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Doge (meme)

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The original "Doge" inner monologue image.

Doge (often /ˈd/ DOHJ, /ˈdɡ/ DOHG)[1] is an Internet meme that became popular in 2013. The meme typically consists of a picture of a Shiba Inu dog accompanied by multicolored text in Comic Sans font in the foreground. The text, representing a kind of internal monologue, is deliberately written in a form of broken English.

The meme is based on a 2010 photograph, and became popular in late 2013, being named as Know Your Meme's "top meme" of that year. A cryptocurrency based on Doge, the Dogecoin, was launched in December 2013, and the Shiba Inu has been featured on Josh Wise's NASCAR car as part of a sponsorship deal. Doge has also been referenced by members of the United States Congress, a safety video for Delta Air Lines, a Google Easter egg, and the video for the song "Word Crimes" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Toward the end of the decade, the meme saw a resurgence in popularity. Several online polls and media outlets recognized Doge as one of the best Internet memes of the 2010s.


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.[2] For example, "Much respect. So noble." uses the doge modifiers but is not "proper" doge because the modifiers are used in a formally correct fashion; the doge version would be "Much noble, so respect."[2] 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.[2]

Since the inception of the meme, several variations and spin-offs have been created, including "liquified Doge",[3][4] a variation wherein the dog's shape is morphed into other animals, and "ironic Doge",[3] a version where the Doge character is put into ironic and uncharacteristic situations. The ironic Doge memes have spawned several other related characters, often dogs themselves. One of which is Cheems, another Shiba Inu who is typically characterized by a speech impediment that adds the letter "M" throughout its speech.[5] Cheems is based on an image of a dog named Balltze.[5] Walter, a bull terrier character who is typically portrayed as liking "moster trucks" [sic] and firetrucks, is another commonly recurring ironic Doge character. He is based on the bull terrier Nelson, who originally became popular in 2018 after his owner, Victoria Leigh, posted a picture of Nelson to Twitter, with the caption "When u open the front-facing camera on accident." These memes are mostly present on subreddits like r/dogelore. [6][7]In 2020, rumors of Nelson's death began to circulate the internet, although they turned out to be false.[6][8]

Origin and pronunciation

Other name(s)かぼす
BreedShiba Inu
Born (2005-11-02) November 2, 2005 (age 14)
Nation fromJapan
Notable roleInternet celebrity
Years active2010–present, (in Japanese)

Kabosu (Japanese: かぼす), the female Shiba Inu featured in the original meme, is a pedigree puppy who was sent to an animal shelter when her puppy mill shut down. She was adopted in 2008 by Japanese kindergarten teacher Atsuko Satō, and named after the citrus fruit kabosu because Sato thought she had a round face like the fruit.[9] Another Shiba Inu featured in the meme is Suki, a female belonging to photographer Jonathan Fleming from San Francisco. His wife had accidentally put a scarf in the wash, making it shrink. He took a photograph of Suki wearing the scarf outside on a cold night in February 2010.[9]

Kabosu was first pictured in a 2010 blog post by Sato; afterwards, variations of the pictures using overlaid Comic Sans text were posted from a Tumblr blog, Shiba Confessions.[9][10][11][12] 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.[1] The image began to grow in popularity after it was posted on Reddit in October 2010 in a post titled "LMBO LOOK @ THIS FUKKEN DOGE."[3][9]

The most common pronunciations of "doge" are /ˈd/ DOHJ and /ˈdɡ/ DOHG. In non-English speaking countries, "doge" is occasionally pronounced /ˈdɒ/ "dodge". Those unfamiliar or unacquainted with the meme also use the pronunciations /ˈdɒɡi/ "doggie", /ˈdɒɡ/ DOG-ay, /ˈdɡ/ DOH-gay, or simply /ˈdɒɡ/ "dog".[1]



In August 2013, images of the meme were spammed on Reddit's r/MURICA subreddit by 4chan's random imageboard, /b/.[13] Online searches for the meme began to increase in July 2013.[9]

The meme was ranked at No. 12 on MTV's list of "50 Things Pop Culture Had Us Giving Thanks For" in 2013.[14] Io9 compared the internal dialog of the Shiba Inu dogs to lolspeak.[15] On December 13, Doge was named the "top meme" of 2013 by Know Your Meme.[16] A report on The Daily Dot in December 2016 found that Doge's popularity peaked in 2014 and then fell due to "overexposure and co-option by advertisers and mainstream 'normies'", but remained stable since then and returned to Tumblr's top 10 shared memes of the year in 2016.[17]

