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I just saw an sentence from here:

But the problem grows and the next thing you know your maven build is checking 50 repos for every artifact and build time is a dog

What does xxx is a dog mean here?

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Dog can have several slang meanings.

In this case, it refers to another piece of slang, that is deemed to be quite offensive.

If something is really hard, really difficult or a pain in the backside, one may, very informally, express this as:

xxx is a (son of a) bitch.

(This can also be said about people, meaning that they are in one or several ways, not pleasant.)

This expression is, like I said, deemed very offensive in many situations (most, really).

If we take it literally, however, a bitch is a female dog, and her son would (bar Greek mythology) be a dog. Even if we refer directly to the bitch instead of her son, she's a dog.

So instead of the offensive (son of) a bitch, the author uses the euphemistic dog.

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  • Really? I'd love to see some references on that. Examples? Earliest date used (in that sense)? – Brian Hitchcock Feb 26 '15 at 9:38
  • @BrianHitchcock: Of what? xxx is a bitch? Google will provide you plenty of examples. For the rest, I just based my answer on the fact that a bitch is a dog, for which I'm sure you can easily find enough references. – oerkelens Feb 26 '15 at 9:39
  • I'm just saying I take your answer as folk etymology, absent any substantiated connection. – Brian Hitchcock Feb 26 '15 at 9:53
  • @BrianHitchcock If you do not see a connection between bitch and dog, you can take it as you want :) – oerkelens Feb 26 '15 at 9:56
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    not ugly. My alternate hypothesis is "dog-slow" here's a reference from the same genre (software development) forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1922871 – Brian Hitchcock Feb 26 '15 at 10:33

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