Why Are Hush Puppies Called Hush Puppies?

  • 06 March, 2023
  • Victor Rey
Why Are Hush Puppies Called Hush Puppies?

Have you ever wondered where the term "hush puppies" came from, and why we at Hush Puppy Dog Tags use it?

Hush puppies are an all-American food, a staple of Southern cuisine. Dr. Ted Rogers of History by the Plate recounts stories of using hush puppies to keep dogs around the campfire quiet at night. Many of these stories are tied to the American Civil War to give them legitimacy.

The problem with these stories, Dr. Rogers says, is that they just aren't true. Settlers in the American Southeast had been frying tasty pieces of cornbread dough for at least a century before the term "hush puppy" came into everyday parlance.

In South Carolina, fried pieces of cornbread dough were known as "red horse bread." A freed slave named Ronnie Givens started serving fritters made of fried cornbread at fish fries he threw for well-to-do sportsmen at his club on the Edisto River.

The tagline for Givens' tasty fritters had nothing to do with the color or horses. It was named for the fish that his touring fishermen caught, and they fried in mass quantities. The fried cornbread was so popular that people started coming to his establishment for the fritters, not for fishing.

The term "hush puppies" actually originated in England in the 1700s. Smugglers fed dogs bits of food to keep them quiet while transporting illicit goods to evade the high tariffs of their time. Opium and alcohol could also hush puppies.

The term "hush puppies" entered American English in the 1800s. It was first applied to food in 1879 in an article in the San Antonio Herald, which referred to ham drippings as hush puppy gravy. Texas cooks and cooks throughout the American South started applying the term for the friendly fritter to fried pieces of dough served before the main meal at a fish fry not to keep dogs quiet but to keep the attendees' growling stomachs quiet.

The name didn't enter America's national lexicon until the late 1930s, when American Legion Magazine and Boys Life published recipes for hush puppies, popularizing the name. But it wasn't until 1948, when Walter Thomson of Swansboro, North Carolina, created and rolled a national marketing plan for an off-the-shelf hush puppy mix that people all over the United States started calling them by that name. This made the hush puppy name really about branding.

Just how pervasive are hush puppies in commercial branding?

If you don't eat fried fish and hush puppies but wear shoes, you may have come across a brand of exceptionally comfortable shoes known as Hush Puppies. Wolverine World Wide released this casual footwear with a Basset Hound logo nationally in 1958. In the same way Basset Hounds are "feel good" dogs, Hush Puppies are "feel good" shoes. Hence, the name hush puppies then became synonymous with Basset Hounds.

How to Help Your Dog Be a Hush Puppy

There's a lot to love about Basset Hounds. They are affectionate. They have a sense of humor. They don't bark a lot. They love kids. They need a daily walk and playtime, but they mostly love to relax with their humans at home.

Basset Hounds are laid-back dogs, that is, in quiet environments. Noise makes life difficult for Basset Hounds and every other kind of dog.

Dogs hear four times more acutely than humans. A child can hear high-pitched sounds with a frequency of over 20,000 Hz (cycles per second). By the time you are 50, you can't hear pitches over 12,000 Hz. By age 65, that might be 8,000 to 10,000 Hz. Your dog can hear pitches of 48,000 to 57,000 Hz.

Your dog can hear much fainter sounds than you can. Audiologists set the lowest volume of sound that humans can hear at 0 decibels (dB). They assign sounds that humans can't hear negative decibel ratings. Your dog can hear sounds that are -5 to -15 dB. These sounds are as little as 1/20 as loud as the faintest sound you can hear.

Dog ears are exquisitely in tune with the wind and the animals around them. Unfortunately, they can also detect lightning, snoring, traffic noise, and the jangling of metal dog tags around their collars.

Dogs hear high-pitched grating and grinding from metal dog tags all day long. So, give your dog a quieter world. Give your dog a Hush Puppy, a silicone dog tag!

Relieve the PTSD Caused by Constant Noise with a Hush Puppy Silicone Dog Tag

There aren't many things you can do for your dog to relieve more stress than giving them a beautiful silicone dog tag. Silicone tags don't make jarring sounds. They don't cause the nickel allergies that can result in canine contact dermatitis that metal dog tags can.

A silicone ID tag for your dog can also reduce the noise-related stress in your life. People with PTSD are sensitive to noise. They love the presence of their dogs, but they stress over the sound of dog tags that aren't theirs.

The emotional support they feel when they snuggle up with their support animals is just a little greater without the noise of a metal tag on a collar. And if you don't hear the rustling of metal tags when you are with your dog, you don't miss your dog when you hear metal tags on other dogs out in public.

When your dog is no longer with you, a silicone dog tag becomes a reminder of their life. Silicone dog tags by Hush Puppy Dog are suitable for framing and mounting on display frames. Silicone ID tags can become treasured heirlooms. You can remember your dog forever with a Hush Puppy silicone dog tag.

You can find the silicone ID tag you will cherish forever at HushPuppyDog.com. We will be happy to hear from you if you want to say hello. Contact us online or at 832-457-9120.
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