Several media publications included Doge on a list of memes that helped define Internet culture in the 2010s, and wrote on the meme's influence of further online developments, such as DoggoLingo and WeRateDogs.[18][19] Evan McMurry of ABC News and Stacey Ritzen of The Daily Dot both ranked Doge as the number-one meme of the 2010s.[20][3]

In December 2019, Doge was voted as the best Internet meme of the 2010s on a poll held by The Tab, gaining 737 votes, or 22 percent of total votes cast.[21] Vox's Aja Romano included Doge on a list of 11 memes "that captured the decade," writing that it took "cat memes to new, absurdist heights, an early hallmark of neo-Dadaist millennial humor."[19]

The Japanese perception is remarkably different; Kabosu and Satō are rather known as a pet and owner rather than a meme, and her blog is the fourth-most popular pet-related blog in the country as of December 2013. Reacting to the meme, she explained, "To be honest, some pictures are strange for me, but it's still funny! I'm very impressed with their skills and taste. Around me, nobody knows about the doge meme. Maybe I don't understand memes very well, because I'm living such an analog life." Satō has also expressed that she had learned that "the risk of the internet is that anyone in the world can see my life on my blog". Fleming stated that in his experience, the Shiba Inu breed has become more recognized due to the meme.[9]

Culture deciptions

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.[22][23]

Google created a Doge Easter egg: when doge meme was entered into the YouTube search bar, all the site's text would be displayed in colorful Comic Sans, similar to the kind used by the meme.[24]

In December 2013, the Dogecoin was introduced as a new cryptocurrency, making it the first cryptocurrency to be based on an Internet meme;[25][26][27] 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.[28] 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.[29][30] The car features in downloadable content for the video game NASCAR '14.[31] Media outlets have embraced the meme while reporting on the cryptocurrency and the car, with titles featuring phrases such as "so wow" and "very vroom".[32][33]

In January 2014, Sydney-based web developers Katia Eirin and Bennett Wong created Doge Weather, a weather website and mobile app incorporating the meme. Doge Weather reports the temperature and weather conditions based on the user's geographic location.[34][35] In April 2014, Doge Weather became available as a mobile app for iOS 7 costing 99¢.[34]

In mid-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".[36] In the video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's 2014 song "Word Crimes", a song about bad grammar, a Doge tweet is used to illustrate the types of bad grammar referenced in that part of the song.[37]

"Doge" was one of several additions to in November 2015.[38] The website defines it as not just the image macro and its variants, but also the form of "language" that it utilizes.[39]

In the 2015 video game The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, a reference to the meme can be found in the North American version only. When examining one of the ancient bookshelves, the text reads "Still, coming here has at least afforded me the rare chance to explore these ancient ruins. So ancient. Such ruin." The reference was met with mixed views from fans of the series.[40][41]

In 2017, the video game Smite added a Doge skin for the goddess Skadi.[42]

Mozilla's Servo project incorporated the meme into the project logo from May 2016 to February 2020.[43][44]

