Doge (often pronounced // DOHJ or // DOHG) is an Internet meme that became popular in 2013. The meme typically consists of a picture of a Shiba Inu dog accompanied by sarcastic multicolored text in Comic Sans MS font in the foreground. The text, representing a kind of internal monologue, is deliberately written in a form of broken English. The content of doge's monologue is generally to chide an imaginary target for behaving a certain way.
Kabosu (Japanese: かぼす?), the female Shiba Inu featured in the original meme, was first pictured in a 2010 blog post by her owner Atsuko Sato, a Japanese kindergarten teacher. Afterwards, variations of the pictures using overlaid Comic Sans text were posted from a Tumblr blog, Shiba Confessions. However, the use of the intentionally misspelled "doge" dates back to June 2005, when it was mentioned in an episode of Homestar Runner’s puppet series.
In non-English speaking countries, "doge" is occasionally pronounced // DODGE. Those unfamiliar or unacquainted with the meme also use the pronunciations // DOG-ee, // DOG-ay, // DOH-gay, or simply // DOG.
Doge uses two-word phrases in which the first word is almost always one of five modifiers ("so", "such", "many", "much", and "very"), and the departure from correct English is to use the modifier with a word that it cannot properly modify. For example, "Much respect. So noble." uses the doge modifiers but is not "proper" doge because the modifiers go with the words they modify; the doge version would be "Much noble, so respect." In addition to these phrases, a doge utterance often ends with a single word, most often "wow" but with "amaze" and "excite" also being used.
In August 2013, images of the meme were spammed on Reddit's r/MURICA subreddit by 4chan's random imageboard, /b/. A search of the term doge on Google Trends shows an explosion of popularity occurring in October 2013, and more so in the following month. By November 2013, the meme had become widespread on the Internet. Google later created a Doge Easter egg: when doge meme was entered into the YouTube search bar, all of the site's text would be displayed in colorful Comic Sans, similar to the kind used by the meme.
The meme was ranked #12 on MTV's list of "50 Things Pop Culture Had Us Giving Thanks For" in 2013. Io9 compared the internal dialog of the Shiba Inu dogs to lolspeak. The image most commonly associated with the meme is of a female Shiba Inu named Kabosu, taken from a Japanese blog documenting the dog's daily activities. The spelling of doge has several variants, leading to debate on its actual pronunciation. On December 13, Doge was named the "top meme" of 2013 by Know Your Meme.
In December 2013, the Dogecoin was introduced as a new cryptocurrency, making it the first cryptocurrency to be based on an Internet meme; the viral phenomenon, along with usage of the Comic Sans MS typeface, gave it "the Internet density of a large star" according to Medium writer Quinn Norton.
In late December 2013, members of the U.S. Congress produced material in the meme's style. The Huffington Post commented that Doge was "killed" because of the Congress members' usage of the meme.
By early 2014, Doge's popularity was sustained by internet communities on social media, accompanied by the rapid growth and acceptance of Dogecoin. In April 2014, Doge experienced a second major media resurgence due to revelations of the Dogecoin community's intent to sponsor Josh Wise in NASCAR and place a picture of the Shiba Inu on his vehicle.
In 2014, the advertisement agency DDB Stockholm had Doge feature prominently in an advertising campaign for the public transport company SL in Stockholm, Sweden. The advertisement concerned the company's special summer tickets, and featured Doge holding a public transport ticket in his mouth, with phrases such as "many summer", "such cheap" and "very buy".
Although the Doge meme is often accepted at face value as a lighthearted internet phenomenon, it has also prompted stronger reactions from those disliking recent developments in internet culture.
Media outlets, however, have embraced the meme while reporting on Doge or Dogecoin developments. Article titles referencing the Dogecar featuring phrases such as "so wow" and "very vroom" evidence the degree to which news sources have accepted the use of meme conventions while reporting on Doge.
- Chen, Adrian (November 7, 2013). "Doge Is An Actually Good Internet Meme. Wow.". Gawker. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Lamon, James. "Understand the "Doge" Meme In 7 Short Steps". The Bark Post. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Wolf, Asher (November 7, 2013). "Peake doge, so wow, much analytics". Twitter. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Sato, Atsuko (February 13, 2010). "今夜のご飯は何ですか？ :かぼすちゃんとおさんぽ。" (in Japanese). Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- Chayka, Kyle (December 31, 2013). "Wow this is doge". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
- Broderick, Ryan (September 27, 2012). "Shiba Confessions Is Your New Favorite Thing". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Mezrahi, Samir (November 14, 2013). "14 Iconic Pieces Of History Made More Wow With Dog". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Broderick, Ryan (November 21, 2013). "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Doge But Were Afraid To Ask". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Wickman, Forrest (November 15, 2013). "How Do You Pronounce "Doge"?". Slate. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Wickman, Forrest (November 15, 2013). "How Do You Pronounce "Doge"?". Slate. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- McCulloch, Gretchen (February 6, 2014). "A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow.". The Toast. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
- Alfonso III, Fernando (August 26, 2013). "4chan spammed Reddit with an army of Shiba Inus". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Google Trends - Doge". Google. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
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- "Easter Egg: YouTube in Comic Sans (Doge Meme)". WebSonic.nl. November 24, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "From One Direction's Abs To Miley's Joint: 50 Things Pop Culture Had Us Giving Thanks For This Year". MTV. November 27, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "We who spoke LOLcat now speak Doge".
- "かぼすちゃんとおさんぽ。". Excite Japan. February 13, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Mashiur, Zoheb (November 17, 2013). "ANATOMY OF A MEME: DOGE". The Daily Star. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Wagstaff, Keith (December 13, 2013). "Comic Sans 'Doge' takes bite out of 'Unflattering Beyonce' to win Internet in 2013". NBC News. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Law, John (December 13, 2013). "Patent Nonsense, Coinbase Futures, and Who’s a Good Doggie? You Are!". CoinDesk. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Klee, Miles (December 10, 2013). "With its own cryptocurrency, Doge has officially conquered 2013". The Daily Dot. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Couts, Andrew (December 12, 2013). "Wow. Dogecoin is the most Internet thing to happen, ever.". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Hillen, Brittany (December 11, 2013). "Dogecoin digital currency takes on Bitcoin with a bit of meme flair". Slashgear. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Norton, Quinn (December 23, 2013). "The Values of Money". Medium. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Logiurato, Brett (December 23, 2013). "Congress Has Finally Discovered 'Doge,' And It's Going About As Badly As You Would Expect". Business Insider. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- Horowitz, Alana (December 23, 2013). "GOPers Ruin Beloved Internet Meme". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- Ballaban, Michael. "Such NASCAR, Much Motorsports: What It Looks Like When Doge Goes Racing". Jalopnik.
- Kooser, Amanda (29 April 2014). "Dogecoin Nascar paint scheme unveiled. Wow. Such doge.". CNET. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Andrén, Simon (29 April 2014). "Många frågor kring SL-kampanj". Dagens Media (in Swedish). Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Kastrenakes, Jacob (15 July 2014). "Weird Al's 'Blurred Lines' parody skewers Reddit and doge for grammar crimes". Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Spencer, Malia (6 May 2014). "When Dogecoin met NASCAR. So wow.". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Estrada, Chris. "Very vroom: Josh Wise finishes 20th at ‘Dega in DogeCoin car". NBC Sports. Retrieved 7 May 2014.