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Today Is National Hot Dog Day

(Ben + Sam@Flickr)

The English language has more words than any other language in the world and more are being added all the time. It’s interesting to find out how common words were created. Hot dogs and baseball go hand in hand.  Here’s how the term hot dog was created.

In the early 1900s, Tad Dorgan was a sports cartoonist for the New York Journal. Like a political cartoonist – his job was to do cartoon editorials on sports. And if he couldn’t find just the right word or words to go along with his cartoons he made them up.

One day early in the season while at a New York Giants baseball game he noticed the vendors going up and down the aisles yelling, “Get your dachshund sausages – they’re red hot.” That’s what they were called back then – dachshund sausages. So that was his inspiration for the next day’s sports cartoon. He drew up two dachshund sausages barking at each other.

So now what is he going to write to go along with his cartoon? Tad was a terrible speller. But this was decades before the age of the internet where you could just Google it. Tad didn’t know how to spell dachshund. So instead of red hot dachshund sausages he shortened it to hot dogs. A lot easier to spell and easier to say.

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