#OnThisDay 1387 the 29 tellers of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales depart the The Tabard Inn and begin their pilgrim journey
By THOMAS KAPLAN
Representative Bob Turner, hailed as a Republican hero last year, saw his district carved up through redistricting, and then he lost his bid for the Senate.
Exactly how L.B.J. did it was perfectly captured later by Hubert Humphrey — the man the president chose as his vote counter for the civil rights bill and his Senate proxy to carve its passage.
Humphrey said Johnson “knew just how to get to me.”
- One who tells: a teller of tall tales.
- A bank employee who receives and pays out money.
- An automated teller machine.
- A person appointed to count votes in a legislative assembly.
dog in the manger
n., pl., dogs in the manger.
One who prevents others from enjoying what one has no use for oneself.
[From a fable in which a dog prevented an ox from eating hay he did not want himself.]One who prevents others from enjoying something despite having no use for it. For example, Why be a dog in the manger? If you aren't going to use those tickets, let someone else have them. This expression alludes to Aesop's fable about a snarling dog that prevents horses from eating fodder that is unpalatable to the dog itself. [Mid-1500s]
A trough or an open box in which feed for livestock is placed.
[Middle English, from Old French mangeoire, from mangier, to eat, from Latin mandūcāre, from mandūcō, glutton, from mandere, to chew.]
Dog in the mangerMeaning
Spiteful and mean-spirited.
OriginThe infamous 'dog in a manger', who occupied the manger not because he wanted to eat the hay there but to prevent the other animals from doing so, is generally said to have been the invention of the Greek storyteller Aesop (circa 620-564 BC).
Many of the fables that have been credited to Aesop do in fact date from well before the 5th century BC and modern scholarship doesn't give much credence to the idea that Aesop's Fables, as we now know them, were written by him at all. Accounts of Aesop's life are vague and date from long after his death. If he existed at all, it was as an editor of earlier Greek and Sumerian stories rather than as the writer of them.
Nothing written by Aesop now exists in any form. Nevertheless, you can go into any bookshop and buy a copy of 'Aesop's Fables' and, for this book more than others, that is largely thanks to the invention of the movable type printing press. Following the production of the Gutenberg Bible in the 1450s, European printers began to look around for other suitable works to print. What better way to educate the common herd than to provide them with the uplifting moral tales of Aesop? The German printer Heinrich Steinhowel set to the task and printed the first German version in 1480. The first English version followed soon after when Caxton adapted the German version into English in 1484.
It seems that Steinhowel had decided that Aesop's fables weren't quite uplifting enough and he added the 'Dog in the Manger' in his 1480 version. There's no mention of the story in the Greek descriptions of the fables, some of which date from the 4th century BC. While not being included by Aesop, the story itself is ancient, having been cited in several early Greek texts and in English in John Gower's Confessio Amantis, circa 1390:
Though it be not the hound's habitThe first specific reference to 'a dog in a manger' is quite old, being first cited in William Bullein's A dialogue against the feuer pestilence, 1564:
To eat chaff, yet will he warn off
An ox that commeth to the barn
Thereof to take up any food.
"Like vnto cruell Dogges liyng in a Maunger, neither eatyng the Haye theim selues ne sufferyng the Horse to feed thereof hymself."'Dog in the manger' is still used allusively to refer to any churlish behaviour of the 'spoilsport' sort. If Google searches are anything to go by, you are just as likely to find it written as 'Dog in the manager', a surreal version that escaped even the inventive Steinhowel.