and lack of strategy, making the game look like a messy and disorganized meal that a dog might eat.

    • The boss was disappointed with the project presentation, calling it a 'dog's breakfast'.

      The presentation was confusing, disjointed, and lacked coherence, making it look like a sloppy and unappetizing dish a dog might eat.

    • The students' exam results were a 'dog's breakfast'.

      The results were mixed, inconsistent, and showed little improvement compared to the previous year, making it look like a chaotic and unpalatable meal a dog might eat.

    • The government's policy on immigration reform is turning into a 'dog's breakfast'.

      The policy has been marred by indecision, delays, and contradictions, creating confusion and disarray, making it look like a messy and unappetizing dish a dog might eat.In each example, 'dog's breakfast' is used to describe a situation or outcome that is chaotic, disorganized, and confusing, much like the appearance and smell of a meal that a dog might eat. It implies that the situation is untidy, unsatisfactory, and lacking in order or coherence.

    • She cooked a dog's breakfast for dinner last night.

      This usage of the idiom 'a dog's breakfast' implies that the food she had cooked for dinner was chaotic, messy and not cooked properly. It's an idiom which compares the mess of food to be like a dish served to a dog, which might be made from leftover ingredients from the kitchen, and may look unwelcoming, unappetizing and unbalanced for human consumption.

    • The committee meeting turned into a dog's breakfast due to lack of planning and communication.

      This idiomatic usage compares the disorganized and confused meeting, which lacked planning and communication, to be like a messy dish served to a dog. It implies that the conversation lacked structure, direction or an overall conclusion, and had turned into an unproductive and messy chaos.

    • After the construction work, the road looked like a dog's breakfast.

      This idiomatic usage is used when the final state of a construction work has turned out in a messy and chaotic way. It implies that the road, as it looks now, is in a state of disarray, confusion and lacks structure or overall aesthetic appeal.

    • The exam results were a complete dog's breakfast.

      This idiomatic usage is used when the results of an exam have turned into a messy and chaotic array of numbers, grades, marks, etc. It implies that the results do not have a clear structure, as they are not well-organized, easy to understand or interpret.


    A dog's breakfast is often used to describe something that is messy, chaotic, or poorly done. It can refer to a physical object, such as a messy room or a poorly written essay, or to a situation, such as a chaotic event or a disorganized plan. In this sense, the idiom carries a negative connotation and is often used to express disappointment or frustration.

    The phrase can also be used to describe a failure or disappointment. This can refer to an unsuccessful attempt at something, or to a situation that did not turn out as expected. For example, someone might say "I made a real dog's breakfast of that presentation" to express that they did not do a good job on it. In this sense, the idiom is often used humorously to soften the blow of a failure or to make light of a disappointing situation.

    Origin of "Dog's breakfast"

    The origin of the idiom "dog's breakfast" is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in British slang in the early 20th century. The word "dog" has long been associated with messiness and chaos, and it is possible that this phrase evolved from the saying "to make a dog's dinner of something," which means to do something in a messy or chaotic manner.

    Another theory is that the phrase was inspired by the way dogs eat their food, often leaving a mess behind. This could have been used metaphorically to describe something that is disorganized or chaotic. It is also possible that the idiom was influenced by the phrase "dog's dinner," which refers to a person who is dressed in a shabby or unkempt manner.

    Regardless of its origin, the idiom "dog's breakfast" has become a common phrase in the English language, used to describe various situations and objects that are messy, chaotic, or disappointing.