see a man about a dog
Derived from or popularized by Dion Boucicault's 1866 play Flying Scud, in which a character removes himself from a difficult situation by saying "Excuse me, Mr. Quail, I can't stop: I've got to see a man about a dog". As a Prohibition-era reference to getting alcohol, influenced by the expression hair of the dog.
- (idiomatic, dated) Used in place of a real explanation when excusing oneself for a short period of time, particularly (euphemistic) to use a toilet or (historical) drink alcohol.
- I'll be right back, but I've got to go to see a man about a dog.