I came across the phrase “There’s nothing bulldog about Britain hovering somewhere in the mid-Atlantic,” in the following sentence of New York Times (December 12) article, titled “The British Euro Farce” commenting on British PM Cameron’s veto of Europe-bolstering treaty change:
“After uncertain mumblings, the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, managed to reach beyond this theater to something approaching strategic reflection. Declaring himself “bitterly disappointed” at Cameron’s decision, he said: “There’s nothing bulldog about Britain hovering somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, not standing tall in Europe, not being taken seriously in Washington.”
From the preceding line of the article:
“Since Cameron’s “No,” there’s been much chatter about the return of Britain’s “bulldog spirit.” Self-delusion is a lingering attribute of former imperial nations adjusting to a lesser reality,”
I can interpret “bulldog” as “British-ness i.e., British persistence” or “going UK’s own way,” but I’m not sure.
What does “There’s nothing bulldog about Britain doing something” mean? Is the expression, 'nothing bulldog about Britain doing' grammatically right? Is this expression (animal name / country name combination) exclusive to Britain related description?
Can I extend this analogy to “There’s nothing shepherd (bear, Uncle Sam) about German (Russia, America) behaving ..,”?