"mongrel" or "mutt [for 'dog'?]


New Member
Polish - Poland

I drafted the following "Free Dog Walking" post:

"My sister and I walk in our lovely park twice a week and we wouldn't mind bringing along a mongrel or two."

I saw once "Mutts" used as the name of a pet shop so I'm wondering if "mutts" and/or "mongrel" can be used as a funny way to refer to a dog.

To be clear, we have to preference for the breed of the dogs we would walk.

Thanks in advance!
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Personally, I don't find either of them amusing in this context, though they might be amusing in the name of a shop. In a normal English sentence, both these words have their normal English meaning: a dog of mixed, and usually unknown, breeds. I wouldn't use either one here.


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    We use "mutt" quite frequently and usually in an affectionate way - our last few dogs have been rescue dogs of unknown "breed" (their parents were not married in the same social circle:eek: )

    We just got another dog from the Humans Society Rescue program.
    Oh, yeah, what kind?
    Just a mutt, but there is some spaniel in the mix somewhere.

    Mongrel on the other hand does seem to have a pejorative tone to it, as if hurled by a member of one "pure" race against an invader of "mixed "race!

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    A.k.a. a 'bitsa' in BE slang : from 'bitsa (bits of) this and bitsa that'.:) Not as common as it was, I'm sure.

    In any case, I agree with the above. I'm pretty sure someone whose dog has a pedigree would not be amused if you you referred to it as a mutt, but it does depend on their sense of humour. I certainly call my friend's pedigree cat a moggy and she doesn't take offence (but I think the cat does.:D).


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    If the dog is a pure breed then it's quite likely that the owner guardian paid a significant sum to satisfy their preference, and denigrating its pedigree might be taken negatively:) Context, context, context ;)
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