Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 4 17:18:34 UTC 2007

On 9/4/07, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> When my son played high school football (in Georgia) in the late 1980s,
> the players--most of whom were African American--would affectionatey refer
> to their teammates (including white ones) by appending "Dog" to forenames or
> nicknames, especially monosyllables: Thus "Lew-Dog" and "Mike-Dog" and
> "Vince-Dog" (for example).

Note also the many hiphop monikers using "Dog(g)" or "Dawg": Phife
Dawg, Tim Dog, Sen Dog, Nate Dogg, and of course Snoop (Doggy) Dogg.
In Snoop's case, at least, the canine self-identification was an
homage to George Clinton's 1982 hit "Atomic Dog", as made explicit in
"Who Am I (What's My Name)" from Snoop's 1993 debut album.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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