Help Wordnik hunt for a million missing words by backing our Kickstarter!


Sorry, no definitions found.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • But there weren't generally a lot of dogs in Confederate encampments.

    October 28, 2009

  • The "corn dogs" are different from "hush puppies" and the story I heard was that of a Confederate encampment, so as not to alert the Union troops to its location, tossed "cornballs" to the dogs to keep them quiet.

    October 28, 2009

  • Right on, c_b. You have to get up at 4:00am to have barbecue ready by supper.

    I'm familiar with a similar story about the etymology of the term, but in the stories I was told it was hunters sitting around campfires that fried up the cornmeal and fed it to the hounds to keep them quiet.

    July 11, 2009

  • The "for some reason" part, I heard is because it takes all day to make proper southern barbecue (cue skipvia!), and the hounds smell it and bay all day. Tossing them fried balls of cornmeal (which are cheap as anything) kept them from baying.

    Just tossing in the folklore I heard about it....

    July 11, 2009

  • Though the term appears to be relatively recent, there is no particular agreement about its origin or significance. The common assumption is that it arose sometime in the late 19th century and that for one reason or another fried cornmeal was tossed to dogs to keep them quiet. Maybe this was in the aftermath of the Civil War, when food was scarce.reference 1 Or perhaps it was slave women who, being thrifty, saved the cornmeal left over after dredging catfish for frying, and fried it up too. Or it might have been hunters who wanted to quiet their hounds.

    The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins suggests that the puppies were not canines at all, but salamanders known as “water dogs�? or “water puppies.�? Eating such creatures, even when coated in corn batter and fried, was so shameful that nobody wanted their neighbors to know they were doing so. Hence, you were supposed to be quiet about these pups. DARE suggests that hush puppies are also called dog bread.

    As for the shoes, Tom Burns Haber, in his exhaustive compilation of canine terms in American Speech, cites several sources for shoes described as “dogs...barkers, puppies, pups...�? He even goes so far as to say that the sportswriter Tad Dorgan (yes, the same one who is erroneously attributed with coining the term “hot dog�? for a sausage sandwich) is credited with calling shoes “dogs.�?

    July 11, 2009

  • Chained_bear, in the name of all that is holy, please don't add....

    Too late.

    October 18, 2007

  • Oh my gosh, I totally forgot--just read an article in Newsweek about cornhole! I meant to go add it... *goes to add it*

    October 18, 2007

  • Yum! Even when my family calls them cornholes, making them sound much less appetizing...

    October 18, 2007

  • A friend for Lamb Chop? Oh, wait...

    October 17, 2007

  • Food! Footwear! What more could you ask for?

    October 17, 2007