Hair of the Dog that Bit You

REMA’s “It’s Not SUMMER Anymore” IDIOMS! Vol. 1 Issue 6

Original Release: 11/1/2009

What was said? The hair of the dog that bit you.

Did someone really say that? Yes- Lindsey said it yesterday and then reminded me about it today.

What does it mean?  It is a colloquial English expression predominantly used to refer to ingestion of alcohol as treatment for a hanger. It is occasionally used with respect to dealing with the after effects of use of other recreational drugs. (Source: Wikipedia)

Origin: The origin of the phrase is literal, and comes from an erroneous method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound. The use of the phrase as a metaphor for a hangover treatment dates back to the time of William Shakespeare. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898): “In Scotland it is a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound will prevent evil consequences. Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine next morning to soothe the nerves. ‘If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail in the morning.'” He also cites two apocryphal poems containing the phrase, one of which is attributed to Aristophanes. It is possible that the phrase was used to justify an existing practice, and the idea of Simila similibus curantur (“like cures like”) dates back at least to the time of Hippocrates. (Source: Wikipedia)

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