Glossary entry for
dog in the manger

From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable:
    A mean-spirited individual who will not use what is wanted by another, nor yet let the other have it to use; one who prevents another enjoying something without any benefit to himself. The allusion is to the fable of the dog that fixed his place in a manger and would not allow the ox to come near the hay but would not eat it himself.

From The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy:

    A person who spitefully refuses to let someone else benefit from something for which he or she has no personal use: "We asked our neighbor for the fence posts he had left over, but, like a dog in the manger, he threw them out rather than give them to us." The phrase comes from one of Aesop's fables, about a dog lying in a manger full of hay. When an ox tries to eat some hay, the dog bites him, despite the fact that the hay is of no use to the dog.

Contributed by Judy Kennedy

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