Recently, as it is shown in previous questions, we learn how to use asininely and how to use bovinely. Now, along this line, I would like to learn how to use dogly properly.

In particular, I would like to know whether phrases like

Our friends looked at us dogly.

Our friends worked dogly.

are good English. Are they?

I know that there are better or more idiomatic words to replace 'dogly' there, but, thinking to the audience I have to talk to, I would prefer, if acceptable, to use 'dogly'.

  • 2
    If I really had to use it I'd use it as a modifier: Our friends gave us a dogly look.
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Dec 30, 2013 at 23:08
  • 1
    If this were a course of lessons, you could say 'Recently we have learnt how to use asininely...' It is not, and many of us have known for some time how to use asininely: sparingly at most. Dec 30, 2013 at 23:18
  • 2
    The OED has exactly one quote for the adverb ‘dogly’, and it is from 1552. It’s not a word. As an adjective (like how @z7sgѪ used it), it is quite rarely used, but does exist. It is mostly literal then, meaning “of the nature of a dog, canine”, but also has the now obsolete meaning ‘cynical’ (the philosophers, not common cynicism)—which makes sense, of course, since ‘cynical’ just means ‘doglike’ to begin with. Dec 30, 2013 at 23:52
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the use of a non-existent word. Dec 30, 2013 at 23:53
  • 1
    I cannot see their definition, since I am not subscribed to the unabridged Merriam-Webster. But when a (non-technical, non-latinate) word is put down as unknown by (so far) five erudite, linguistically minded native speakers, and the largest English dictionary in the world marks it as both obsolete and rare, I’d say it’s far more asinine to persist in using it simply because it is included in a dictionary. Dec 31, 2013 at 0:10

5 Answers 5


I don't know what your standard of "good English" is, but dogly is not a word that I can imagine using, nor would I expect to hear it from any native English speaker.

The word doggily, on the other hand, is regularly formed from the adjective doggy, and I would not find it strange in this context, even though I'm not sure that I have ever heard it before.


What exactly does this word 'dogly' mean? Presumably 'in the manner of a dog'? But what is that? I know what 'asinine' and 'bovine' mean when used metaphorically, but have no ideas about 'dogly', nor incidentally has the Oxford Dictionary of English. There is an excellent word 'doggedly' which I suspect derives from dog meaning 'showing tenacity and grim persistence'. That word would seem to me to own the rights to 'in the manner of a dog'.


Are you sure you're not thinking of doggedly?


One can work like a dog

work like a dog/trojan: to work very hard. He worked like a dog all day to finish the wallpapering.

One can look at someone with puppy dog eyes

enlarging your eyes over dramatically with a sad face to get whatever you desire (most of the time.)

One can be as crooked as a dog's hind leg

Dishonest, corrupt, evil.

One can even drink Working Dog wine

But I highly doubt on can do anything dogly, except to love unconditionally.

*However, as I love dogs, I look forward to trying to keep this open, and to the replies.


In particular, I would like to know whether phrases like "Our friends looked at us dogly" are good English. Are they?

Though they would likely be understood, they are certainly not anything that a native speaker of English would say.

Try doggishly if you intend to mean "in the manner of a dog".

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.