How many native speakers know the idiom 'hair of the dog'?

Hi, what do you think is the percentage of native speakers who know and/or use the idiom ‘hair of the dog’?

Many thanks,

TOEIC short conversations: Two journalists discuss the departure of one of their colleagues who leaving for another newspaper.[YSaerTTEW443543]

I would say that the percentage of native English speakers who know that idiom is FAR above 80%.

It’s short for “the hair of the dog that bit you”.

Luckily the alcohol to which it refers doesn’t tend to taste like dog hair! :smiley:

Interesting. The question was asked at a workshop attended by native speakers most of whom are teaching English in Germany. Out of 16 only about 4 said they knew the expression.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Sales clerk advises customer in jewelry store.[YSaerTTEW443543]

Torsten I can understand that because I’ve found that so many native speaker ESL instructors in Germany either have very little education or very little life-experience. This is likely because of the trend among companies to only hire freelancers and to then pay them less than a cashier at Aldi.

Anyone who has a solid degree and lots of experience or knowledge will generally get tired of poverty and go elsewhere for work (or choose another country to begin with).

Hire a backpacker for 10-15 euros an hour to teach English and you’ll get a backpacker, not a teacher.

Germany is actually destroying their language training industry and this is cheating students and businesses out of training opportunities, but as much as Germans like to regulate everything, they seem to have no interest in regulation language schools because too much money is being made, and the people getting the shaft are mostly foreigners (even though they seem to ignore the fact that by promoting these low wages, they are cheating the students too).

Drew, so you believe that you can teach someone English/that you can learn English in a ‘classroom’ where most of the time you are exposed to German English/wrong English?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Well if you really want to get down to it, I don’t think you can teach a language at all. Language learning is 90% on the learner. All a language teacher can do is guide the learning process and explain things that are unclear.

Many of the best English teachers I have met over the years have been non-natives, and sometimes their own English was far from perfect. But, they had one ability that most native-speaker ESL instructors lack – the ability to look at English from the point of view of the learner. This creates a greater awareness of the systems and patterns of the language, and by having had to “figure out English” themselves, they are generally better able to recognize the problems of their students and to provide ample explanations.

Far too many native ESL instructors either give students answers like “just because” or repeat whatever they’ve been told themselves without ever questioning, or they purport all sorts of “rules” with exceptions. Rules don’t have exceptions, a teacher arguing something that only works part of the time is one whose never bothered to figure out the actual rules.

Basically Torsten, yes I believe you someone who has learned English from a German or even someone who has ‘wrong English’ can easily be a better teacher than someone who has learned it natively. After all, the most important attribute of being a teacher is becoming a student yourself.

Torsten, I agree with OxfordBlues about the quality of language knowledge of the typical backpacker ESL teacher. Students currently graduating from universities (in the US at least) tend to have appallingly small vocabularies and a very small repertoire of idioms. I think it’s because earlier generations were raised at home with their mother talking to them, while this generation was largely raised in daycare with other children talking to them. Their ignorance of ordinary language can be astounding, as when only 25% of the group you mentioned knew what “hair of the dog” meant.

And face it: If someone thinks that, with no qualifications at all, he is qualified to be an English teacher, he likely doesn’t know English well enough to understand how meager his skills are.

I was once offered really nice book translation job that I wound up rejecting rather quickly, because the company hiring me had an American boy in Europe editing my work. Despite his university education, he didn’t know simple, everyday idioms like “to curse a blue streak” and wouldn’t accept their use even after he read the definition in the dictionary. He generally held his linguistic ignorance up as a positive thing, while he stigmatized people with more complete knowledge of English as “probably old”. What a guy to hire as an editor! In Europe they’ll hire a native English speaker while he’s still in diapers to work a job that in the US or the UK he would need to endure 10 years of toil, criticism, training and hazing to get.

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hello could anyone tell me this idiom means what “hair of the dog” thanks lala here .

When someone has a hangover from drinking too much alcohol, people say that the best medicine for it is “the hair of the dog that bit you”. That means to drink a little bit of the same kind of alcohol that you drank too much of the previous night.

I don’t believe it, but that’s what people say.

Hi Fawad1991,
In case you are interested in the etymology of this phrase, please read the link,
[u]NameBright - Coming Soon

I have no idea what “'hair of the dog” means as well.

I would consider myself somewhat educated. Scored an A2 for English language at Cambridge O levels, which is better than 85% of British students. Have a first class honours degree from the UK, which is better than 90% of degree students.

Not all “native speakers” have a good command of the English language. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that out. Just look at the number of Americans struggling to write a proper sentence in English.

