Earliest Known Occurrence of the Term "Hot Dog" Pushed Back to 1886 (Corrected Citation)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 21 14:17:53 UTC 2013

(My previous version of this citation, sent to ADS-L earlier today, had a typo in the first sentence.  Below is the corrected version.)

The Tennessee provenance of the term "hot dog" now seems stronger, as I have found an 1886 citation from that state:

hot dog (OED 1892)

1886 _Nashville Tennessean_ 14 Nov. 9/2 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)

"Hot stuff," "hot pup," "hot dog," sings out the fiend who carries in one hand a tin cooking arrangement, and on the other arm a basket.  He is the wiener wurst fiend.  It is his cries that greet you as you enter the theater and regreet you as you come out.  He is the creature whose rolls make night hideous, and whose wares make dreams that poison sleep.  The luxury came originally from Austria.  Wiener means little and generally speaking, the purchaser gets a little the wurst of it.  (No diagram of this joke.)  Wurst means, in English, sausage; so that when one of these peddlers says wiener wurst to you he means do you want a little sausage.  The tin vessel which he carries is divided into two compartments.  The upper is filled with water, in which are about a thousand, more or less, skin sausages.  In the lower apartment is the alcohol stove that keeps the sausages hot.  In the basket he keeps his rye bread and horse-radish.  The sausage, sandwiched by two slices of bread !
 which have been smeared with the horse-radish, make up the wiener wurst, which costs you a nickel.  Since Shakespeare asserted that nectar was the food the gods lived on, it has been discovered that wiener wurst is the stuff that fattens dudes.  The young men who sell the article are, as a rule, not modest.

Fred Shapiro
YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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