Just ran into this (don’t ask me how) looking for the meaning of the English expression “The Black Dog”. No, not the cafe on Martha’s Vineyard which generate those little oval stickers on the back of SAAB’s that have the silhouette of a black dog, but the term, or expression. I hear it on the podcast of Men in Blazers as it’s a favorite of Roger Bennett, the Scouser (Toffee). He seems to use in context that would make it seem like a euphamism for plain old seasonal (Winter) depression. So I was surprised to learn that it’s not really a fit. It’s more of a dopey old legend about seeing ghost hounds and then feeling cursed. Similar, perhaps, but not quite.
Here’s a snip from the Ilse of Man version:
In the Isle of Man is the legend of the Moddey Dhoo, black dog in Manx), also styled phonetically Mauthe Doog or Mawtha Doo (double ‘D’ pronounced ‘th’). It is said to haunt the environs of Peel Castle. People believe that anyone who sees the dog will die soon after the encounter with the dog. It is mentioned by Sir Walter Scott in The Lay of the Last Minstrel:
“For he was speechless, ghastly, wan
Like him of whom the Story ran
Who spoke the spectre hound in Man.”
I know J is counting down the hours to the big clash at Old Trafford on Sunday morning.