Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dog’s dinner n.

1. (also chook’s breakfast, doggy’s dinner, dog’s breakfast, pig’s breakfast) a distasteful mess; usu. as make a dog’s dinner out of [but note colloq. dressed up like a dog’s dinner, dressed in the height of chic and fashion].

[UK]Times 28 Sept. 7: Mr. Tom Johnston, for whom I confess a sneaking regard, described the programme as a sort of dog’s breakfast, in which there were scraps for every palate.
[UK]P. Allingham Cheapjack 24: And if you think a gent’s titfer can make me look like a sissy I’ll give anyone a sock in the lug that’ll make ’em look like a blinking dog’s dinner.
[Aus]Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld) 27 Dec. 2/6: There were bits [i.e. of hair] sticking out every where like the tuft of a cockatoo's crest; and what was once his crowning glory was now as neat as a dog’s breakfast.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 6 Mar. 4/3: The other 38 lb [of oranges] were just one mess of pig’s breakfast.
[NZ]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 56: Why the hell do you keep such a bloody great pile of stuff like a dog’s breakfast?
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 122: Only reason I ever had a down on you Yanks was that one of you blokes designed this dog’s breakfast.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 161: You talk to me as if I was the dog’s dinner.
[US]J. Blake letter 5 April in Joint (1972) 161: The Hiberian tourist seemed to find the town something of a dog’s dinner.
[US]W.C. Anderson Adam M-1 205: You’ve got us all scrambled back here like a dog’s breakfast.
[UK]C. Dexter Last Seen Wearing in Second Morse Omnibus (1994) 450: And what a dog’s breakfast he’d made of it all!
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 14 Feb. 7/6: Rejecting this argument, he described the charge as a ‘legal dog’s breakfast, a rigmarole of words’.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 93: Both a girl and her bedroom may resemble a ‘dog’s dinner’.
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 28 Nov. 7/3: A mixed result for the remaining positions in the contest, described by one official yesterday as ‘a dog's breakfast’, makes predictions uncertain.
[UK](con. 1968) P. Theroux My Secret Hist. (1990) 336: Don’t make a pig’s breakfast of it.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 54: If a man tries to cut his own ears off he will make a pig’s breakfast of the job.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 118: He alone had the power to make them look like a dog’s breakfast. [Ibid.] 158: When Tash did finally appear in the photographic studio, an hour late [...] she looked like a chook’s breakfast.
[US]S. King Gerald’s Game (1993) 312: Gerald used to be a winner, but now he’s just the doggy’s dinner.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 60: You garms are wacked. You’re a dog’s dinner.
[UK]Guardian 23 July 11: The Tory frontbench industry spokesman, described the legislation as a ‘dog’s breakfast’.
[UK]M. Amis Experience 103: The suit was a genuine dog’s dinner.
[UK]Guardian 3 Aug. 1: A former cabinet minister called them a ‘dog’s breakfast’.
[UK]Guardian 2 Sept. 🌐 The monstrous [...] apartment tower in Lambeth [...] a lumpen dog’s dinner of a thing. 24 Sept. 🌐 The dog’s breakfast of a tower.
[Aus]N. Cummins Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] VITAL AUSSIE VERNACULAR Mess: dog’s breakfast.
[Aus]G. Disher Consolation 358: The driver had made a meal out of turning around in the narrow space [...] Hirsch made his own dog’s breakfast of turning around.

2. an unpleasant person.

[US]J. Blake letter 4 Feb. in Joint (1972) 127: I am heartsick that such a ghastly unfair thing should befall one so young and talented, when all the dog’s dinners around here remain in the pink.

3. (US gay) fellatio (the implication being that the fellator is a bitch n.1 (3f)).

[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 12: dog’s dinner (n.): Referring to fellation or the derogatory term bitch; implying extreme derogation. (Rare.).

In phrases

done like (a) dog’s dinner (adj.) (also done like (a) dinner) [cooking imagery]

1. (Aus./N.Z.) ‘done to a turn’, i.e. utterly defeated.

[UK]J. Astley Fifty Years (2nd edn) I 31: We were done ‘like a dinner’ all the same.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson ‘Old Pardon, the Son of Reprieve’ in Man from Snowy River (1902) 13: We saw we were done like a dinner — / The odds were a thousand to one.
Tararua Tramper Jan. 2: You’re the winner – the coves in front are all done like dogs’ dinners [DNZE].
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 44: His son falls in a heap. ‘Done like a dinner,’ Mary says.
[UK](con. 1930s) J. Wolveridge He Don’t Know ‘A’ from a Bull’s Foot 2: You’re done up like a Dog’s Dinner.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 21: Done like a dinner: To be worsted or badly beaten either in a fist fight or a business deal. A horse that loses a race can also be done like a dinner.
McGill Dinkum Kiwi Dict. 26: done like a dog’s dinner comprehensively defeated; eg ‘Last year just about every other province was done by Auckland like a dog’s dinner.’ [DNZE].
[NZ]Dominion (Wellington) 2 Mar. 7: In [striking] Telecom workplaces the faxes ran hot with amateur cartoons of Spot [a dog featuring in Telecom advertising] being done like a dog’s dinner [DNZE].
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 125: A fight started [...] It lasted about five minutes, with my mate being done like a dinner.
Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. 🌐 Yet again I was done like a dog’s dinner without getting a turn of line back on the reel.
[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 3 Sept. [online [headline] Done like a dinner over a reheated story.
[NZ]N.Z. Herald 24 Sept. 🌐 Labour was done like a dog’s dinner.

2. (US campus) drunk.

[US]M. Belmonte Computer Science and Why (1993) 🌐 These people are [...] out-of-it, done-like-dinner.