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Understand Your Dog Better with Our Dictionary of Essential Dog Slang

Have a look into the secret world of canine lingo.

 |  Mar 29th 2013  |   8 Contributions


Most humans aren't aware of the underground canine code of lingo known as Fanglish. Spoken in dog parks, through backyard fences, and in unsuspecting humans' homes, Fanglish may not be as explicit as some human slang. However, its veiled vernacular sends a clear message that leaves no room for misunderstanding between dogs.

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"Studying pays off." Dog and Books by Shutterstock

We've uncovered the never-before-seen-by-human-eyes Fanglish dictionary and are cautiously divulging a few terms from its contents. If our dogs knew about this breach, we'd certainly have to sleep with one eye open.

1. Dinner and a show

A dog's act of cleaning his rear in full view of a human's dinner party guests.

The lady was embarrassed when Charlie's dinner and a show distracted her guests from their flank steak.

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"Don't mind me." Bulldog Licking Himself by Shutterstock

We've managed to remove the layer of dog fur from the sofa, we've exhibited our most impressive school-of-Trader-Joe's knowledge of wines, and just as we've sat down to enjoy that no-fail dish that always dazzles guests, we hear the telltale lick, lick, lick. Everyone looks over to see Charlie, already savoring his first course.

2. Deja shoe

A dog's feeling he's already smelled a particular shoe.

Max experienced deja shoe when he stuck his nose inside the lady's loafer.

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"Yes, I am familiar." Dog Lying on Shoes by Flickr Creative Commons

Footwear is a major magnet for doggy noses, so they'll look for any opportunity to dive in for a lingering whiff, sometimes even falling asleep with their face flat against the foulness. They don't care one bit whether or not they've already experienced relations with a particular shoe.

3. Bum-rush

A dog's desire to sniff any bottom with which he comes in contact.

Molly bum-rushed Grandma Stella on Easter.

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"What's up, chicken butt?" Dog Sniffing Chicken by Flickr Creative Commons

Dogs sniff other dogs' bottoms as a way to get to know each other, but they're also known to poke their nose against the rear-ends of non-dogs. In the case of humans, this is often followed by a surprised jump and possible exclamation.

4. Tiptoe-tinkle

A human's early morning attempt at quietly using the facilities, hoping not to alert the dog because breakfast is still two hours away.

Sophie was not fooled by the lady's tiptoe-tinkle and immediately started for the kitchen.

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"You're awake. Feed me." Dog Waking Up by Flickr Creative Commons

Dogs are smart, but they can't tell time. So if it's anywhere near the breakfast hour, they're going to go with their gut feeling and assume it must be food o'clock.

5. Adooration

A dog's anxious wait for a human at the front door.

Noodle's adooration at the end of the day was nearly palpable.

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"It's almost time. I know it." Dog Waiting at Door by Flickr Creative Commons

There's nothing more wonderful than walking up to the front door and seeing your beloved pooch's face excitedly staring at you through the window. And you can always tell how long they've been there based on the total area occupied by nose smudges.

6. Captive audience

A human who won't get up to do anything on her to-do list because an adorable dog is lying on her lap.

Roxy had a captive audience so she knew she could nap for a while.

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"You're not going anywhere."Dog Lying in Lap by Flickr Creative Commons

Seriously, who's going to do anything productive when they can sit cuddled up with a sweet pup? Dogs know this and stay put. And we usually don't argue. Dishes don't need washing, right? We'll eat off paper plates again tonight.

7. Peethagorean theorem

The equation which states that the total amount of time used while a dog sniffs before peeing is greater than the actual time spent urinating.

On every walk, Dixie correctly and easily proved the peethagorean theorem.

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"I'll even show my work." Cocker Spaniel Sniffing Grass by Flickr Creative Commons

This is true nearly 100 percent of the time. Dogs need the time to really explore their options before making the commitment to squat or lift a leg. It's just math -- don't try to argue with it.

8. Pupparazzi

The rush of dogs who are excited to greet a human.

The pupparazzi always greeted the man when he arrived home from work.

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"Look over here!" "No! Look over here!" Man and Dogs by Flickr Creative Commons

Who's happier to see us than dogs? They just can't get enough! They follow us around and constantly watch our every move. Truly, they're our biggest fans.

9. Opening act

The excitement and chaos that happens when a can or bag of food is opened.

Tonight's opening act was especially rousing because it was followed by beef and gravy.

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"I can hardly wait for the headliner." Dog Waiting in Kitchen by Flickr Creative Commons

Do your dogs race around and act crazy-excited when you're preparing their meal? You're not alone. This high-spirited opening act happens in homes around the world. The players may look different, but it's always entertaining.

10. Happy hour

A dog's discovery of an open toilet.

Dexter loved happening upon a surprise happy hour.

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"All I can drink!" Puppy Drinking from Toilet by Flickr Creative Commons

Dogs can't get enough cool toilet water. And how exciting to walk by the bathroom and notice a human's left the seat open! And a dog that's lucky enough to run across two refreshing bowls in one afternoon? That's called a 2-for-1 happy hour.

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"Enough studying. It's nap time." Lab With Glasses and Books by Shutterstock

Got anything to add to the Fanglish Dictionary? Tell us in the comments!

Read more humor posts by Angie Bailey:

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