dog in the manger love

dog in the manger

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who prevents others from enjoying what one has no use for oneself.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who denies others what he cannot use himself.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who prevents you from enjoying something that they themselves have no need for

Etymologies

From a fable in which a dog prevented an ox from eating hay he did not want himself.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From a fable about a dog preventing other animals from eating the hay in a manger, even though as a carnivore he could not eat it himself. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • One who selfishly hoards something that he or she does not personally need or use.

    The Oxford English Dictionary specifically names such a person as “churlish�? and says it's been in use since the 16th century. This reference plays on the stereotype of dogs being selfish, which is as prominent as the one of their being selfless. The phrase comes from one of Æsop's fables. “A dog lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them. ‘What a selfish dog!’ said one of them to his companions, ‘He cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat who can.’�?

    July 27, 2009