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From the 1913 dictionary[edit]

Dog \Dog\ (d[o^]g), n. [AS. docga; akin to D. dog mastiff, Dan.
  dogge, Sw. dogg.]
  1. (Zo["o]l.) A quadruped of the genus Canis, esp. the
     domestic dog (C. familiaris).
  Note: The dog is distinguished above all others of the
        inferior animals for intelligence, docility, and
        attachment to man. There are numerous carefully bred
        varieties, as the beagle, bloodhound, bulldog,
        coachdog, collie, Danish dog, foxhound, greyhound,
        mastiff, pointer, poodle, St. Bernard, setter, spaniel,
        spitz dog, terrier, etc. There are also many mixed
        breeds, and partially domesticated varieties, as well
        as wild dogs, like the dingo and dhole. (See these
        names in the Vocabulary.)
  2. A mean, worthless fellow; a wretch.
           What is thy servant, which is but a dog, that he
           should do this great thing?           -- 2 Kings
                                                 viii. 13 (Rev.
                                                 Ver. )
  3. A fellow; -- used humorously or contemptuously; as, a sly
     dog; a lazy dog. [Colloq.]
  4. (Astron.) One of the two constellations, Canis Major and
     Canis Minor, or the Greater Dog and the Lesser Dog. Canis
     Major contains the Dog Star (Sirius).
  5. An iron for holding wood in a fireplace; a firedog; an
  6. (Mech.)
     (a) A grappling iron, with a claw or claws, for fastening
         into wood or other heavy articles, for the purpose of
         raising or moving them.
     (b) An iron with fangs fastening a log in a saw pit, or on
         the carriage of a sawmill.
     (c) A piece in machinery acting as a catch or clutch;
         especially, the carrier of a lathe, also, an
         adjustable stop to change motion, as in a machine
  Note: Dog is used adjectively or in composition, commonly in
        the sense of relating to, or characteristic of, a dog.
        It is also used to denote a male; as, dog fox or g-fox,
        a male fox; dog otter or dog-otter, dog wolf, etc.; --
        also to denote a thing of cheap or mean quality; as,
        dog Latin.
Dog \Dog\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dogged; p. pr. & vb. n.
  To hunt or track like a hound; to follow insidiously or
  indefatigably; to chase with a dog or dogs; to worry, as if
  by dogs; to hound with importunity.
        I have been pursued, dogged, and waylaid. -- Pope.
        Your sins will dog you, pursue you.      --Burroughs.
        Eager ill-bred petitioners, who do not so properly
        supplicate as hunt the person whom they address to,
        dogging him from place to place, till they even extort
        an answer to their rude requests.        -- South.

'dog' and pronunciation mergers[edit]

(Hippietrail commented: should this be kAt/kOt merger or the usual kQt/kOt merger?)

About that:
  • commonwealth English has three vowels /Q/ /O:/ and /A:/, and in this word /dQg/.
  • There are two major kinds of American dialects as far as this is concerned; one is more regionally marked (and apparently on the way out), merging /Q/ into /O/, thus having /O/ and /A/ (length not being distinctive in rhotic America) — in which case this would be /dOg/.
  • The most unmarked kind of American merges that /O/ into /A/ except sometimes before /r/ (forage /"fOr@dZ/ but borrow /"bAroU/), and thus would have /dAg/.
The w:cot-caught merger, apparently, refers to these two American dialects, and does not appear to involve [Q] at all, so yeah, ɑ-ɔ merger is correct. —Muke Tever 04:52, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Please use IPA! No one can understand your transcription and you don't mention which system you are using. -- 10:35, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

"adopted by many Continental languages"[edit]

Which languages would that be? --Jcmo 09:25, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

For example, Russian дог, French dogue, German Dogge, Spanish dogo, Frisian dogge. —Stephen 13:21, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I see the point. When I first read it, I took it to mean that it was adopted as a general word for dog, not for a specific type of dog. Thanks. --Jcmo 14:26, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Where/how to add examples of definition 6?[edit]

The mechanical part that moves fabric under a sewing-machine needle is the feed-dog. A steel rod, sharpened on both ends and bent at angles, that holds logs during log-house construction is a log dog. Where and how do I enter these interesting uses of dog as a holding device? User:Jane Elderfield

Do it the same way you see for definition 5, "You dirty dog." —Stephen 21:42, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Definition 7 seems to be just a justification for def. 6 John1deer 20:59, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Foot or feet?[edit]

