Lockdown etymologies: dog

As known already to Albert Dauzat, a major source of names of adult domesticated animals is in the name of the young. Thus French poulet ‘chicken’, earlier ‘chick’; English chicken, earlier ‘chick’; French cochon 1268-71 ‘young pig’ > 1611 ‘adult pig’; English pig , earlier > ‘young pig’;  Chinese zhu1 ‘pig’, earlier ‘young pig’; Modern Greek σκυλί ‘dog’, < Classical Greek σκύλαξ ‘puppy’; Modern Chinese gou3 ‘dog’, earlier (c. 200 BCE) ‘hairless puppy’; etc.

This might be true of the English word dog too. The early meaning of ‘cub’ perhaps survives in the term dogies, referring to calves in the cowboy song Git along, little dogies (here).



Cite this blog post
Laurent Sagart (2020, May 4). Lockdown etymologies: dog. Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian. Retrieved June 26, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/ukcx

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