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Idiom – Wag The Dog Idiom – Wag The Dog
Idiom – Wag The Dog

Idiom – Wag The Dog

When Pigs Fly – Idiom of the Day

Meaning:

To divert attention from something that is inappropriate

To changing the topic from something important to unimportant

History: 

The early use of this phrase was noted in politics. In terms of the print media, it originated in an article published in 1871, discussing one Democratic convention. Therein, the reference was given to a well-known, popular play – Our American Cousin. In this play, one of the characters, Lord Dundreary, who is a sympathetic being constantly speaks confused phrases. At that time, these catch phrases were known as Dundrearyisms. In 1993, with the success of the novel Wag the Dog, this term acquired political clout. In 1997, a movie was released that was based on this novel. In it, a failing president stood again for the election bid and came up with an idea of using the military card to save his campaigns. A year after the release, the situation became a reality.

Synonyms:

  • Being authoritative
  • Controlling
  • Dominating
  • masterful

Examples:

Go through the examples to understand the usage of the idiom:

  1. The government official kept wagging the dog to divert attention from a big scam.
  2. He had to wag the dog so his wife would not find out where he had gone.
  3. She has been wagging the dog to hide her father’s medical condition from her mother.
  4. She just joined the team yesterday but wagging the dog like she has ruled the team for years.
  5. The management keeps wagging the dog to keep the sales department in check.
  6. Being the only child, she keeps wagging the dog so her parents would fulfill all of her wishes.

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