It is the same all over the world. Not all Germans speak German well. Not all Chinese speak Mandarin well.

Oh, I love hearing that from a Brit. My response would be that you should just look at the number of Britons who can’t pronounce English intelligibly. Many of the people in London end words like “through” and “you” with an E sound, so that they sound like “thrö-ee” and “yö-ee”. A lot of them don’t put their tongues up front to pronounce the T in the middle of a word. Many people in East London can’t pronounce the “th” sounds in all positions in a word, and since they spell the way they pronounce, their teachers have a lot of trouble getting them to write “with” instead of “wif”, among other orthographic innovations.

You people in the UK have many problems of your own with English, my friend.

My point is that not all native speakers have a good command of their native language. It varies according to age, education and many other social factors.

Btw I am not British.

Regardless of your point, you insulted Americans and proposed a generalization that is ever too common among those educated in the UK that vast numbers of Americans can’t form grammatical sentences.

You should probably consider doing a bit of research as any linguist worth his salt would tell you that the varieties of English spoken in North America are far closer to what is prescriptively correct than what is spoken by 90% of Brits. Also, our education system is far superior and quality elementary, secondary, and university degrees are not limited only to those who can afford the better schools.

I have a great many friends and colleagues from all English speaking countries and have respect for all of them, but this repeating insult and assertion that Americans speak some sort of inferior form of the language is really starting to PISS ME OFF! (there’s an idiom to look up).

Watch it! The US educational system is superior only for those who can take advantage of its superiority.

However, quality elementary and secondary education in the US requires that (a) the child’s parents can afford to live in a neighborhood with good schools, and (b) that, if they don’t live in such a neighborhood, they can afford to pay tuition to high-quality private schools. If the child’s parents have neither of those advantages, the child will receive at best a mediocre education, or worse a terrible education, or at worst will be warehoused for six hours a day in facility where nearly no education is going on at all. Luckily, the elementary and secondary educational system works reasonably well for most Americans.

There is one way, though, in which the US educational system is superior to almost all other school systems in the world: Other countries’ systems are based on progressively eliminating more and more people from the schools and universities until only a very small elite gets an advanced education. The US system is geared toward remedying students’ academic deficiencies so that as many people as possible can move on to reach their full potential. The result is that we educate more people. A student of mine once wrote that, while her country does a very good job of educating a tiny elite to a very high level, anyone who wants to can get more education in the US than he can in most other countries.

Define “prescriptively correct”. The only reason why America speaks English today is because it was once a British colony. The same goes for every English speaking country in the world today, including mine.

Languages evolve over time. Since English is spoken all over the world, you can naturally expect a lot of dialects and variations being produced. Who is to say which is the “prescriptively correct” one?

Personally, I don’t really care as long as I can understand what the other party is saying. There is no “correct/incorrect” English in my book, only “understandable/wtf are you saying” English.

If you don’t care why are you accusing Americans of being unable to form cogent sentences?

Also, America has a more nationally regulated educational system and the overall level of education (especially education in grammar and usage) is much higher among its citizens than in almost any other country including the UK. This more nation-wide system has resulted in the type of English that was spoken in both the US and UK hundreds of years ago being more maintained and preserved in the US.

There has been more language change in the UK during the past 50 years than in almost any country ever. And, those changes have resulted in the average speaker (not the highly educated ones) having a very limited vocabulary and using language absolutely teeming with grammatical errors. These errors have become so ingrained that most speakers don’t even realize they are making an error. Consider such things as using round for around, to for till, ‘I was stood’ versus ‘I was standing’.

No American would enter a room with a preconceived notion that the people in that room will have inferior language skills because they are from a country other than the US. However, since I began my career in ESL years ago I have been constantly hearing from British speakers and people whom have studied there that Americans speak a bastardized version of the language, don’t understand the grammar, have tiny vocabularies, and any other slew of insults of that sort.

After over a decade of hearing this rubbish, I’m quite tired of it!

And while it may seem an overreaction, keep in mind that it goes beyond comments. Consider what many ESL teachers call “BritClub.” That’s where schools or companies have someone doing the hiring who is from the UK and low and behold only other people from the UK seem to get hired, or get the better classes, or get the most hours. This is done regardless of whether the non-Brits are more qualified or get better results in the classrooms. It’s honestly a terrible problem in many areas.

Ok…since English only came about because of French and German invaders, can we assume that we are the ones who have bastardized their language? Should we start calling German or French the correct English? Maybe we can classify English as a dialect of German now.

Oh ok wait…since we all descended from apes, could we call English a dialect of apespeak? Is apespeak the correct and purest form of English?