a dog's life

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a dog's life

A life that is difficult, unpleasant, or boring. You whipper-snappers think you've got a bright future ahead of you, but it's a dog's life, I tell you!
See also: life
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dog's life

A miserably unhappy existence, as in He's been leading a dog's life since his wife left him. This expression was first recorded in a 16th-century manuscript and alludes to the miserable subservient existence of dogs during this era. By the 1660s there was a proverb: "It's a dog's life, hunger and ease."
See also: life
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a dog's life

an unhappy existence full of problems or unfair treatment.
1987 Fannie Flagg Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe The judge's daughter had just died a couple of weeks ago, old before her time and living a dog's life on the outskirts of town.
See also: life
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a ˈdog’s life

(informal) a life in which there is not much pleasure or freedom: It’s a dog’s life having to do two jobs in order to survive.
See also: life
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a dog's life

Miserable circumstances. The term has been traced to Erasmus, who pointed out the wretched subservient existence of dogs in the mid-sixteenth century, as well as to the seventeenth-century proverb, “It’s a dog’s life, hunger and ease.” It was certainly a cliché by the time Rudyard Kipling (A Diversity of Creatures, 1899) wrote, “Politics are not my concern. . . . They impressed me as a dog’s life without a dog’s decencies.” See also die like a dog.
See also: life
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
ITS a dogs life for the newest addition to a Rugby care home.
This was followed in April 1997 by the Channel 4 documentary It's a Dogs Life which again exposed wanton cruelty to the animals in their care.
THE expression "it's a dogs life" is meant to sum up the lot of the down-trodden.