For April Fools' Day in 2017, China Central Television published a hoax story of the death of Kabosu.[45][46]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Wickman, Forrest (November 15, 2013). "How Do You Pronounce "Doge"?". Slate. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c McCulloch, Gretchen (February 6, 2014). "A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow". The Toast. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Ritzen, Stacey (December 13, 2019). "The 50 memes that defined the decade". The Daily Dot. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Hathaway, Jay (April 11, 2018). "Something very weird is happening to Doge memes in 2018". The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 21, 2019. But, circling back to our "out of the loop" Redditor's question: Where did these weird, re-shaped "le doge" memes come from? Like many of this year’s big memes, they seem to have blown up due to fans of PewDiePie, the controversial gamer who was once the most-subscribed person on YouTube. PewDiePie hosts a video series called "LWIAY, pronounced 'l'why' and short for "last week I asked you." In these videos, he shows off the memes fans have shared on his r/pewdiepiesubmissions subreddit.
  5. ^ a b Banim, Julia (July 4, 2020). "Meet Balltze The Original Cheems Dog And Star Of Your Favourite Memes". Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Raphael, Shannon. "Is Front Camera Meme Star Walter the Dog Actually Dead?". Distractify. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  7. ^ Sears, Brandon (February 5, 2020). "Behind the Meme: Q & A with Nelson aka "Walter" and His Owner". Medium. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  8. ^ Mustafa, Filiz (June 15, 2020). "Did Walter the dog die? Social media hoax explained following dog's rumoured death". HITC. Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Chayka, Kyle (December 31, 2013). "Wow this is doge". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  10. ^ Broderick, Ryan (September 27, 2012). "Shiba Confessions Is Your New Favorite Thing". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  11. ^ Mezrahi, Samir (November 14, 2013). "14 Iconic Pieces Of History Made More Wow With Doge". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  12. ^ Broderick, Ryan (November 21, 2013). "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Doge But Were Afraid To Ask". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  13. ^ Alfonso III, Fernando (August 26, 2013). "4chan spammed Reddit with an army of Shiba Inus". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ Newitz, Annalee (December 11, 2013). "We who spoke LOLcat now speak Doge". Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  16. ^ Watercutter, Angela (December 13, 2013). "The 10 Best Memes of 2013". Wired. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Hathaway, Jay (December 8, 2016). "The very longevity of Doge, the Shiba Inu meme that is still such popular". The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  18. ^ Amatulli, Jenna (December 17, 2019). "A Guide To The Memes That Defined A Decade (And Where They Are Now)". HuffPost. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Romano, Aja (December 18, 2019l). "11 memes that captured the decade". Vox. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  20. ^ McMurry, Evan (December 7, 2019). "The 10 memest memes of this decade, the decade of the meme". ABC News.
  21. ^ Soen, Hayley (December 4, 2019). "The votes are in: This is officially the best meme of the entire decade". The Tab. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Horowitz, Alana (December 23, 2013). "GOPers Ruin Beloved Internet Meme". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  24. ^ "Easter Egg: YouTube in Comic Sans (Doge Meme)". November 24, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  25. ^ Klee, Miles (December 10, 2013). "With its own cryptocurrency, Doge has officially conquered 2013". The Daily Dot. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  26. ^ Couts, Andrew (December 12, 2013). "Wow. Dogecoin is the most Internet thing to happen, ever". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  27. ^ Hillen, Brittany (December 11, 2013). "Dogecoin digital currency takes on Bitcoin with a bit of meme flair". SlashGear. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  28. ^ Norton, Quinn (December 23, 2013). "The Values of Money". Medium. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  29. ^ Ballaban, Michael (April 8, 2014). "Such NASCAR, Much Motorsports: What It Looks Like When Doge Goes Racing". Jalopnik. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  30. ^ Kooser, Amanda (April 29, 2014). "Dogecoin Nascar paint scheme unveiled. Wow. Such doge". CNET. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  31. ^ Good, Owen S. (May 18, 2014). "Dogecoin, NASCAR's strangest hood sponsor, will appear in its official video game". Polygon. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  32. ^ Spencer, Malia (May 6, 2014). "When Dogecoin met NASCAR. So wow". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  33. ^ Estrada, Chris. "Very vroom: Josh Wise finishes 20th at 'Dega in DogeCoin car". NBC Sports. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  34. ^ a b Mediati, Nick (April 2, 2014). "Can Doge Weather Become Your Main iOS Weather App?". Macgasm. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  35. ^ Wickman, Forrest (February 12, 2014). "Finally, You Can Get Your Weather From Doge. Wow". Slate. The Slate Group. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  36. ^ Andrén, Simon (April 29, 2014). "Många frågor kring SL-kampanj" [Many questions about SL campaign]. Dagens Media (in Swedish). Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  37. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (July 15, 2014). "Weird Al's 'Blurred Lines' parody skewers Reddit and doge for grammar crimes". The Verge. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  38. ^ "'Fleek,' 'facepalm' among words added to". AOL. November 10, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  39. ^ "Doge". Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  40. ^ Mandelin, Clyde. "The Latest Zelda Game is Such Doge". Legends of Localization. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  41. ^ Phillips, Tom (October 28, 2015). "Zelda fans have a bone to pick with Nintendo over doge meme". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  42. ^ Alice O'Connor (January 27, 2017). "Wow! Such meme! Very Smite!". Rock Paper Shotgun.
  43. ^ "History for resources/servo.png". GitHub. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  44. ^ "History for resources/servo.svg". GitHub. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  45. ^ Covucci, David (April 3, 2017). "Don't worry: Despite reports, Doge is not dead". The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  46. ^ Feinn, Lily (April 4, 2017). "Is Doge Dead? The Famous Meme Dog Was The Subject Of An April Fool's Hoax". Bustle.

External links