Why Is It Called Dog?


Do you need something besides Covid-19 to think about?

Here’s something I often wonder, and even Google hasn’t given me satisfying answers.

Why is a dog called dog? Why is a house a house? Why is walk walk? Why are we called people?

Can you see the big question? Why, how and when did the words we use originate?

I decided to Google “when did humans start speaking.” It appears I’m not alone in wondering about this. There’s a few theories and speculations, but nothing very helpful.

These are quotes from one article I found.

“The origin of language and its evolutionary emergence have been subjects of speculation for several centuries. The topic is difficult to study because of lack of direct evidence.”
Okay, I get that, but it wasn’t very satisfying.

Here’s a helpful line.
“The shortage of empirical evidence has led many scholars to regard the entire topic as unsuitable for serious study.”
Sounds like me after awhile of thinking about this, throwing my hands up in the air and muttering, “I don’t know.”

This statement pretty much sums up my research.
“In 1866, the Linguistic Society of Paris banned any existing or future debates on the subject, a prohibition which remained influential across much of the Western world until late in the twentieth century. Today, there are various hypotheses about how, why, when, and where language might have emerged. Despite this, there is scarcely more agreement today than a hundred years ago when Charles Darwin‘s theory of evolution by natural selection provoked a rash of armchair speculation on the topic.”

If I had the gift of time travel I would go back and search for answers.

Well, I think I avoided my chores long enough. No more researching this mystery for me today. 

But really, why is a tree called a tree, a mountain called a mountain?

Sometimes my mind rests, but not often.

I’m curious, have you ever given this subject any thought?

I hope you have support and are staying strong and healthy during this social distancing and often isolation.

19 thoughts on “Why Is It Called Dog?

  1. Hi, Kathy – I like how your mind works….and how you avoid chores! 😀
    I thought I could be a small bit of help by searching the for answer to your first question?
    Although Mr. G. did advise me that the word dog comes from the Old English ‘docga’, a late, rare word, used in at least one Middle English source in reference specifically to a powerful breed of canine. It ended it’s summary be saying It’s origin is unknown . So really, I am of no help at all!
    Stay well – and keep avoiding chores!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The study of the origin of words and language is called Etymology, a branch of linguistics. It includes the study of the origin of words and the way their meanings have evolved through history. It is fascinating since there are so many words that are common across many languages – like mama…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, little sis, maybe you need to go back to the beginning, as in the early days of “Homo Erectus”, or whatever you want to call prehistoric man. Early communication probably would have started between them in a series of grunts and pointing gestures. Probably a particular thing that repeatedly showed up, would eventually become known by a particular grunt, rather than a combination of grunt and point, especial if it was a thing or animal or enemy that require both hands to deal with. From then on, the grunts would evolve, adding emphases and volume as they began describe more and more events objects and threats.
    Going back to dogs, ask my niece if she can tell what her dog wants by the way he barks. I would bet that she typically knows exactly what he wants, by how he barks and his body language.

    Liked by 3 people

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