Dog's dinner


      • messy appearance
        To describe someone or something as being in a disorganized, untidy, or chaotic state

      • poor quality
        To indicate that something is poorly done or executed, lacking in skill or care, and therefore of low quality or value

      • confusion or disorder
        To express a sense of confusion or disorder, often in a humorous or lighthearted manner

      • someone's outfit
        To refer to the clothes that someone is wearing, often in a negative or critical way

    Examples of Dog's dinner

    • The meeting they just had is a classic case of a dog's dinner. The agenda was unclear, the discussion derailed, and nobody left the room feeling like they'd accomplished anything.

      This idiom, 'a dog's dinner' refers to a situation that is chaotic and disorganized, often resulting in nothing being achieved. It originated from the idea that giving a dog a meal of just scraps would result in a messy and disorganized dining experience.

    • The author's attempts to merge different literary genres into one novel resulted in a dog's dinner. While the concept was interesting, the execution left much to be desired.

      This idiom, 'a dog's dinner' is used to describe a situation in which different elements are combined in a way that is poorly executed. Just as feeding a dog a hodgepodge of different leftovers might result in a messy and disorganized eating experience, combining different literary genres in a haphazard way can result in a disorganized and poorly executed novel.

    • The show's writing has become a dog's dinner in recent seasons. The storylines are convoluted, the characters are one-dimensional, and the dialogue is stale.

      This idiom, 'a dog's dinner' is used to describe a situation in which something that was once enjoyable or interesting has become disorganized and chaotic. Just as feeding a dog an unappetizing array of scraps might result in a less-than-ideal dining experience, watching a show with poor writing and storytelling can become less and less enjoyable over time.

    • The company's acquisition strategy has been a series of dog's dinners. They've acquired companies for exorbitant prices, only to let them sit dormant and ultimately write them off as losses.

      This idiom, 'a dog's dinner' is used to describe a situation in which a series of poorly executed decisions have resulted in a negative outcome. Just as feeding a dog a series of unappetizing meals might result in a poor dining experience overall, making a series of poor acquisition decisions can lead to negative financial outcomes for a company.


    The idiom "dog's dinner" can be used to describe a variety of situations, but they all share a common theme of disorganization, messiness, or poor quality. It can be used to refer to a person's appearance, the execution of a task, a state of confusion, or even someone's outfit. In all cases, the idiom conveys a negative or critical tone, highlighting the undesirable nature of the situation being described.

    Origin of "Dog's dinner"

    The origin of the idiom "dog's dinner" is uncertain, but it is thought to have originated in the early 20th century in Britain. Some sources suggest that it may have been derived from the phrase "dog's breakfast," which has a similar meaning and was used in the 19th century to describe a mess or chaotic situation.

    One theory for the origin of the idiom is that it may have come from the practice of feeding leftover scraps to dogs, which were often mashed together into a messy and unappetizing meal. This idea of a messy or unappealing meal may have then been applied to other situations, such as a person's appearance or the execution of a task.

    Overall, the idiom "dog's dinner" is a colorful and vivid way to describe a disorganized, chaotic, or poorly done situation, and its origin may have stemmed from the less-than-appealing meals given to dogs in the past.