Like a dog with two tails | jy.catholic.org.hk

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Like a dog with two tails

刊登日期: 2018.02.10
作者: Grace Tse  

Around this time of the year, most Chinese families have already begun their preparations for the celebration of the Year of the Dog. What does the dog as a Chinese zodiac animal sign mean? In Chinese culture, the dog symbolises loyalty and honesty. As “man’s best friends”, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world. Since dogs are so close to human beings, there are many English idioms about dogs. A funny one is “like a dog with two tails”.

Mary is like a dog with tails( 非常開心) because there is no homework during this holiday. 

The expression “like a dog with two tails” means “very pleased” or “delighted”. When a dog wags its tail so fast, it seems to have two tails. For a long time, people have known that when dogs are happy, they wag their tails. Nowadays, scientists have found that dogs tend to move their tails more to the right when they are contented, and slightly to the left when they are anxious. 

When the idiom first appeared in a book written by John Mactaggart in 1829, the wording and the meaning were slightly different. 

Off went the Laird [Scottish nobleman], as proud as a dog with two tails.

The author was a Scottish engineer who was recruited to build a bridge in Canada. When he returned to England, he wrote down his experiences in the book called “Three Years in Canada”. 

Part of this idiom has even become the name of a successful café in New Zealand : “Dog with Two Tails”. 

Finally, may this Chinese New Year bring you lots of happiness ! 

Glossary

Preparations 

準備工作

Zodiac animal sign 

生肖

Loyalty 

忠心

Wag 

搖動

Contented             

滿足      

Anxious 

不安

Recruited 

獲聘

Experiences 

經歷

 

 

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