QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!
Origin of dog whistle
OTHER WORDS FROM dog whistledog-whistle, adjectivedog whistling, noun
Words nearby dog whistle
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does dog whistle mean?
A dog whistle is a political term about statements that appear innocent to the general public but they actually use subtle, coded language to communicate a secondary message to an intended group.
The messages are often racial or bigoted in nature, used to attract certain voters and energize them to vote.
Where does dog whistle come from?
The term dog whistle, as a device used for calling dogs and other animals with sensitive hearing, is recorded in the early 1800s.
Dog whistle saw political use as early as the 1940s when a speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt was likened to a dog whistle, which meant it was understandable by some but not others.
The contemporary sense of dog whistle, however, is firmly established in 1995 when a Canadian newspaper described language like “special interest” as a “dog-whistle that those fed up with feminists, minorities, the undeserving poor hear loud and clear.”
Dog whistle spread in the Australian, United Kingdom, and American political press during the 1990s. A phrase, like welfare reform and inner cities, were seen by some observers as a conservative dog whistle to certain white voters, meant to stir up unfounded fears of Black people abusing social support and living lives of drug and crime.
Dog-whistle politics further expanded in the 2000s, especially used to describe presidential campaigns. During his 2004 reelection bid, for example, President George W. Bush was accused of dog-whistling when discussing a historic Supreme Court decision that was overturned. The average voter, it’s said, picked up nothing controversial in the remarks, but the Christian conservative heard the hint that Bush was willing to nominate a justice willing to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Dog whistle gained new prominence during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Many critics heard in his choruses of law and order, Make America Great Again, and American First as dog whistles: packaging in general, nice-seeming slogans that subliminally suggest a vision for a country where white, Christian males are in power once more.
While I've got the Vice President here, let's have a little history lesson about the dog-whistle that is the phrase "law and order." When people in positions of power spout the phrase "law and order" you can be pretty confident that they are white-supremacists. 1/ https://t.co/v15CnAKsHz
— Cara Zelaya (@carazelaya) May 29, 2020
How is dog whistle used in real life?
When language is charged as a political dog whistle, it is usually in an attempt to reveal the candidate’s unspoken agenda, expose their lack of honesty, and call out tactics like race-baiting or anti-Semitism.
More examples of dog whistle:
“When you’ve been playing dog-whistle racial politics, don’t be surprised when someone with a fully racist bullhorn walks in to find a warmed-up audience.”
—Manuel Pastor, Newsweek, July, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for dog whistle
Officials focused their ire on a single complex in Spring Valley and were joined by residents in a symphony of dog whistles.County’s ‘Crime-Free Housing’ Programs Walk Fine Line Between Safety, Surveillance|Jesse Marx|March 16, 2021|Voice of San Diego
It’s a tried-and-true dog whistle, the law-and-order dog whistle, and we recognize it for what it is.
It is not likely to work, but the dog whistle is clear, and so is the rush to turn Rittenhouse into a martyr.
He forgot that most of the country requires a modicum of plausible deniability in its dog whistles.
Indeed, although he works here in the old town, he lives in the new part of the city where he walks his dog in the morning.The Photographer Who Gave Up Manhattan for Marrakech|Liza Foreman|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Up till then I was just a dog-assed heavy, one of the posse.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“Clean as a whistle,” says a senior investigator involved in the case.
Hangover Rx: “The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth,” says White.
His latest book is a short story collection, Even a Street Dog: Las Vegas Stories.Will Hyman Roth Return to Havana With Normalized Relations?|John L. Smith|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A little boy of four was moved to passionate grief at the sight of a dead dog taken from a pond.Children's Ways|James Sully
A was an Archer, who shot at a frog; B was a Butcher, and had a great dog.
The dog stood with hanging head and tail, as if ashamed he had let so many of his enemies get away unharmed.
These words were uttered in a guarded whisper by a boy about seventeen years of age, to a great dog that stood by his side.
At the word of command, the dog crouched down, his whole body quivering with excitement.