hot dog--(German war dog sandwich)

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at UMR.EDU
Wed Dec 15 15:22:33 UTC 2004

        Bill Mullins asked (Dec. 14, 2004):

> an odd hot dog allusion???
> "With the Boys" by C. A. Cary, _The [Baltimore] Afro American_, Saturday,
> November 28, 1914, p. 6/3
> "Mr. Milton Thomas, better known as "Pygmie" of the seventh grade was one of the happiest rooters when the "Knights of Waters" came over to our school and played a game of basketball.  Little "Pygmie" was just standing on his head!  No wonder -- here is the whole secret:  "Pygmie" had just eaten a "German war dog sandwich." "
        My guess (and it is only that) is that Pygmie's intestinal tract was in havoc as the result of eating a hot dog. Evidently he was unable to make a beeline to the bathroom and was instead reduced to hopping frantically around trying to keep control of himself and disguising his distress by pretending to root vigorously for his team.

          "war dog sandwich" is almost certainly an alteration of "hot dog sandwich",
        and the addition of "German" helps clarify that we're dealing with a sausage.
        The contents of sausages were often suspect in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and this subject was a staple of humor in those days.

        Gerald Cohen
        author (with Barry Popik and the late David Shulman) of _Origin of the Term "Hot Dog_", 2004

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