喪家之狗

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See also: 丧家之狗

Chinese[edit]

lose (by death); mourning; funeral
 
home; family; ‑ist
home; family; ‑ist; ‑er; ‑ian; measure word for stores and schools
's; him/her/it; this dog
trad. (喪家之狗)
simp. (丧家之狗)

Etymology[edit]

From the Records of the Grand Historian:

東門皋陶子產以下不及纍纍喪家之狗 [MSC, trad.]
东门皋陶子产以下不及累累丧家之狗 [MSC, simp.]
Dōngmén yǒu rén, qí sǎng sì Yáo, qí xiàng lèi Gāoyáo, qí jiān lèi Zǐchǎn, rán zì yāo yǐxià bùjí Yǔ sān cùn, léiléi ruò sāngjiā zhī gǒu. [Pinyin]
There is a man at the eastern gate with Yao's forehead, Gaoyao's neck and Zichan's shoulders, but below his waist he is shorter than Yu by three inches. He was dejected as the dog of a family in mourning.

喪家之狗 was later reanalysed as "a dog that has lost its home", which would often go hungry and wander the streets in search for food, due to neglect by its master. Later, this became a metaphor for a desperate person who has nobody to turn to.

Pronunciation[edit]


Idiom[edit]

喪家之狗

  1. (literally) a stray dog
  2. (figuratively) a desperate person who has nobody to turn to

Synonyms[edit]