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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, June 21, 2009

name that dog breed (all kinds of things)

You know, for someone who so loves the intersection of words and facts with life, I never gave any thought to how dog breeds get named. Why is Cash a "Brittany" spaniel? Brittany had their own spaniel? Why would Bretons want an amped-up spaniel?

See what I mean?

This also seems to have occurred to the folks at the late, great, much missed trivia site known as Vitamin Q, where I found a list including:

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.

Rest of the post here. It doesn't include Brittany spaniels, but it seems they get their name from, you guessed it, Brittany, are also called Epagneuls or Bretons, and are likely the product of crossbreeding between English setters and French spaniels.

1 comment:

John Alexis said...

I like your article on name that dog breed simply because of the dog name which you have mentioned some of which I didn't even know....