Words related to hound
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "dog."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit svan-, Avestan spa, Greek kyōn, Latin canis, Old English hund, Old High German hunt, Old Irish cu, Welsh ci, Russian sobaka (apparently from an Iranian source such as Median spaka), Armenian shun, Lithuanian šuo "dog."
"quadruped of the genus Canis," Old English docga, a late, rare word, used in at least one Middle English source in reference specifically to a powerful breed of canine; other early Middle English uses tend to be depreciatory or abusive. Its origin remains one of the great mysteries of English etymology.
The word forced out Old English hund (the general Germanic and Indo-European word, from root from PIE root *kwon-) by 16c. and subsequently was picked up in many continental languages (French dogue (16c.), Danish dogge, German Dogge (16c.). The common Spanish word for "dog," perro, also is a mystery word of unknown origin, perhaps from Iberian. A group of Slavic "dog" words (Old Church Slavonic pisu, Polish pies, Serbo-Croatian pas) likewise is of unknown origin.
In reference to persons, by c. 1200 in abuse or contempt as "a mean, worthless fellow, currish, sneaking scoundrel." Playfully abusive sense of "rakish man," especially if young, "a sport, a gallant" is from 1610s. Slang meaning "ugly woman" is from 1930s; that of "sexually aggressive man" is from 1950s.
Many expressions — a dog's life (c. 1600), go to the dogs (1610s), dog-cheap (1520s), etc. — reflect the earlier hard use of the animals as hunting accessories, not pets. In ancient times, "the dog" was the worst throw in dice (attested in Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, where the word for "the lucky player" was literally "the dog-killer"), which plausibly explains the Greek word for "danger," kindynos, which appears to be "play the dog" (but Beekes is against this).
Notwithstanding, as a dog hath a day, so may I perchance have time to declare it in deeds. [Princess Elizabeth, 1550]
Meaning "something poor or mediocre, a failure" is by 1936 in U.S. slang. From late 14c. as the name for a heavy metal clamp of some kind. Dog's age "a long time" is by 1836. Adjectival phrase dog-eat-dog "ruthlessly competitive" is by 1850s. Phrase put on the dog "get dressed up" (1934) may be from comparison of dog collars to the stiff stand-up shirt collars that in the 1890s were the height of male fashion (and were known as dog-collars from at least 1883).
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from Hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war;
[Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"]
breed of short-legged, long-bodied dogs, 1844, from German Dachshund (15c.), from Dachs "badger" (Old High German dahs, 11c., cognate with Middle Dutch das "badger"), from Proto-Germanic *thahsuz "badger," perhaps literally "builder, the animal that builds," in reference to its burrowing (from PIE root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate"), but according to Watkins "more likely" borrowed from the same PIE source as the Celtic totemic name *Tazgo- (source of Gaulish Tazgo-, Gaelic Tadhg), originally "badger."
Second element is German Hund "dog" (see hound (n.)). Probably so called because the dogs were used in badger hunts, their long, thin bodies bred to burrow into setts and draw the animal out. French taisson, Spanish texon, tejon, Italian tasso are Germanic loan words.
Within the last few years this little hound has been introduced into England, a few couple having been presented to the Queen, from Saxony. The dachshund is a long, low, and very strong hound, with full head and sweeping ears. The fore legs are somewhat bandy, and when digging their action is very mole-like. [John Henry Walsh, "The Dog in Health and Disease," London, 1859]
Old English grighund (West Saxon), greghund (Anglian) "greyhound," probably from grig- "bitch," a word of unknown etymology, + hund "dog" (see hound (n.)).
The first element in the name apparently has nothing to do with color, as most of the hounds are not gray, but the exact sense of it must have been early forgotten, as it has been long associated with the color in popular imagination. In some Middle English forms it appears to be conformed to Grew, an old word for "Greek" (from Old French Griu). The Old Norse form of the word is preserved in Hjalti's couplet that almost sparked war between pagans and Christians in early Iceland:
Vilkat goð geyja
grey þykkjumk Freyja
[translation "I will not blaspheme the gods,
but I think Freyja is a bitch"]
dog breed, 1808, from German Pudel, shortened form of Pudelhund "water dog," from Low German Pudel "puddle" (compare pudeln "to splash;" see puddle (n.)) + German Hund "hound" (see hound (n.)). Probably so called because the dog originally was used to hunt water fowl, but in England and America it was from the start mainly an undersized fancy or toy dog with long, curly hair. Figurative sense of "lackey" (chiefly British) is attested from 1907. Poodle-faker, British army slang for "ingratiating male," is from 1902, likely euphemistic.