hair of the dog that bit you

Cultural Dictionary

hair of the dog that bit you definition


A remedy that contains a small amount of whatever caused the ailment: “When Anne had a bad hangover, Paul offered her a Bloody Mary and said, ‘Have a little of the hair of the dog that bit you.’”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

hair of the dog that bit you

Whatever made you ill used as a remedy, especially alcohol as a hangover cure. For example, A little hair of the dog will cure that hangover in no time. This expression, already a proverb in John Heywood's 1546 compendium, is based on the ancient folk treatment for dogbite of putting a burnt hair of the dog on the wound. It is often shortened, as in the example.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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