prairie dog

See also: prairie-dog



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Etymology 1Edit

prairie + dog (from their yelping alarm calls)


Prairie dogs

prairie dog (plural prairie dogs)

  1. Any of genus Cynomys, small, stout-bodied burrowing rodents with shallow cheek pouches, native to North America and Central America.

Further readingEdit

Etymology 2Edit

By analogy with how the animal pops its head up from its burrow.

Alternative formsEdit


prairie dog (third-person singular simple present prairie dogs, present participle prairie dogging, simple past and past participle prairie dogged)

  1. (intransitive, transitive) To pop up from a hole or similar in a manner that resembles the way a prairie dog pops his head up from his burrow.
    • 2017, Kory Stamper, Word By Word, Vintage 2018, p. 11:
      People prairie-dog over the tops of their cubicles and call to their co-workers: “Hey, you going for a walk at lunch today?”
  2. (slang, euphemistic) To struggle to hold back an involuntary bowel movement.
    • 2001, Andy Breckman, Rat Race
      [Kimberly needs to go to the bathroom] Dad, I'm prairie dogging it! What the hell does that mean? You know, like when a prairie dog sticks his head in and out of the ground.
    • 2008, Clautrier, Adrien; Rowe, Henry; Mack, Lindsay, Dirty French: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!"[2], Berkeley: Ulysses Press, →ISBN, LCCN 2007907739, page 54:
      I'm about to crap my pants.
      Je vais me faire au froc.
      I'm prairie-dogging it.
      J'ai le cigare au bout des lèvres.
      Literally, “the cigar is at the edge of my lips”
    • 2009, Baker, Brian J., Yuck! ...That Guy Didn't Wash His Hands!: The Complete Guide to the American Man's Bathroom Experience[3], American Bathroom Experience, →ISBN, page 150:
      [] Postin' Up On the Blaster / Power Dump / Prairie-Dogging it / Press a Loaf Purp []
    • 2011, Rivera, David, Jr., Harlem's Dragon: The Love You Can't Fight[4], Largo: Strebo Books, →ISBN, page 162:
      “Oh, God stop, stop,” Kat said, holding her side, “I'm starting to prairie dog.” [] “You know, prairie dogging,” Kat said, trying to explain between breaths. “When it pokes its head out of the hole and then back in, out and in, out and in.”
    • 2011, Various, David Mack, James Robinson, Ty Templeton, Alan Moore, Jeph Loeb, Kurt Busiek, Vampirella Masters Series 4: The Lost Tales
      ...They are gonna get a mouthful and a pantful. Crappin their shorts all the way into next week... Yeah those little bastards will be prairie dogging it all the way home!


See alsoEdit

  • crown (see: medical definition)