I saw the phrase in some texts but I am not sure that I've got the meaning of it. Does "wild dog" mean "crazy"? Could you please explain it to me?

The full text is here:

“A man ought to have a real belt,” Dad said at breakfast on the day Luke was well enough to return to the junkyard, handing him a leather strap with a steel buckle. “Not Luke,” Richard said. “He prefers twine, you know how fashionable he is.” Luke grinned. “Beauty’s everything,” he said. FOR EIGHTEEN Y EARS I never thought of that day, not in any probing way. The few times my reminiscing carried me back to that torrid afternoon, what I remembered first was the belt. Luke, I would think. You wild dog. I wonder, do you still wear twine?

Educated by Tara Westover

1 Answer 1


Luke is compared to a wild dog because he held up his trousers with twine. He was wild in the sense of untamed, undomesticated, free, independent, etc. There is no implication that he was crazy. Men often use 'dog' to each other affectionately. Jim: I've got a new girlfriend - the blonde who works in the bar. Bob: you sly dog! (or lucky dog!)

  • There are two examples from Longman Dictionary in which "wild" means "crazy": Donny could be wild and crazy; There was a wild look about her (=she seemed a little crazy).
    – Peace
    May 6, 2018 at 17:12
  • Wild can mean 'crazy', but it can also just mean unconventional and rebellious. I do not see any evidence in the piece quoted that the narrator thought Luke was crazy. May 6, 2018 at 19:20

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