let the dog see the rabbit. 1. Get out of the way; get out of the light; I can't see. 2. Let's get started. 3. Let the person whose job it is get on with it.
While numerous online sites suggest that the term is a hunting one, famed lexicographer Eric Partridge states that it is “common among dog-track frequenters.” This makes sense since dog races typically use pace setters made to look like a rabbit or hare, more or less literally. The hare is attached to a mechanical slide on the rail of the track or to a moving vehicle.
Most of the actual usage I was able to uncover was British. Perhaps the most familiar source to U.S. readers will be Agatha Christie. In Peril at End House our hero Poirot wishes to see Nick's will and asks her for written authorization. She asks in return, “What shall I say? Let the dog see the rabbit?”
1. Partridge, Eric, and Paul Beale, ed. 1992. A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day. Rev. and updated ed. New York: Scarborough House. 191.
3. Stuart-Hamilton, Ian. 2007. An Asperger Dictionary of Everyday Expressions. 2nd ed. London ; Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 142.
5. Christie, Agatha. 1932. Peril at End House. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Distributed by Workman Pub. Co. 158