dog ate my homework

Also found in: Acronyms.

the dog ate my homework

A hackneyed explanation for why one does not have their homework. A: "I can't tell my teacher that the dog ate my homework!" B: "Come on, a bad excuse is better than none."
See also: ate, dog, homework
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(The) dog ate my homework

A poor excuse for something that someone has failed to do on time. (From an excuse a student might give for failing to turn in homework on time. Occurs in many variations.) The dog ate my homework, so I have nothing to turn in. (Used as an attributive.) Bob was late with his report and had nothing but his typical dog-ate-my-homework excuses.
See also: ate, dog, homework
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dog ate my homework, the

A ridiculous and obviously prevaricating excuse for failing to meet an obligation. It dates from the late 1900s and is so well known that a Boston Globe headline for a book review of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr played on it, “The Internet Ate My Brain” (June 6, 2010). A Washington Examiner column by Timothy P. Carney about a bill provision allowing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to accept late applications for patent extensions called it “The Dog Ate My Homework Act” (March 20, 2010).
See also: ate, dog
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"THE dog ate my homework" has never impressed teachers as an excuse - and now the Office for National Statistics is warning that it will not wash as a reason for failing to fill in the census form.
In fact, some high-profile enthusiasts for educational change have proved themselves good classroom performers: Mayor Boris Johnson went down a storm when he visited a London girls' school recently to give a lesson in his beloved Latin (top tip for kids: Canis studia domestici devoravit, domina--the dog ate my homework, Miss).
Quite frankly, "please, miss, the dog ate my homework" is a more convincing excuse for not meeting your obligations.
The litany runs: "too expensive, too much trouble, I don't know how, you can't use them inside" all the way up to "the dog ate my homework." All are bogus.
As Golladay jokingly observed, "The dog ate my homework" excuses don't cut it in Tikrit.
Bonds's ignorance of their true identity is more childish than a youngster's excuse that "the dog ate my homework."
They almost always have a story that may not be supported by observable facts -- you know -- the dog ate my homework sort of stuff, but the painful truth is weird harmonics or powder detonation which often get blamed don't have much in the way of science to support the story.
It's hard to imagine, but your parents may have once have used the excuse, "The dog ate my homework." That's because they used to be teens, too.
When we returned to school after the holidays, I told the two girls whose work was mangled that they had the best excuse going: "My teacher's dog ate my homework."
Phelps and his group insisted the provision had been included as a means of forcing the legislature to impose stricter limits, but to most ears, the explanation had a "the dog ate my homework" ring to it.
Evidently, animals pose a threat to installations with single-point-of-failure power systems and communication systems, including the "My dog ate my homework" syndrome.
"Most notably I featured in The Dog Ate my Homework as Eve from class 4b, and starred in the Amazon Kindle kids UK advert and recently I appeared in Spy School for CITV," she said.
Mourinho's explanation for Eric Bailly's recent lack of playing time was about as credible as 'the dog ate my homework', particularly when Matteo Darmian - whose country also failed to qualify for the World Cup - lined up at Brighton.
Iain co-wrote and hosted four series of CBBC comedy panel show The Dog Ate My Homework, which won Bafta Scotland's 2016 Best Programme Award last year and saw him pick up this year's Children's Bafta Best Presenter Award.