Twitter can be a hellscape, but this interaction between the account for dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster and its followers is making this place a little better for all of us.
On Wednesday afternoon, your DCW (that’s Dictionary Crush Wednesday ― we just made that up) tweeted about how it’s watching the word “doggo.” The tweet included an article about the origin of the internet slang.
The attached article tells us that doggo has “its origins not with good puppers, but with late 19th-century slang” and includes a quote from an 1886 issue of TIME magazine:
Sharks abroad. Breakers ahead. Benjamins on the war-path. Lie doggo. Joe. … What’s the meaning of it?… And what is “lying doggo?”
Merriam-Webster says that to “lie doggo” means “to stay hidden or to keep secret: to fly under the radar.” The dictionary hypothesizes that the phrase came in use “to evoke the light sleep of dogs” and then spent most of its life appearing “primarily in the phrase lie doggo to refer to secrecy or dormancy.”
The word then hit a resurgence in 2016 when Twitter account WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) began using it regularly.
What a story! We know what you’re thinking: This is a gift. But it’s also a gift that keeps on giving.
In addition to this history of doggo, the Merriam-Webster tweet was the catalyst for an influx of doggo photographs in response. So many photographs were sent that the dictionary’s mentions were flooded, leaving them to tweet that it will “love every one.”
Here are some of those very good boys and girls:
The doggo bonanza even sparked tweeters to share its feline counterpart.
We’re not totally sold on “kitter,” but Merriam-Webster says it will “allow it.”
Bless all the doggos. May 2018 be filled with even more very good boys and girls.