I’m turning this post over to the estimable Mr. Jason Hasty, friend of the blog, and, more relevantly, UGA Athletics History Specialist at the Hargrett Library. Take it away, Jason.
The UW ‘Dawgs’ thing has bothered me for a while so I decided to look into it as best as I could without having much in the way of UW materials at hand. Fortunately, like our Red & Black, their student newspaper is digitized and keyword searchable. I searched a bit to see what I could come up with. To make the search equitable, I also looked back at similar research I’ve done for our own use of Dawgs through the Red & Black archives.
University of Washington — Dawgs
– The first colloquial use of “Dawgs” I found in the UW archives is from Friday, October 13, 1967:
This is an advertisement for used books and records. Apparently the $.02 books were “Dawgs”.
– The first use of “Dawgs” in relation to a UW sports team came on Wednesday, May 14, 1997, though this was in reference to the UWT Co-Ed Softball team:
– This op-ed piece from October 11, 2000 seems to reference UW-Tacoma (the UWT from above) as referring to itself as the “Dawgs” while the Seattle campus referred to itself as the Huskies.
– After this, the use of “Dawgs” in reference to UW’s teams becomes more common through the early 2000s, while they still use mainly use Huskies. This page is a good representative of that:
– Their official UW Athletics website makes no mention of “Dawgs” in the section on mascots:
UGA — Dawgs
In contrast, our use of “Dawg” or “Dawgs” goes back much further and is easily searchable in the Red & Black:
– The first use of ‘How ‘Bout Them Dawgs?’ in the R&B came on Friday, September 23, 1977:
– The first appearance of ‘Go Dawgs’ came on Friday, September 28, 1978:
– The first occurrence of the ‘D-A-W-G-S’ spelling (but not in relation to sports) was on November 18, 1927:
Again, this isn’t comprehensive research. I don’t have access to much UW material and there might be some obvious digital resource I’m overlooking. I relied on the student newspapers to make up for my lack of UW reference materials.
If nothing else, I hope that this sheds some light for you on the UGA/UW DAWGS ‘controversy’. (Yes, it irritates the life out of me that they use that.)
Thanks and Go Dawgs.
Whew! I can’t imagine anyone has anything to add to that, but if for some reason you do, have at it in the comments.