jeremiad

1: A long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes.

2: An utterance of grief or sorrow; a complaining tirade: used with a spice of ridicule or mockery, implying either that the grief itself is unnecessarily great, or that the utterance of it is tediously drawn out and attended with a certain satisfaction to the utterer.

In 1978, Moorcock made the conflict explicit in a jeremiad against the old inkling entitled “Epic Pooh” (as in Winnie-the-Pooh), which accused Tolkien of propagating a ­sentimental Luddism while blithely promoting war.

[1] from Google
[2] from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (via Wordnik)

dog’s dinner

A poor job; a mess.

Editor’s note: In one of those moments of delightful synchronicity, shortly after looking up this phrase, I happened to see my colleague Rachel describe something as “a dog’s breakfast”, which turns out to be synonymous.

For some reason I am really charmed by these two phrases, especially since no one says “a dog’s lunch”. I’m adding these to the list of things to start saying — maybe they’ll catch on in the US?

The occupant looks to be in his early thirties, has a gelled mullet, an off-the-peg suit from a mid-range high-street outfitter, and is making a dog’s dinner of wrapping a big box of Scalextric.

Definition from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved. (via Wordnik)