Merriam-Webster has always excelled at getting to the heart of sociopolitical discourse, as evidenced by their words of the year. They gave the 2017 title to “feminism,” with runner-ups that included “complicit” (in regards to Ivanka Trump’s complicity toward the atrocities of the Trump administration) and “dotard” (the old-fashioned insult Kim Jong Un hurled at the president). But the dictionary opted to unite readers rather than polarize them on Wednesday when they tweeted a link to one of 2017’s “words we’re watching”: doggo.
Doggos. https://t.co/G2n32twS4X— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) December 27, 2017
Webster opened the entry on a promising note, acknowledging the universal pleasure doggos provide humans: “In these trying times, humanity collectively turns to one source of solace amidst the upheaval and grief.” According to the dictionary, the word “doggo” predates modern society’s infatuation with h*ckin good puppers and originally appeared in the late 19th-century as a slang term:
“Sharks abroad. Breakers ahead. Benjamins on the war-path. Lie doggo. Joe.”… “What’s the meaning of it?…And what is ‘lying doggo?'”
— Time, December 1886
Webster explains the phrase “lie doggo” meant to “stay hidden or to keep secret: to fly under the radar,” and perhaps was “meant to evoke the light sleep of dogs.” The phrase has since decreased in popularity and lay mostly dormant until 2016, when @dog_rates resuscitated it in order to bestow inflated rankings upon the internet’s finest pooches.
Here's a super majestic doggo and a sunset 11/10 pic.twitter.com/UACnoyi8zu— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) April 2, 2016
In fact, @dog_rates would be wise to comb Webster’s mentions for some high-quality content, as Twitter users quickly began respond to the post with pictures of their own doggos. Webster proved up for the task, gamely replying to the pups with their own clever comments.
Charley is the best doggo! pic.twitter.com/PlecjKnvFZ— jane® (@thejanegang) December 27, 2017
My doggo may look like a doggo, but she's a 50lb 5 month old puppers pic.twitter.com/ZX2E5gjqXb— Adam Baxter (@adamcbaxter) December 27, 2017
*real live dragon shown for scale*— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) December 27, 2017
In the dog days of 2017—arguably one of the most polarizing years in recent history—Merriam-Webster emerged as a bastion of hope and positivity. For that, we give them a h*ckin’ good 14/10.