|photo: Chiot's Run via Creative Commons|
Before we can explore the origin of this phrase, we should probably answer the question, how did 'dogs' come to mean 'feet'?
The Online Etymology Dictionary points back to a Cockney penchant for rhyming slang as its origin, linking dog’s meat to feet and pinning it to 1913.
The timing of this matches a comment published the same year in the New York Evening Journal. Reporter T. A. “Tad” Dorgan wrote he was “waitin’ for my sore dog to heal up.”
This was classic Dorgan. The New York Times labeled this man as a writer known to popularize “new slang vernacular.”
Sure enough, just a few years later, the well-respected Ladies Home Journal published this observation: "a Marine never calls a foot anything but a dog.” (September, 1919.)
|photo: patchattack via Creative Commons|
Here’s a fun tie-in to the trivia from two weeks ago – you know, the one about the origin of the phrase “hush puppy”?
Well, in 1958, a classic suede shoe called the Hush Puppy made its debut in the U.S. According to company lore, the marketing department initially planned to name these new shoes “Lasers.” But their sales manager, who recently returned from a trip to the Deep South, suggested a different moniker.
While on his trip, he was served hush puppies at a meal. He asked about how the tasty morsels got their name and was told that farmers threw these fried bits to the hounds to “quiet their barking dogs.”
The sales manager put two and two together (colloquial phrases, that is)... and the rest, as they say, is history.
Wikipedia: Tad Dorgan
Phrases.org: Dogs Barking
Phrases.org: Hush Puppies
We apologize for being a bit scarce until Sunday. Our mommy's off visiting our grandpa and Daddy refuses to blog for us. We're soooo mistreated!
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