People call their feet dogs - should that be in the article? -kslays 19:35, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I've never heard of it, but yes, if it's real. Perhaps it should be marked as slang. Equinox 19:37, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Oops, it's already listed under dogs. Should there be a link in this page, even though the feet meaning is only used when plural? Probably not I guess. -kslays 21:07, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I've heard people say that. I've never heard someone call one foot a dog. Hmmm.... it could be hands=hounds and feet=dogs. Well maybe not. Redddogg 13:25, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it’s only used in the plural. My dogs are barking = my feet hurt. Nobody would say, "he stepped on my right dog", meaning "my right foot". —Stephen 06:08, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Should we take it off this entry then, if it's already on dogs? Redddogg 13:02, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
It is not used only in the plural. It would be possible to attest to the rare singular use. DCDuring TALK 14:21, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I think it has to be addressed in some way also at dog, because most people who want to look up the noun in "my dogs are barking" would probably first reduce it to the singular. —Stephen 14:21, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Then no problem by me. I don't think it does any harm to mention it here. Redddogg 21:14, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Is there a citation for this? I've also never heard of it. Could be be regional? We certainly don't say it in California. --RobertGary1 (talk) 17:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It's probably dated rather than regional. My father said it, not me. I'm retired. DCDuring TALK 19:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
This Google News search suggests that it is dated, but it can be found in contemporary fictional dialog at Google Books. DCDuring TALK 19:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


Is meaning 5, coward, really a distinct meaning? The example given could be for meaning 4, any man, or meaning 6, a contemptible person. I've never heard of "dog" especially meaning coward. Dogs can be quite couragous, if they have a reason to be. Redddogg 05:30, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Your last sentence is so ridiculous. There are both cowardly dogs and courageous dogs, but you can't just object to this because you don't like it. Why are female dogs prostitutes? The next thing you'd write would be "female dogs are not prostitutes, so they cannot be called 'bitches'". This is semantics. It all goes down to how people use it. -- 19:25, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Dog family[edit]

The domestic dog is actually a subspecies of the gray wolf, or common wolf as the article says. There is also the "dog family" which includes foxes, jackels, etc. Also some members are called dogs, for instance the African hunting dog and the racoon dog. Redddogg 13:23, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

That doesn't make any sense. If the domestic dog was already a subspecies, how do you technically call the different breeds? There is no such thing as "dog family", it's "Canidae". -- 19:06, 10 October 2016 (UTC)


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There's plenty of jokes using the fact that dog and god are reverses of each other, but not that particularly amount to a new meaning. The example sentence works against the sense, since a quick Google books search reveals that "Dog is my co-pilot" is the title of at least two books, one published by The Bark magazine, subtitled "Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship", and one (sans hyphen) subtitled "Stories From the War on Mailmen". Another book refers to T-shirts that say "Love me, love my dog" and "of course" "Dog is my co-pilot". One section titled "Dog is my co-pilot" says "My friend Jane and I are always looking for places to substitute Dog for God. We don't mean to offend anyone, so sorry if it hits a nerve. It just makes us both smile to picture our dogs in the passenger seat of the..." The closest thing I find is the old joke about the dyslexic agnostic wondering if there's a dog, even that's not this sense.--Prosfilaes 17:22, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Which sense are you challenging? Or is this for WT:TR. DCDuring TALK 18:36, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
"(humorous) Not god".--Prosfilaes 19:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. I missed Ety 2. As a cynolater myself, I find this definition offensive. Furthermore, saying that dog means "god" doesn't agree with my definitionnotion of "meaning". DCDuring TALK 19:45, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Failed RFV. Equinox 01:12, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

"and was adopted by many continental European languages." (2)[edit]

I looked into the translation table and found nearly no language adopted this word. This phrase should be written out more detailly.

  • "many" => "several". Also see the 2008 discussion above. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:56, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

RFV discussion: July 2015–February 2016[edit]

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I question the validity of the last verb sense, "(intransitive, with up) To position oneself on all fours, after the manner of a dog." -- I have never heard of it, can't verify it or find any uses. Urbandictionary doesn't list it (has a different meaning for dogged up). "dogged up on the ground" and "dogged up on the floor" don't get anything. If it does exist, it seems like it should be moved to dog up anyway. WurdSnatcher (talk) 23:09, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I can't find that meaning for "dog up", -- although I find a number of others. Primarily to dress in one's best clothes, but also to move doggedly. Kiwima (talk) 01:12, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I made dogged up, all dogged up when I was looking it up, didn't find any real good citations of the general verb dog up though. WurdSnatcher (talk) 17:36, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
The example sentence seems to use 'be dogged up' rather than an intransitive verb 'dog up', which would be more like "why are you dogging up in the middle of the room" (as opposed to being dogged up). Renard Migrant (talk) 20:54, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
RFV-failed. - -sche (discuss) 02:56, 2 February 2016 (UTC)


This occurs in Shakespeare (only?), apparently meaning a male ape. However, our male animal sense only mentions wolves and foxes. Chambers 1908 gives dog as a general-purpose adjective (!) for male animals. Equinox 01:39, 9 April 2019 (UTC)