Here’s a crass joke: a Middle-Eastern tourist who has never seen a ‘hot dog’ before walks around in NYC and stumbles upon a hot dog street van. “Do they eat dogs here in the US?” he wonders but, hey, if Americans like it, why not give it a try? When he gets his order he looks at the shape of the sausage and says: “Out of all the dog parts, i got this one?!”
It’s silly i know, but i like it. But even though hot dogs are extremely popular in a lot of countries, few people actually know the real origin of their name.
So, here’s the interesting story of how we ended up calling cooked sausages in a bun ‘hot dogs’. (the article continues after the ad)
During the 1850s in Frankfurt, German members of the butcher’s guild, created a new, long and quite thin sausage that they named ‘frankfurter’ in order to honor their town. Because one of these butchers had a dachshund dog (you know those short-legged, long-bodied hound dogs), he immediately started calling the new sausages as ‘dachshund sausages’ as their shaped reminded him of his dog.
When German immigrants came to the US, they brought these sausages with them and started selling them in peddlers under the name that were known in Germany – dachshund sausages. Soon enough, and because the sausages often ‘burned’ the customer’s fingers, peddlers started putting them into buns. As they were getting more and more popular, a New York Times cartoonist named T.A. Dargan, decided to illustrate them in a cartoon but because he wasn’t sure how to spell ‘dachshund’, he called the illustrated sausages in a bun ‘hot dogs’. The name caught on and this is why we call them hot dogs.