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5 comments on this post.
  1. Yael:

    Thank you! I forwarded your answer to my sister, and she was very happy (as was I).
    Just wanted to add: I remembered the ADS-L some time after I sent out this question, and tried searching there. Obviously, I can’t tell the plausibility of the suggested explanations as well as you can, so I trust you saying that the ‘pooch dog = pocket dog’ explanation is the most plausible one, but one of the explanations that seemed quite interesting to me was the suggestion it might have come from the word ‘poonch’ in one of the Hindi languages meaning ‘tail’, which was accompanied by a claim that ‘Poonch’ was a common name for dogs in India. I have no way of checking the veracity of this claim, though – and I don’t even remember what dialect was mentioned, so not sure if I could even find the ‘poonch=tail’ thing anywhere. Have you seen this explanation? What do you think about it?

  2. Betsy:

    I have a possible explanation. The word for puppy in Italian is cucciolo, the pronunciation being cooch-oh-lo, accent on the first syllable. So the “cooch” rhymes with pooch. Now in some of the Italian dialects, they will sometimes truncate a word, and it’s very possible that some (or with usage) might have called a puppy a cooch, or at least cooch-a. Is it possible that this morphed into pooch somehow? The timing of it is right. By 1924 there would have been a lot of Italians having immigrated into the US. I’ll betcha that’s what happened.

    What do you think?

  3. John Rudmin:

    Could it be from Hopi for dog = Pooko?

  4. Linda Nutter:

    When in Mexico with our dog Cooper who is 3/4 Poodle, he is often called a “peluche” which is Spanish for plush toy and since it sounds a lot like “pooch,” I’ve wondered if this could be the origin of the word.

  5. alan price:

    My wife speaks English as a second language and uses “pooch” in what is apparently the archaic fashion, meaning “to protrude”. When I saw that definition I immediately thought of a dog with its tongue hanging out. So maybe a pooch is an animal that has a habit of pooching out its tongue.

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