I randomly learned today that dachs is the German word for badger.*
I’m a pretty smart girl with some fairly decent language skills. I know the German word for dog (incidentally, the Swedish word is the same). I also have some fairly decent deductive reasoning skills. That makes those hilariously shaped Dachshunds badger hunters. Which makes total sense. Those ridiculously short legs and that long body? Perfect for diving into badger setts. That aggression that until today struck me as a bit off? Yeah…badgers aren’t exactly cuddly.
And apparently, the Dachshund was long a symbol of Germany, which led political cartoonists in the First World War and, to a lesser extent, the Second World War to use the dog as a representation of Germany. I also found a couple from the 20s that can be seen here and here. And one from 1934 here.
*This isn’t even close to the weirdest linguistic thing I’ve learned in the last week. As my linguistic life somehow revolves around bears (don’t ask), I learned to say something very odd about bears in American Sign Language at the weekend. On a street corner. Outside a bar. In a popular neighbourhood. In the middle of the day. If you saw a group of people on Sunday afternoon all dressed in navy and white, gesticulating wildly, and laughing hysterically, that’s what was happening.