I first heard the expression 'the dog's bollocks' way back when the office sent me to London. One of my flatmates then was an Englishman from Sheffield who rolled his own cigarettes and used to brew his own beer. He migrated to Australia then found his way back to Mother England when the company hired him from a competitor. He was quite a character. As a former brewer, he knew a lot about beer and taught me how to appreciate my pint of brew, noting color, intricacies of flavor, mouth feel, and its ability to make us bloody pissed. We used to go out on pub crawls together on weekends where we drank real ale like true connoiseurs, holding up our pints to the light and putting the pints to our noses and all that, appreciating the living nature of our brews. Because real ale is all natural. No preservatievs The best ones havent even been pasteurized so the yeast is still alive. Being unpasteurized, the beer spoils quicker if left for long periods, but no worries. The beer doesnt last long enough to spoil.
"If you think about it, the foam in this beer is actually yeast fart," I told him.
"So it is," he said, "so it is. Let's order another pint. I'm shelling." He went off to the bar and ordered our pints. We never sat down in pubs. "You only sit down in a pub when youre pissed," he told me once. When he came back, he said, "Next week I'll take you to this pub I used to go to. They have Boddington's. It's the dog's bollocks." This was when Boddy's were still brewed in Manchester.
The expression puzzled me. From his tone, he indicated that he really liked this beer, but to compare it to canine testicles? That doesnt sound appetizing even if you havent actually tasted dog testicles before. But I let it go.
He next used the expression when he was doing some internet research on his laptop. Ok, he was surfing porn. Anyway, he'd bring a picture up and he'd show it to me and asked me what I thought. "What do you think of this bird?" he asked.
"She's seen better days," I said.
"Haha. But this one! This one's the dog's bollocks!"
It was then I asked what it meant. It means something is really good, he said. "Have you heard of the expression 'the bee's knees?," he said. "Same thing."
Actually I havent heard of the expression 'the bee's knees' then but I just said, Ah. Later I found out 'the bee's knees' actually came from America in the 20's when they used animal parts to express that something was excellent. Heard of the expression 'the cat's meow'? Same thing. Although for some reason, I have no doubt that the dog's bollocks could have come from nowhere else but England.
Back home, me and my buddies (blokes I grew up with in Caloocan) have our own expression we use to denote if something is of excellent quality. We say, "May ice cream sa ibabaw." Ice cream on top. When we say 'may ice cream sa ibabaw' we mean 'the dog's bollocks'. It comes from halo-halo. Special halo-halo usually has ice cream on top. But you already know that. It's sort of an in joke among the old gang and it hasnt caught on outside of our circle and that's the way we like it. It's like a secret handshake. "P're, maganda ba yung nabili mong component?" "May ice cream sa ibabaw."
Lately, I may have stumbled on a new expression to denote that something is excellent. It came from these conversations Ive been having with women friends. For some reason, the conversation takes a, shall we say, flirtier turn. More often than not, that's what happens without me meaning to. Maybe it's not my fault. Anyway...
One conversation started out with coffee and how I need some every afternoon because the post-prandial dip is aggravated by the air conditioning and I dont feel like doing anything unless I get some coffee. And I dont mean the instant coffee available in the office. Instant coffee = Oxymoron. And somehow--I dont remember exactly how--the topic turned to kissing. "I like passionate kissing," she said. I thought, Oo-oo-kay. Let's examine that. Now Im the type who can detach myself from the baser aspects of a topic and examine it in a more clinical manner. Honest! So I said, "Do you use your tongue a lot?" She said yes, and said some other stuff too and then asked me where I want to be kissed. I said, "If you're really lucky, maybe you'll find out." (This was all harmless banter and Im not being defensive because it was all just harmless banter and there's nothing to be defensive about.)
"Haha," she said, "If youre good, I'll get you coffee."
"Really? That's sweet of you."
"Yes. I'll get you coffee with tongue."
Light bulb flashes on. He-e-eeey. That could be a good one, I thought. With tongue. It means a thing has that something extra that makes it special. A kiss is just a kiss, but with tongue? It's a whole new kettle of sandtrout. It's the dog's bollocks, super-sized. I better write that down. "P're, maganda ba yung nabili mong component?"
"With tongue, p're. With tongue." Hmmm... Could work.