Knock a Dog Off a Gut Wagon


Informant: “Smelled so bad it would knock a dog off a gut wagon.”


The informant learned this saying from her mother, and explained that it came from old butcher shops that would deliver meat on vehicles called “gut wagons,” where the meat and inedible guts of an animal were separated.


This was recorded during a conversation at the informant’s home in San Diego, CA.


I think this is a good example of a saying that has probably declined in use due to its decreased relevance in the modern day. I have never heard of this saying or even a “gut wagon” before, which is largely unsurprising given the rise of the food industries, which has led to the separation of consumers and the processes that bring food from farm to table. Instead of directly interacting with a butcher, most consumers nowadays simply visit a grocery store and purchase prepackaged meat that is already trimmed and cleaned.