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Q: My Dogs are Tired ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: My Dogs are Tired
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: guru-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 18 Apr 2002 12:11 PDT
Expires: 25 Apr 2002 12:11 PDT
Question ID: 1040
When and why was the word "dogs" first used to reference ones feet?
Subject: Re: My Dogs are Tired
Answered By: katwoman-ga on 18 Apr 2002 16:09 PDT
Hi guru,

You can credit America's youth and their love of counter culture slang for the 
connection between the two seemingly unrelated words – "dogs" and "feet."  
According to Tom Dalzell, author of Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang 
(Merriam Webster, October 1996), it was during the Jazz Age of the 1920's 
that "dogs" was used as a noun to indicate feet. 

For example, "my dogs are barking" in 1920 speak translates to "my feet are 
hurting" in 2002 speak.  These days "dog" is still a noun, although its slang 
meaning has changed. Here's the current definition from The College Slang 
Page's Top 20 list:
dawg/dog/dogg (noun) A friend (usually male). Often used to replace a name. 
These guys were my dawgs since grade school. Hey, how have you been, dog?

As for the *why*, it seems that you'll have to buy Dalzell's book to get the 

It includes a chapter titled, appropriately enough: "Cool expressions change 
with each generation, dog, dig?"

There are excerpts of Dalzell's book available online,
but none of them deal with the words of the 1920's. It is interesting to note 
that in the 1940's, "feet" were called "hocks" and "plates."

Here are some sites that will give you a more thorough understanding of the 
evolution of "dog" and its role in the 1920's:

Bartleby's dictionary definitions of dog

The College Slang Page from CSU Pomona

The Internet Guide to Jazz Age Slang

Flappers 2 Rappers

I found this to be the most useful search term on Google:
dog and slang and feet

Peace out,
Subject: Re: My Dogs are Tired
From: jeddings-ga on 18 Apr 2002 16:03 PDT
Here's a link to a very short blurb indicating that "dogs," which is short 
for "dog's meat" is rhyming slang for "feet" and came about in 1913.  No more 
info is given.

Dogs "feet" is 1913, from rhyming slang dog's meat.

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