“Dead Dog”

Idiot/Savant’s comment on the origin of the phrase “Dead Dog” prompted me to do a quick online search to see what I could find out.

First of all, Urbandictionary.com had two definitions for “dead dog” – both of which were “a dog that is not alive.” Will someone please explain to me why someone thinks that is slang.

I gave both entries a thumbs down.

Dead-dog, with the hyphen, was defined as some kind of modifier that means “very” as in “dead-dog tired”. I’ve heard of “dog tired”. Maybe they’re related.

Searching on google was thoroughly unpleasant, but I did spot the term on Wikipedia’s entry on science fiction conventions. It mentions dead dog parties that happen at the end of the convention, which allow tired con-goers to unwind. I guess they’re all dead-dog tired by that point?

So now  it’s been borrowed over from sci-fi con slang into LARP slang to mean the event at the end… though I find  LARP Dead Dogs to usually be pretty animated.

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About Fair Escape

I've been LARPing for years in all different styles, including both boffer and theater. I love classic LARP but I'm always happy to try something new. I have a sort of "gotta catch 'em all" attitude towards experiencing LARPs. I'm currently serve as a board member of NEIL, a member of proposal com for Intercon, the largest all LARP convention in the US, and as en editor for Game Wrap, a publication about the art and craft of LARP. I was also con chair of Festival of the LARPs 2017, and I'm on staff for NELCO, the first all LARP conference in the US. I'm
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2 Responses to “Dead Dog”

  1. And here I’ll provide conflicting evidence (well, anecdote): I was told that they were called “dead dogs” after theater post-production/cast parties, which mostly involved people lying around being dead-dog tired.

    • Fair Escape says:

      I’m not sure I’d call it conflicting… I bet it’s just another step back along the evolution of the term. Sci-fi cons probably got it from theater. (Or vice versa, though somehow that seems less likely to me.)

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