a dog’s breakfast

I enjoy idiomatic expressions. One of my favorite, that I do not personally hear enough in day to day conversations is:

“a dog’s breakfast”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the term as: something or someone that looks extremely messy, or something that is very badly done.

Equally interesting is where the term came from. The Phrase Finder says: This is a 19th century phrase. The 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.

The allusion in this metaphorical expression is to the omnivorous nature of dogs and the messy variety of things they might eat given the opportunity. This is not to be confused with ‘ a dog’s dinner’ which has a related but significantly different meaning. [Dressed or displayed in an ostentatiously smart manner.]

Just goes to show that much can change between breakfast and dinner.