"A hit dog will holler” is an old proverb that has been popular in the southern United States. It means that a person who is offended by something someone has done will tell that person.
The saying was coined by Alabama-born alcoholic-turned-Methodist-evangelist Samuel Porter Jones (1847-1906). “Sam Jones says, ‘the hit dog always hollers’” was cited in print in November 1886.
4 November 1886, The News-Herald (Hillsboro, OH), “Highland Boy,” pg. 1, col. 4:
Maybe he was hitting at me; anyhow, Sam Jones says, “the hit dog always hollers.”
Sam Jones’ Own Book:
A series of sermons collected and edited under the author’s own supervision
By Sam Porter Jones
Cincinnati, OH: Cranston and Stowe
I sail into you on your dram-drinking, theater-going, card-playing, and dancing, and the town rises up in arms against me; but it is the hit dog that hollers, you may put that down.
18 October 1888, The Anderson Intelligencer (Anderson Court House, SC), pg. 3, col. 3:
Remember, “Jay,” an old saying is, that it is the hit dog that hollers.
3 December 1891, The Anderson Intelligencer (Anderson Court House, SC), pg. 3, col. 4:
It seems that two or three of our little pleasantries in last week’s items have been misconstrued; but we have no apology to make, for we believe with Sam Jones that ‘tis always “the hit dog that hollers.”
24 December 1895, Hopkinsville (KY) Kentuckian, “War’s Crimson Crest,” pg. 5, col. 1:
To use the words of my friend Sam Jones, “It is the hit dog that hollers.”
27 October 1896, Columbus (OH) Enquirer-Sun, pg. 4, col. 1:
The hit dog will holler.
Michael Jordan, Basketball Great
By Sean Dolan
New York, NY: Chelsea House
“I’m not trying to create a controversy,” he said, “but I believe a hurt dog will holler.”
A person acting sensitive, mad, or butt hurt as if something said applied to them (hit home)
Someone who responds defensively to a general statement, meaning they clearly took it personal
Throw it out there, and a hit dog will holler.
by Kuahmel Jan 22, 2009
Laughter in the Amen Corner:
The Life of Evangelist Sam Jones
By Kathleen Minnix
Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press
As he was fond of saying, it is the hit dog — or hog — that hollers.
The Hollywood Reporter
Producer Jim Jonsin: The ‘Idol Worship’ Interview
7:51 PM PDT 4/11/2011 by Shirley Halperin, Annie Yuan
Jonsin: (...) There’s a saying I always say, “A hit dog will holler.” That means a hit record will take you wherever you want to go. I don’t care if you’re overweight, underweight, ugly, pretty—if you can sing an amazing song I’ll sign you.
Breaking News: Colorlines Believes in Racial Justice (Or, Why the Right’s Scared of Us)
by Kai Wright
Wednesday, December 5 2012, 9:59 AM EST
As they say in the South, a hit dog will holler.
BBW’s Royce Reed Slams Evelyn Lozada In Blog Pulled From VH1!
by Lauren on January 1st, 2013
The original blog post is pretty long, and it covers Royce’s relationship with Dezmon Briscoe (vaguely), her father, and businesses. To read the post in its entirety, it’s here. I’ve just shared what I think are the juiciest tidbits pertaining to BBW. Enjoy!
I had to post this blog on my own due to VH1 contacting me stating they had to take it down due to “someone” being “in their feelings”. But its cool. I’ve always be taught “A Hit Dog Will Holler!”