Hi Molly,

Here is what I found in the Google on a discussion Forum, how much accurate
it is I have not idea:

"When someone says that they are going to see a man about a dog they really
mean that they are unwilling to reveal the true nature of their business.
The expression comes from the long forgotten 1866 play 'Flying Scud' by a
prolific Irish-born playwright of the period named Dion Boucicault. One of
the characters uses the words as an excuse to get away from a tricky
situation. This character, an eccentric and superannuated old jockey, says:
"Excuse me Mr. Quail, I can't stop; I've got to see a man about a dog". This
is the only thing that seems to have survived from the play."

-----Original Message-----
From: Molly Montgomery [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 9:39 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Meaning/Origin of "Going to see a man about a horse"

Talk about a Friday question!

I have searched Google, the Phrase Finder website, and questioned coworkers,
but I can't find a definitive meaning or origin of this colorful phrase.  It
seems to mean:
1.      A sudden or unceremonious departure (American Dictionary of Slang).
2.      What someone says when they are unwilling to state the true nature
of their business.
3.      A euphemism for visiting the restroom.

If you have any additional insight on this, please e-mail me off list.  I'll
do a summary by the end of the day.

Thank you,

Molly Montgomery
Assistant Librarian
American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75231
214.706.1216 (phone)
214.706.5240 (fax)
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