American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several breeds of small-sized to medium-sized dogs, usually having drooping ears, short legs, and a wavy, silky coat.
- n. A docile or servile person.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A dog of a domestic breed, of medium and small sizes, with a long silky and usually curly coat, long, soft, drooping ears, feathered tail and stern, of docile, timid, and affectionate disposition, much used for sporting purposes and as pets. The most usual colors are liver and white, red and white, or black and white, in broken or massed areas, sometimes deep brown or black on the face or breast, with a tan mark over the eye. Spaniels sport or are bred into many strains, and three classes of them are sometimes distinguished: land- or field-spaniels, including the cocker and springer: water-spaniels; and toy spaniels, as the King Charles and the Blenheim. The English spaniel is a superior and very pure breed; and, although the name spaniel would seem to indicate a Spanish origin, it is most probably indigenous. This dog was used in the days of falconry to start the game. The King Charles is a small black-and-tan variety of the spaniel; the Blenheim is similar, but white marked with red or yellow; both should have a rounded head with short muzzle, full eyes, and well-friuged ears and feet. The Maltese dog and the lion-dog are also small toy spaniels, used as lap-dogs. The water-spaniels, large and small, differ from the common spaniel in the roughness of their coats, and in uniting the aquatic propensities of the Newfoundland dog with the fine hunting qualities of their own race. Leading strains of the springers are the Clumber, Norfolk, and Sussex, in different colors.
- n. Figuratively, a mean, cringing, fawning person; a blindly submissive follower: from the characteristics of the spaniel in relation to its master, or when in a state of fear.
- Like a spaniel; fawningly submissive; mean; servile; cringing.
- To fawn; cringe; be obsequious.
- To follow like a spaniel.
- n. Any of various small breeds of gun dog having a broad muzzle, long, wavy fur and long ears that hang at the side of the head, bred for flushing and retrieving game.
- v. To follow loyally, like a spaniel.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) One of a breed of small dogs having long and thick hair and large drooping ears. The legs are usually strongly feathered, and the tail bushy. See
Illust.under clumber, and cocker.
- n. A cringing, fawning person.
- adj. Cringing; fawning.
- v. rare To fawn; to cringe; to be obsequious.
- v. rare To follow like a spaniel.
- n. any of several breeds of small to medium-sized gun dogs with a long silky coat and long frilled ears
- From Old French espaigneul (modern épagneul), from Latin Hispaniolus ‘Spanish’, from Hispania ‘Spain’. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English spainol, from Old French espaignol, Spaniard, Spanish dog, from Vulgar Latin *Hispāniōlus, Spanish, from Hispānia, Spain. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I think you chose a great breed for training as the Boykin spaniel is very smart dog (not biased or anything).”
“The Boykin spaniel is the state dog of South Carolina.”
“My eight year old daughter with our eight month old Boykin spaniel”
“I can upland hunt with a lab or a chessie or a boykin, but I'm not dumb enough to suggest a retriever or a flushing spaniel is as good a pure bird finder as a brit, a setter or a pointer.”
“With my dad's old boykin spaniel, we had pretty much set ourselves up for failure because we didn't have a set plan, but everything ended up working out anyhow.”
“Along with the Boykin spaniel and the American water spaniel, it's a uniquely American dog.”
“She’s a 12-week-old Boykin spaniel who, if I don’t ruin her in the training process, will be retrieving doves by September and ducks by the fall.”
“This fit the description of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, which is a toy breed.”
“The spaniel was a generic term used to describe a type of dog.”
“Though, truly, in spite of its bright glass eyes, the spaniel was the least successful assumption in the collection: being perfectly flat, and dismally suggestive of a recent mistake in sitting down on the part of some corpulent member of the family.”
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