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illustration of a group of girls at a lunch ounter, one is standing up shaking a pom-pom
figure 1  


hot diggity dog! An exclamation of pleasure.

This expression appears to be almost as old as the hot dog itself.

Hot diggity dog has been immortalized in two popular novelty songs. The first was in 1952 and recorded by country singer Little Jimmy Dickens. Four years later, Perry Como's “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)” reached number one on the Billboard charts. The words and music are by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning, and the melody is based on Chabrier's “España Rhapsody.”

However, the earliest uses have been traced farther back. On the American Dialect Society listserv Barry Popik is attributed as having provided a citation from a 1913 Fort Wayne Sentinel article on slang including “hod dickety dog”—a term used in Indianapolis, apparently.reference 1

As can be the case, this citation was challenged. Mr. Popik apparently also found a potential earlier use in a comic strip. Here the phrases “hot dog!” and “hot diggity” were separate, however, and not combined into one.reference 2

1. Cohen, Gerald Leonard. 2005. Re: Hot Diggedy Dog (1921)...[Note: 1913 Attestation]. American Dialect Society Mailing List. American Dialect Society. Accessed Jun 2 2008 from http:// cgi-bin/ wa?A2= ind0502D&L =ADS-L&P= R1835&I= -3&m=43144.

2. Cohen, Gerald Leonard. 2005. Re: Barry's Spotting of 1906 “Hot Diggetty!” And “Hot Dog! American Dialect Society Mailing List. American Dialect Society. Accessed Jun 2 2008 from http:// cgi-bin/wa?A2= ind0502D&L= ADS-L&P= R2275&I= -3&m=43144.

About the illustration: Here we see some girls cheering, expressing their pleasure at something, perhaps simply being alive. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.
cf: hot dog (food); hot dog (food); dog my cats; doggoneit! Last updated: July 5, 2008
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