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

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Tue Jan 22 14:07:52 UTC 2013

On 1/22/13 12:03 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Mon, 21 Jan 2013 14:17:53 +0000
> From:    "Shapiro, Fred"<fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Earliest Known Occurrence of the Term "Hot Dog" Pushed Back to 1886
>           (Corrected Citation)
> 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.
>    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.
Here's what intrigues me: the equivalence of "wiener" with little. Are
they falsely analogizing by/playing on "wee"? They get "wurst" right, so
something's going on with "wiener." And the mention of "a thousand" may
be exaggeration, but still indicates a small size. So, I'm inferring
that in this appearance, they're very much like what we still call
"Vienna sausages".

---Amy West

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

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