What Does the Saying “Every Dog Has His Day” Mean and Where Does It Originate?

The time will come to each of us to chuck one’s weight around; to exhibit a period of ostentation, influence, or power.

every dog has its day

It may be long in the coming, but, according to the old proverb “every dog has his day”, everyone will at some time, at least once, be able to emulate the dog that, servile and cowed all its life, one day turns and snaps at its tormentor, or, perchance, struts proudly at the head of a ragamuffin procession.

No one knows how old the proverb may be, nor, if not of English origin, from whence it came.

It is found in A Dialogue Conteynying Prouerbes and Epigrammes (1562) by John Heywood, “But as euery man saith, a dog hath a daie”, and was used by Shakespeare: “The Cat will Mew, and Dogge will haue his day,” in the words of Hamlet.

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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