According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word dates back to late 19th-century slang. You can see the word in use in the following excerpt from Time, dating back to December 1886:
“Sharks abroad. Breakers ahead. Benjamins on the war-path. Lie doggo.”
To “lie doggo” meant “to stay hidden or to keep secret: to fly under the radar.” When it comes to the origin of the word, one can only speculate.
Merriam-Webster’s speculation is as follows:
“Perhaps the phrase was meant to evoke the light sleep of dogs. What we do know is that the word itself does go back to dog, and is probably the word dog with the noun suffix -o, meaning ‘one that is, has the qualities of, or is associated with.'”
In the 20th-century, the word became more commonly associated with dogs themselves thanks to social media, Reddit, and popular groups like weratedogs and dogspotting. The word wasn’t seen much in print; however, the abundance of the slang term on the Internet has recently brought it to the attention of Merriam-Webster.
Since Merriam-Webster posted the announcement on their Twitter page, dog owners have been responding to the Tweet by posting photos of their own “Doggos.”
Not wanting to let all the attention go to the dogs, some cat owners suggested that Merriam-Webster think about adding another word to the dictionary: “Kitter.”
Although the word “Doggo” isn’t official, it’s growing quite fast in popularity! Maybe in 2018 the word “Doggo” and, possibly, the word “Kitter” will become a reality.
Have a photo of a special Doggo or a Kitter? Post it in the comments or tag us #wideopenpets!
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