dog ate my homework, the

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

(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

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