What Does the Expression “I’ve Got To See a Man About a Dog” Mean and Where Did it Come From?

It’s the room we most often frequent, but good manners dictate that we avoid direct references to the toilet at all costs.

It’s a restroom, a powder room, a washroom, and a loo, which is derived from the French word l’eau for water, as in water closet.

“Seeing a man about a dog” comes from the 1866 play Flying Scud where a character says, “Excuse me Mr. Quail, I can’t stop; I’ve got to see a man about a dog” meaning he needs to leave the room, and fast.

Flying Scud was written by Irish-born playwright Dion Boucicault.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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