‘Modern Family’: What Gloria Thought ‘Doggy Dog World’ Meant

Sometimes the characters of Modern Family have a hard time understanding Gloria Delgado-Pritchett. Instead of a “deer in headlights,” she would say “a deer in headlice.” During one episode, instead of saying “dog eat dog world,” she created the phrase “doggy dog world.” 

Here’s the meaning of this saying according to this Modern Family character, portrayed by Sofia Vergara. 

'Modern Family' Halloween episode, titled 'Open House of Horrors'
‘Modern Family’ Halloween episode, titled ‘Open House of Horrors’ | Peter “Hopper” Stone/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Gloria’s accent proved to be a problem during the ‘Halloween’ episode of ‘Modern Family’

Halloween is a pretty important holiday in the Dunphy house. As a result, characters like Gloria and Jay Pritchett dressed and visited their extended family. That was true of the “Halloween” episode of this comedy series. 

Gloria dressed as a witch for her Halloween costume. Jay was dressed as a gargoyle, or a “gargle,” as Gloria pronounced it. During this episode, several Modern Family characters pointed out Gloria’s accent. It’s from this accent that Gloria created the phrase “doggy dog world.”

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What does ‘Doggy Dog World’ mean?

Gloria is bilingual, fluent in both Spanish and English. However, when she speaks English, sometimes Jay has a hard time understanding her. In the past, she said phrases that didn’t make sense. Instead of saying “dog eat dog world,” Gloria said “doggy dog world.” When talking to Jay, she said she didn’t understand what the first phrase meant. 

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Gloria explained to her husband. “Who wants to live in a world where dogs eat each other? Doggy dog world is a beautiful world full of little puppies!”

Jay wasn’t the only one who had a hard time understanding Gloria. Instead of sending Jay a box of “baby cheese,” Jay’s secretary sent him a box of “baby Jesus,” as accidentally requested by Gloria. 

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Gloria used her ‘English’ voice at the Dunphy house

Because she was upset by Jay and Manny’s teasing, Gloria decided to speak perfect English for the rest of the day. That included when the family went to the Dunphy house for Halloween night and Gloria dressed as a witch. 

She told the others that Jay picked on her for being different and after running out of the house, Jay went after her, saying that her voice is one of the reasons he fell in love with her in the first place. 

This wouldn’t be the first time, Gloria commented on her language barrier. When Manny wanted to switch to French in school, Jay decided to take Spanish lessons to better understand his partner. 

Even when she was about to be a United States citizen, she questioned whether she was abandoning her Colombian roots. Of course, Gloria brought some Colombian traditions into her life with Jay’s family. 

ABC’s Modern Family, including the “Halloween” episode, is available for streaming on Hulu.