Admittedly I’m a newcomer to DoggoLingo, the linguistic trend that’s taken the canine-obsessed realm of the Internet by storm. In short, DoggoLingo is a collection of terms that have been formulated, so it appears, by Internet users to talk about dogs. The terms, some onomatopoeic and some just plain goofy, are mostly used to describe dogs and the adorable things they do.
The jury is out on how and where it officially began. According to a recent in-depth article on NPR, use of DoggoLingo can be traced back to when a dog-centric Facebook group called “Dogspotting” began to gain traction in 2014, but its origin may reach back even further. (Yes, there are people who “spot” dogs for sport—more than 569,000, according to the group’s member count.) Today, DoggoLingo is peppered throughout the social spheres, perhaps most notably on Twitter via the WeRateDogs account, which is, as its name aptly suggests, devoted entirely to rating dogs.
The rise of DoggoLingo is fascinating, even if you aren’t a dog lover. But if you are, proceed with caution. You can easily jettison an entire afternoon exploring everything from charts that illustrate the difference between a pupper, floof, and woofer to hilarious memes.
To save you a bit of time, here are the Red Dog’s favorite DoggoLingo terms. Disclaimer: DoggoLingo is still in its relative infancy and seems to be evolving as we speak; definitions may vary.
Doggo/woofer – These are, as far as I can tell, the terms are most widely used to refer to medium- to large-sized dogs. (The Red Dog prefers “good ol’ doggo,” for the record.) Woofer tends to be associated with dogs with more fur and/or wrinkles, such as an Alaskan malamute.
Pupper – While used primarily baby dogs, this endearing term seems to also be applicable to adult dogs of smaller stature. “Pupperino” is a variation that, I think, fits slightly rotund types like pugs and Frenchies exceptionally well.
Fluffer/floof – Used mostly to reference longhaired dogs. Personally, I would use “floof” for smaller dogs that have wispy fur, like a Pomeranian. Fluffer feels more appropriate for large woofers like huskies and golden retrievers.
Bork/boof – Other words for “bark.” Any dog owner knows there could easily be hundreds more.
Loaf – A term used to describe thicker, longer dogs like corgis. Maybe basset hounds as well?
Pat – Used in place of “pet,” often plural. Example: This beautiful floofer enjoyed lots of pats.
Zoomies – When a dog wildly runs or jumps around with no rhyme or reason.
Mlem – Appears to describe the act of a dog sticking out its tongue or licking its lips, as in “Hobie does a mlem when he sees a banana.”
Note: Breed-specific terms exist, too. “Corgo” for corgi, and “shibe” for shiba inu are two examples.
And now, the million-dollar question: Should you use DoggoLingo in your business communications? As with the use of any slang, my short answer is “it depends.” DoggoLingo speaks to a certain audience, and if it resonates with yours, then perhaps it’s something to consider—in certain contexts, of course.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about DoggoLingo, read the NPR article, or see it in action on Dogspotting.