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a dog’s breakfast

a poor piece of work or a state of confusion


a dog’s breakfast = die Wirrheit, die Unordnung, das Durcheinander, das Chaos; extrem schlechte Qualität der Arbeit



“Merging North Yorkshire’s county and district councils into a single super-authority will be a ‘DOG’S BREAKFAST’ according to one leader.”

BBC News - 21st July 2021

“Analysis: With Trump at the helm, US policy in the Middle East has been a ‘DOG’S BREAKFAST’ of confusion and contradiction.”

CNN - 27th December 2017

Did you

a dog’s breakfast
noun phrase (informal)

- something that looks extremely untidy, or something that is very badly done

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


This is a 19th century phrase. The exact origin is uncertain, although most of the earliest uses of it originate from England. An early example was printed in the London journal "The Referee", November 1878 in a review of a play:

“There is enough material for fourteen comedies crammed into its three acts, and the good things are flung together in a heap like a dog’s breakfast.”

It’s pure speculation, but maybe dog’s breakfast referred to a cooking accident only fit for a dog’s consumption. Alternatively, it’s simply the mess a dog makes when eating.


dog’s dinner, DOG'S BREAKFAST, botch, fiasco, grab bag, mingle-mangle, mishmash, screw-up, muddle, hodge-podge, hotchpotch, mess, madhouse, bungle, crazy quilt, alphabet soup, ragbag, shambles, snafu, mare’s nest

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Sorry to say this, but the report of the committee is a real DOG’S BREAKFAST.”

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Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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