Junkyard dog

Junkyard dog is an idiom that came into use in the latter half of the twentieth century. 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.

Examples

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)