[Ads-l] "underdog" redux

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 26 17:57:03 UTC 2018

In the 1890s I have seen this explained as a series of poems, of which the
under dog is the first one praised, and the top dog is the last. Is this
also the source of "top dog"?


On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 12:06 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> My Wall St. Journal column this week is on the word "underdog" in honor of
> the Philadelphia Eagles.
> https://www.wsj.com/articles/underdogs-beyond-the-super-
> bowl-how-the-word-got-started-1516983394
> If paywalled, try accessing the column from my Twitter link:
> https://twitter.com/bgzimmer/status/956934354965553152
> I give credit to Fred Shapiro for discovering the origins of "underdog" in
> the 1859 poem by David Barker, "The Under Dog in the Fight," as noted in
> the Yale Book of Quotations. The poem was reprinted in many newspapers that
> year, but here is where it first appeared:
> New York Evening Post, Apr. 4, 1859, p. 1, col. 2
> http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030384/1859-04-04/ed-1/seq-1.pdf
> (I don't think this cite has been shared before.)
> --bgz
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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