Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dog it v.1

[dog v.1 (3a)]

1. (orig. gambling, also dog) to act weakly, to be a loser, to lack winning spirit.

[US]Van Loan ‘The Bush League Demon’ in Big League (2004) 43: He’ll dog it, I tell you [...] You hang around and you’ll see him blow up.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Revenge of Kid Morales’ in Taking the Count 284: Smith never lets up on a fellow that dogs it [...] He’ll queer you and chase you out of the business.
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Big Knockover’ Story Omnibus (1966) 282: Everybody in it will come home lousy with cash – and they’ll all come home if they don’t dog it.
[US]W.R. Burnett Dark Hazard (1934) 63: ‘The boss thought you would dog it, see?’ Jim thanked his lucky star. He had almost ‘dogged’ it; if it hadn’t been for Bright’s attitude he’d ’ve probably eaten humble pie and asked Bright to get his job back for him.
J. Lilienthal Horse Crazy 23: The horse dogged it, the same as it had done before [W&F].
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 228: Perhaps that was why he was pulling out, though he didn’t seem to be the type to dog.
[US]R. Graziano Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) 117: ‘What does Romolo mean, “dogging” it?’ says Josefina [...] ‘You ain’t going to dog it, are you Rocky?’ says Benjy.
[US]E. Torres Q&A 18: ‘So the bull turned tail.’ [...] ‘He dogged it.’.
[US]H.C. Collins Street Gangs 222: Dog It Get cold feet, back out, turn coward.

2. (US) to shirk, to waste time; to dawdle, to hang back.

[US]P. Kyne Cappy Ricks 119: The old sinner thought I’d dog it, I suppose.
[US]Collier’s 15 May 62/3: I’m afraid if Roberts gets hurt, early, bein’ green, he’ll play safe and be satisfied to stall the rest of it and dog it [DA].
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 24: When he didn’t, I knew he was doggin’ it.
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 7 Aug. 31/1: They might not be all-city, but they’ll play for me, not dog it! [DA].
[US]‘Weldon Hill’ Onionhead (1958) 109: Maybe they were dogging it it to see how much he’d put up with.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 797: dog it -To stall.
[US](con. 1920s) J. Thompson South of Heaven (1994) 69: It was impossible for them to dog it as a muck-stick artist could.
[US]Current Sl. V:1 6: Dog it, v. To go slowly on purpose.
[Scot]G. Armstrong Young Team 38: [T]ryin tae git a cargo sorted after their day ae doggin it [i.e. attending school].

3. (US) to malinger, to act lazily.

[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 47: She’ll give — everything — and if any angle flops, it won’t be because she’ll dog it.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 32: Stop doggin it, Banigan. Get your men movin.
[US]T.B. Haber ‘Canine Terms Applied to Human Beings’ in AS XL:2 95: dog it. To work half-heartedly.
L. Schecter Polo Grounds 129: [A]t the slightest sign that a Met player was dogging it, they’d hold up signs that read: BOO!
[US]G.V. Higgins Rat on Fire (1982) 75: ‘He’s dogging it,’ Roscommon said. ‘He’s not dogging it [...] He’s got a temperature and he’s got a fever and he’s got the trots.’.
[US] (ref. to 1987) H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 120: You’re dogging it. I hate that (karate instructor Paul Sxantyr to lazy students, 1987).

4. in sexual contexts.

(a) (US black) to move, usu. dance, in a provocative manner.

[US]C. McKay Banjo 280: Dengel, who rarely danced, was dogging it with a boy from Grand Bassam.
[US]R. Bradford This Side of Jordan 58: ‘Dog hit, Didge! Let’s see you dog hit!’ [...] She ‘dogged it’ by rocking gracefully on her knees and hips.
[US]‘John Eagle’ Hoodlums (2021) 32: Jeannie walked ahead of him to the bar. Even in her walk she was dogging it.

(b) (US campus) of a woman, to make oneself sexually available; but note cit. 1932.

[US]C. McKay Gingertown 42: Gad! I guess you’re going to dog it some tonight, brother!
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 3: dog it – for a female to act sexually free or promiscuous: Denise is really doggin’ it this weekend.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 70: As with many slang words for animals, dog and its spinoffs often have sexual implications [...] To dog it is ‘for a female to act sexually loose or promiscuous’.

5. (orig. US) to run off.

[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 182: The bodyguards, outnumbered, dogged it.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]T. Jones Pugilist at Rest 37: The main reason he was avoided was because he would dog it under fire.
[Scot]G. Armstrong Young Team 49: There’s only a granny walkin [...] Everybody else hus dogged it.

6. (US prison) to betray, to inform against.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 40: Give Him Up also Give You Up To turn someone in to the police or prison […] (Archaic: dog it, cross up).

7. (US drugs) to spoil, thus to make no longer suitable or safe.

[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 131: I don’t have a usual place to go [...] most of these places is burnt out now, meaning they done dogged it.