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Hot Dog, Wiener, and Frankfurter History

Where did the term "hot dog" come from?

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hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters, sausage, meat, recipes, cooking, tips, receipts, history, terms

Hot Dogs, Wieners, and Frankfurters

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Sports and hot dogs go together like cookies and milk, a truly American institution with a rich and interesting history. Whether you call them hot dogs, red hots, wieners, franks or frankfurters, learn the good, the bad and the ugly, and try some hot dog recipe ideas.

Hot Dog History

Although the history of sausage goes back a long way, hot dogs are as American as apple pie. There is no certain etiology of the term hot dog, but two theories are the most prominent.

The popularity of the term hot dog is generally attributed to sports cartoonist T. A. "Tad" Dorgan, who caricatured German figures as dachshund dogs just after the turn of the 19th century. His talking sausage cartoons generally denigrated the cheap wieners sold at Coney Island, crassly suggesting they contained dogmeat. It was such bad publicity that in 1913, the Chamber of Commerce actually banned use of the term "hog dog" from signs on Coney Island. The term actually first appeared in print in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1900.

German Americans brought us weinerwurst, German for Vienna sausage, which eventually became shortened to wiener. Other German immigrants referred to smoked sausages as bundewurst, which is German for dog sausage. By the late 1920's, wienie roasts became the rage, with guests bringing their own hot dogs to roast over an open fire.

Credit for putting the hot dog into a warm bun and topping it with various condiments goes to Harry Magely, catering director of New York City's Polo Grounds, who reportedly instructed his vendors to cry out, "Red hots! Get your red hots!"

Also credited for the idea of warm buns is Charles Feltman, of Feltman's Gardens in Coney Island amusement park.

Corn dogs were introduced in 1942 at the Texas State Fair, created by Texan Neil Fletcher.

More About Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Recipes:

Hot Dog Storage and Cooking Tips
Hot Dog Ingredients, Laws, Terms, and Styles
Hot Dogs and Health
Hot Dog, Wiener, and Frankfurter History
Hot Dog, Wiener, and Frankfurter Recipes

Cookbooks

Home Sausage Making
The Sausage-Making Cookbook
Bruce Aidells's Complete Sausage Book
Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing
More Cookbooks
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