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A dogsbody, or less commonly dog robber in the Royal Navy, is a junior officer, or more generally someone who does drudge work. A rough American equivalent would be a "gofer," a "grunt" or a "lackey",
The Royal Navy used dried peas and eggs boiled in a bag (pease pudding) as one of their staple foods circa the early 19th century. Sailors nicknamed this item "dog's body". In the early 20th century, junior officers and midshipmen who performed jobs that more senior officers did not want to do began to be called "dogsbodies". The term became more common in non-naval usage ca. 1930, referring to people who were stuck with rough work.
- The kitchen maid "Daisy" refers to herself as a dogsbody in the Season 2 finale of "Downton Abbey."
- Baldrick, the character in Blackadder, is called a dogsbody.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo refers to one of the minor characters at Millennium, named Henry Cortez, as a dogsbody on page 338 of the paperback edition.
- Gaius explains to Merlin that the young warlock is his dogsbody, along with being Arthur's servant, in the third episode of the BBC's Merlin TV series.
- Line in the song "Anarchy in the UK" by the band the Sex Pistols. "'Cause I wanna be anarchy...No dog's body".
- In chapter five of the first CHERUB book, The Recruit, Kevin McHugh, a worker at Nebraska House, the care home James Adams is put in after his mother's death, refers to himself as "Dogsbody, former inmate. I mean resident, of course."
The term dogsbody has not always been derogatory, with a number of people deliberately using it as their callsign or handle. The most famous of these is probably Douglas Bader, who was an RAF fighter pilot during the Second World War.