This is a conversation between two individuals that I found on Twitter:

A: Is it necessary B for several countries to bomb Syria?

B : Dog I sure hope so. (In reply to Person A)

Both A & B are from US.

Does the word dog in this sentence mean that B is calling A an unpleasant, contemptible person?

  • 2
    Funny how less than a hundred years ago, anyone would be greatly insulted to be called a dog. Today (in urban U.S. sub-culture) it is a term of endearment. Often spelled "dawg" in this context. If I can find solid references, I'll replace this with an answer.
    – cobaltduck
    Dec 23, 2015 at 17:57
  • In the specific cited usage, there could be either (or both) of two possible senses. Firstly there's the Wassup, dog? one, where it's effectively equivalent to man (or mate in BrE, bud in AmE). But it's also used as a kind of "exclamatory oath", as in Dog! That shit's nasty! (equivalent to Damn! or Yuck!). I think that latter usage occurs in Platoon when one of the GI Joes shoots a Vietcong in the head, but I don't recall the exact words there. Dec 23, 2015 at 18:10
  • 3
    Have you considered the possibility that it's a misprint for "God"? Dec 23, 2015 at 18:41
  • 2
    @DJClayworth perhaps not even a misprint but rather a euphemistic dodge in deference to a commandment. Dec 23, 2015 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


The Online Slang Dictionary is the best source I could find. Even though I am unsure of its degree of authority, I will try to back it up with my own experiences.

OSD shows there are many uses of dog as a slang term, but does not address the changes in usage over time.

A friend. Also dawg.

A method of addressing a person, similar to man and dude. Also spelled dawg.

Timeline: Recent (20 years or less). Most common in U.S. urban culture. Possibly derived from the sense that a family dog is a loyal and beloved pet. (Source: watching modern popular television and viewing internet memes) This is the meaning in your example.

An unattractive person.

Timeline: Later half of the 20th century. Most often used by men to refer to women. Considered vulgar. (source: having once been a shallow, self-absorbed high school student during the 1980s.)

A morally reprehensible person.

Timeline: Antiquated, seems to have faded early in the 20th century. Possibly a reference to mangy strays wandering cities. (source: my memory of discussing Shakespeare's insults in high school)

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