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.
dog in the manger (plural dogs in mangers)
- One who denies others what he cannot use himself.
- 1930, M. K. Gandhi, "Notes on the Way to Dandi", in Non-Violent Resistance, page 246
- No adjective is strong enough for characterizing this wicked dog-in-the-manger policy. From various sources I hear tales of such wanton destruction of nations' property in all parts of India.
one who denies others what he cannot use himself