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The English word dog can be traced back to the Old English docga, a "powerful breed of canine". It is only attested since the early 16th century, and of uncertain further origin. The most probable source[3] is Germanic *dukkōn, represented in Old English finger-docce 'finger-muscle', and some German and Old Norse words with meanings 'doll, small block, strong, round', which may have been applied to pups of a strong breed of dogs.

The English word hound is a cognate of German Hund, Dutch hond, common Scandinavian hund, Icelandic hundur which, though referring to a specific breed group in English, means "dog" in general in the other Germanic languages. Hound itself is derived from the Proto-Indo-European *kwon-, which is the direct root of the Greek κυων (kuōn) and the indirect root of the Latin canis through the variant form *kani-.[4]

In breeding circles, a male canine is referred to as a dog, while a female canine is called a bitch. The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother of a litter is called the dam. Offspring are generally called pups or puppies until they are about a year old. A group of offspring is a litter. The process of birth is whelping. Many terms are used for dogs that are not purebred.[5]

 

 

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