VCE English Language - 'Doggos' to Replace 'Dogs'!? What!?

March 14, 2021Klein E


As we begin to head into 2018, I just want to bring to the forefront the idea of informal language and how informal language such as slang can indicate affection and social solidarity in an online context. In particular, I came across an article a few weeks ago on how 'doggos' is being used on social media, most often alongside pics of social media users' dog pics!

The nonword has gotten so popular that the dictionary deciders at Merriam-Webster have taken note. In a story published to MW’s website, its editors deemed “doggo” a “Word We’re Watching” in the coming year.

As MW points out, the word “doggo” originated not online, but in 19th-century slang and literature. To “lie doggo” meant to hide or fly under the radar, like a dozing dog. In the 20th century, the word became a loose synonym for a dog, similar to how it’s being used today. As we can see this seemingly distant slang term is being revived in the online community.

What could this indicate about our love of pets? Lots really! It can indicate that our affection for dogs has increased rapidly as slang can be a potent marker of social solidarity, OR it could further indicate that those who use it are part of an enclave of ultimate dog lovers, while excluding those who are not part of the in-group.

This would be a great example of Unit 3 AOS 1 essay topic or theme when talking about slang and the fluidity of slang.

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Klein E

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