Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dog Word Trivia

Cynolgy is the serious zoological study of dogs and dog domestication. As a cynologist, Dr. Barkman knows a lot of trivial stuff about dog nomenclature.

A cynophile is a person interested in dogs.  Not all cynophiles are cynologists, but my guess is all cynologists are cynophiles.

Canophobist is a person who has a fear or dislike of dogs.

The Canary Islands are not named for their native yellow bird. Rather the name comes from the dog that was found there, the ancient relative of today's Perro de Presa Canario. The name of the island is from the Latin word for dog, cane.

Historically, a prefix of dog denoted an inferior sort. The word doggerel, first used by Chaucer in 1386, meant undignified verse.  The phrase doggonit was used to put a curse on someone, similar to the way pox-on-it is used.

In the naming of plants the prefix of dog denotes an inferior variety. Some examples include: dog-chamomile, dog-daisy, dog-bramble, and dog-wheat.   Even the lovely dog-wood tree was named, not for its flowers, but for its inferior quality of wood.

Dog Days, named by the Greeks, was the time of year during the helical rising of the dog-star, which just happened to be the hottest season. Many cultures believed it was when dogs are most likely to run mad and spread rabies. 

Today it is the season when dogs stay inside and cool off in front of the fan.


  1. Those were fun facts and I just saw the new photos of gus, that is fun that you could get his dna and find out what breed is is. Here they tend to say the dogs are terriers and other varieties but they are still pit bulls;)


  2. The photo of the dog lying in front of the fan, is a familiar one in this household LOL!!! They certainly aren't stupid when it comes to getting some comfort on a very warm day or night!!!!
    Very interesting post!!!!