There are many stories about the origin of the term hot dog, most of them false. First, let’s start with what we know. The term for a sausage served on a bun got its start in college slang in the 1890s. The first known use of the term is in the Knoxville Journal (Tenn.) on 28 September 1893:
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It was so cool last night that the appearance of overcoats was common...Even the weinerwurst men began preparing to get the “hot dogs” ready for sale Saturday night.1
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton