It’s no secret that a female dog is called a b*tch. But that does lead to the question of “what is a male dog called?”
Every male dog on the planet is called a “good boy”.
Okay, that was a joke.
A male dog is just called a dog, usually anyway. If he’s being used for breeding, then he’s called a stud. And to his puppies, he is their sire.
But in most situations, there isn’t a name for a male dog. A male dog is just called a “dog”.
I will admit, it’s rather strange that we have a name for female dogs, but not male dogs, but there you go.
Not a b*stard
There is a common myth/joke that a male dog is called a b*stard. I’m not too sure where this rumour started, but I do know is that it’s utterly untrue.
The reason why people might be prone to believing this myth is that a female dog is called a b*tch, and “b*tch” is an insult that one might say to a woman.
It would make sense therefore that a male dog is called a common insult said to men- b*stard.
However, “b*tch” and “b*stard” have entirely different origins. While “b*tch” the insult comes from the word for a female dog, the insult “b*stard” comes from a child born out of wedlock.
Dogs aren’t the only animals which are called “stud” when they’re used for breeding, it’s also a widespread practice in horse breeding. But where does this word come from?
In old English, “Studu” meant to prop upright. I’m sure at reading that, most of you will be able to guess that I’m talking about his male genitalia. Because they’re able to get erections, they’re appropriate to use for reproduction.
This word has found its way into some more colloquial terminology. If you are a “stud”, that means you’re popular with the ladies. And a “stud muffin” is someone with a very masculine aura.
To his puppies, the male dog is not merely their “dad”, but he is their sire.
This is an old word that’s rarely used in most other situations. However, in the past, when the king had a lot of power in England, his subjects, be they knights or peasants, would refer to the king as “Sire”.
This is a reference to the fact that dogs are pack animals, with the leader of the pack having the most authority, much like how the leader of a country (king) has the most authority.
What I have found to be rather interesting about the word “b*tch” is how it has come to be an insult.
Female dogs have done some incredible things, they’re used to sniff out drugs, they work for the army, they save people from burning buildings.
So why is being compared to one such an insult?
Although today, we have a favourable view of dogs, in the past, dogs were seen as uncivilised and unclean. Likely because the Bible describes them as such. Therefore comparing someone to a dog would not have been a compliment.
And if you’re wondering why it specifically had to be a female to be impactful, just remember that women didn’t get the vote until 1928.
History of dogs
It seems as though man’s best friend has always been there. They’ve played such a huge role in history, that it seems almost impossible to think about our existence without them.
But there was once a time.
When we still lived in caves, for most of the time, the wolves would avoid us, and we them. But over time, some of them came to realise that if they displayed humble and calm characteristics, they would stand a higher chance of being able to get food from us.
Through time, we bread them so that they would behave more pleasantly towards us, selecting the ones who displayed childish characteristics.
When it comes to wolves, the rules become slightly more complicated.
A female wolf is not called a b*tch, she is called a “she-wolf” unless she’s the alpha “she-wolf”, in which case, she’s known as the “Lunar”. The male wolf is just called a “wolf”.
However, unlike dogs, wolves also have ranks. The top wolf is known as the “alpha”, he’s the leader of the pack. The “gamma” wolf is the protector, it’s his job to protect his pack from danger. Below them are the “beta” wolves, and the “omega” is the lowest of the pack. Their job is essentially a stress reliever and play instigator.
As well as gendered names, dogs also have collective names.
Most of the time, a group of dogs is either called a kennel or a mute. But if they are the right sort of dogs, they can have other collective nouns too.
For example, if all the dogs are mutts (cross-breeds), you could call them a “Cowardice of mutts”. If their all boxers, they can be known as a “comedy of boxers”. And if they’re all hounds, you might say they’re a “cry of hounds”.
Our word “dog” comes from the old English “docga”. But what’s interesting about this word is that nobody knows where it came from. It could just have been some gibberish that someone once said. Or it could have a deep and profound meaning, we’ll never know.
When the word first entered the English language, the term “dog” was only used to refer to breeds with coarse hair, such as spaniels. They would use the word “hound” to describe the general animal. But over time, the names switched meaning, and now “dog” is the animal, and “hound” describes only specific breeds.
A male dog is usually just called a dog, although he can be called a stud (if he’s used for breeding) or a sire (to his puppies). Despite what some like to joke, a male dog is not called a b*stard.
“Stud” comes from the old English word meaning “to prop upright”, concerning his male genitalia. And “sire” is what people used to call their king.
Dogs have been a part of our history and our culture since we came out of the caves. Even though we may have had a few rough patches (arguably thanks to the Bible), there is no denying that man and dog were supposed to walk side by side on this planet.