Junkyard dog

Junkyard dog is an idiom that came into use in the latter half of the twentieth century. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as beat around the bush, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, on the ball, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idiom junkyard dog, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The expression junkyard dog describes someone who is combative, aggressive, contentious, belligerent. Someone who is described as a junkyard dog will fight dirty and is not afraid of confrontation. The word is often used in the simile mean as a junkyard dog. The expression is derived from the quite literal existence of dogs who guard junkyards. Junkyards are businesses that deal in derelict items and machinery that can be salvaged for parts. Junkyard dogs are known to be highly aggressive. The term junkyard dog and the phrase mean as a junkyard dog arose in the United States in the twentieth century, gaining popularity rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s. This may be due in part to a song written and performed by Jim Croce in 1973 called Bad Bad Leroy Brown: “Badder than old King Kong /
And meaner than a junkyard dog…” Today, junkyard dog is often used to describe aides to politicians who fight to get them elected or to advance their agendas.


Other potential first-rounders who’ve made their way to ZBBC include Virginia guard Ty Jerome, Tennessee wing and aspiring “junkyard dog” Admiral Schofield, and Villanova big man (and Donovan Mitchell bestie) Eric Paschall. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

Later, he told reporters he looked forward to being “a junkyard dog savaging the other side”. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

“Kasowitz is a junkyard dog, exactly the guy Trump needs in his corner right now,” says Barry Bennett, a former campaign adviser. (New York Magazine)

The Brown brothers, Graig and Derek, give new meaning to the expression “mean as a junkyard dog.” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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