(well,) dog my cats

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(well,) dog my cats

1. An exclamation of surprise or incredulity. Well, dog my cats! I never thought I'd see you around these parts again! A: "It turns out that lottery ticket I bought for you won $200." B: "Really? Dog my cats!" John managed to get the job after all? Well, dog my cats.
2. A mild, inoffensive oath. Dog my cats if I know what we're supposed to be working on here. Oh, dog my cats, not again! That's the third time this month that the car battery has died. Dog my cats, you scared me! I didn't think anyone was home.
See also: cat, dog
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

well, dog my cats

An expression of astonishment. “Dog” may have been euphemism for “damned,” as in “I'll be doggone.” “Cats” might have been just something opposed to “dog.” The earliest written reference is in O. Henry's 1910 short story, Memoirs of a Yellow Dog: “I began to feel sorry for Hubby, dog my cats if I didn't.”
See also: cat, dog
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in classic literature ?
I began to feel sorry for Hubby, dog my cats if I didn't.
Dog my cats if it ain't all I kin do to tell t' other fum which, let alone his pappy."