Complete with Dogs...and Cats has moved.

Come see all of our stories, photos, texts and poems at our new site:

Life with Dogs and Cats

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vocabulary Lesson #2: Dogs, A through M

I’m not sure what it is about pets, but I think living with them affects the part of the brain that centers on language. They inspire us to create words--alternative names, as well as new terms that describe them and what they do. At first, I thought my family was the only one that made up words relating to the dogs and cats and other creatures with whom we share our lives. But talk to anyone who lives with animals and you’ll find, that while their dog actually has an official name, he is actually referred to by his people by no less than 15 nicknames. Or the family has a special word for the sound the cat makes when she is disturbed. (Our cats “merp.”)

Earlier this year, I created a post featuring Cat Vocabulary. Today, I’ll offer some dog-related terminology inspired by past and present pups. As it turns out, there are a lot more words than can fit in one post, so I’ll split it into two.
ears (earz) verb
The act of looking at someone or something expectantly, with ears so far forward that they seem to speak, usually because a dog Really Wants Something. Can also be used by humans when making a request, putting hands on top of the head to mimic ears.
Etymology: Inspired by Pasha who made “earsing” an art form.
Usage (dog): Pasha is earsing at you, Aaron. He wants your donut.
Usage: (human): Corinne, stop earsing me; I cannot take you to New Zealand to tour the set of The Hobbit.

Pasha "earsing" at a turtle we found.

defuzzicate (dee / fuzz / i / kayt) verb
To remove the stuffing from a plush toy--a joyful and fulfilling activity.
Usage: Jasper had defuzzicated the emu--with Tucker and Lilah’s help--which explained why there were drifts of white fluff scattered on the floor of the family room.

Lilah defuzzicating a skunk toy.

Jasper amidst the results of the defuzzification.

Dinkus (Din / kus) noun
Another name for Pasha. Corinne decided he was a “dinkus.” A Pasha Dinkus. Don’t ask me why he was a Dinkus or what it means. But he was a Dinkus.
Etymology: Ask Corinne.
Usage (dog): Aww, Pasha Dinkus, do you need more loving?

Pasha Dinkus.

donut nose (do / nut / noz) noun
The white circle of fur around Kelsey's nose. 
Usage: Sweet Kelsey, let me pet your donut nose.

While chewing on a stick, Kelsey shows off her donut nose.

drooble (droo / bul) noun
The water that drips off a dog’s face or beard after a nice drink of water. Nearly always shared with the nearest human.
Etymology: Dog dribble: drooble
Usage: Lilah left a trail of drooble as she walked away from the water bowl.

Jasper and Lilah drinking; note the drooble path from the drippage.

drooble face (droo / bul / fays) noun
When a dog’s muzzle is dripping with drooble.
Usage: Thank you, Tucker, for sharing that lovely drooble face with me; now I have a lovely wet splotch on my pants.

Tucker demonstrates drooble face, fresh from the water bowl.

eye bawls (i / bawls) noun
Looking at humans or other dogs from the side, or from under furry eyebrows. The whites of the eyes show, and there is usually some hint of a devious plan being hatched.
Etymology: Inspired by Rosie who had the original eye bawls.
Usage (dog): Look at those eye bawls on Tucker; he’s obviously planning to chew on another pair of my shoes.

Tucker giving eye bawls.

floppity (flop / i / tee) noun or verb
For a dog, the act of flopping his or her head back and forth real fast, often used to flip ears back in the right position or to remove water from fur. Often starts with the head and continues right back through the tail.
Usage: Stand clear unless you want a shower; Rosie just came out of the pool and she’s about to floppity.

Rosie performs a perfect post-swim full floppity.

happy butt dance (hap / pee / but / dans) noun
A special kind of prance done when a human is petting on dog on the part of his back toward his tail. Involves all kinds of wagging and wiggling.
Usage: Look, Pasha is doing the happy butt dance, because Brian is petting him in just the right spot.

After Pasha was injured on his back, petting the bald spot would inevitably inspire him to do the Happy Butt Dance.

horf (horf) verb
Onomatopoeia. The sound made by a dog who wants something: a heavy breath, expelled swiftly, and aimed at a human. Usually several in a row are used for best effect.
Usage: I guess it’s dinner time, because Pasha is horfing at me.

Not sure what Pasha wants, but he is asking for it politely. You can just about hear the horf.

Lilah fish (lie / lah / fish) noun
Lilah, when she's playing in her pool, swooshing her nose under the water.
Usage: Lilah Fish loves swimming in her pool; on a hot day, it's her home base, since neither brave Jasper or hardy Tucker like getting their paws wet.

Lilah fish, in her pool.

macaroni dog (mak / uh / roh / nee / dawg) noun
A particular greeting behavior where the dog is so happy to see someone that he (Jasper or Tucker) curls himself into an elbow macaroni shape and rubs against the person. If the greeting is especially enthusiastic, the dog spins in circles.
Usage: Jasper was so excited to see Corinne that his macaroni dog nearly knocked  her off her feet.

Jasper greets Aaron as macaroni dog while Tucker jumps up to give puppy kisses.

mouf (mowf) noun
Mouth, only cuter, and usually hiding something that isn’t supposed to be there.
Usage: Rosie, what’s in your mouf? And don’t tell me nothing. Drop it!

Rosie, with her favorite Ball in her mouf--in one of her favorite places: a box.

No comments:

Post a Comment