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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Friday, November 5, 2010

A dog will have his day

A popular attraction at Toronto's Royal Winter Fair, which opens today, is the performing dogs. Where did some of our favourite dogs get their names? A dachshund is literally a “badger dog” in German, as they were used to draw badgers from their dens. Another German dog, the poodle was originally a Pudelhund or “puddle dug” as they were developed as water retrievers, their clipped coats making it easier for them to manoeuvre in water. The spaniel was originally a Spanish dog: its name derives from the Old French espaignol (Spanish).

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About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.