What does the phrase “the dog house” mean and Where does the expression come from?

Aside from the literal sense, this modern expression “the dog house” is used to mean that a person is undergoing punishment of some sort.

It is usually used to denote the treatment, mental or physical, meted out to a man by his spouse for some misdemeanor.

Probably the original allusion was to a “gay dog,” a man who, in his wife’s opinion, had been somewhat too gay and jovial, or perhaps had been roving too far from his own fireside.

And, just as the punishment for a roving dog is to be confined to his kennel, so the two-legged gay dog deserved similar treatment.