VitaminQ - a temple of trivia lists and curious words
Vitamin Q: the book!
~ Thursday, May 26, 2005
Interesting derivations of dog breed names:
1 Affenpinscher – this comical breed has a name which translates as monkey biter! It is a pinscher (German terrier) which has an ape-like appearance.
2 Dandie Dinmont – this small terrier is named after a character in Walter Scott's novel Guy Mannering who breeds similar dogs.
3 Schipperke- bred to work on barges, its name means little boatman in Dutch.
4 Shar Pei – means sand-skin in Chinese, since this dog has a rough, sandpapery skin.
5 Malamute – named after the Inuit people (the Mahlemut) who bred them.
6 Poodle – from the German verb pudeln (to paddle in water); the breed was originally used for retrieving waterfowl
7 Springer Spaniel – springing means flushing out game birds; spaniel refers to the dog's supposed Spanish origin.
8 Papillon – named after its dramatic ears which vaguely resemble butterfly wings.
9 Yarmouth Toller – this retriever was bred to toll (luring wildfowl close to the hunters) and is named after Yarmouth County in Nova Scotia.
10 Basset – this short-legged dog gets its name from French bas, meaning low.
11 Jack Russell – named after a 19th century English clergyman who developed the breed for fox hunting.
12 Pug – probably from its ape-like face; pug, a word for a goblin, was a common dialect name for a monkey.
13 Boston Bull – developed in New England from various breeds, including the bull terrier.
14 St Bernard – bred by Bernardine monks in Switzerland to haul carts.
15 Pharaoh Hound – although this breed is found on Mediterranean islands, its ancestors are thought to be the wild wolf-like dogs which can be seen in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
16 Corgi – Welsh for watchdog.
17 Schnauzer – this hairy-snouted German breed's name translates loosely as Nosey.
18 Bichon Frise – French for fluffy-haired lapdog.
19 Pointer – this breed has the strange habit of stopping and pointing at game with a foreleg, rather than chasing after it.
20 Whippet – this dog's name is an apt archaic word meaning to move quickly.