Why is a hotdog called a hotdog?




In 1987, Frankfurt, Germany celebrated the 500th birthday of the frankfurter, the hotdog sausage. Although, the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria will point out that their wiener sausages are proof of origin for the hotdog. (By the way, ham, being pork meat, is found in hotdogs.) According to Douglas B. Smith in his book “Ever wonder why?” the hotdog was given its name by a cartoonist.

A butcher from Frankfurt who owned a dachshund named the long frankfurter sausage a “dachshund sausage,” the dachshund being a slim dog with a long body. (“Dachshund” is German for “badger dog.” They were originally bred for hunting badgers.) German immigrants introduced the dachshund sausage (and Hamburg meat) to the United States. In 1871, German butcher Charles Feltman opened the first “hotdog” stand in Coney Island in 1871, selling 3,684 dachshund sausages, most wrapped in a milk bread roll, during his first year in business.

In the meantime, frankfurters – and wieners – were sold as hot food by sausage sellers. In 1901, New York Times cartoonist T.A. Dargan noticed that one sausage seller used bread buns to handle the hot sausages after he burnt his fingers and decided to illustrate the incident. He wasn’t sure of the spelling of dachshund and simply called it “hotdog.”