The blood in bloodhound doesn't have anything to do with anything sanguine or gory. It refers to the fact that only aristocrats ("nobles of the blood") were permitted to own such dogs. These were blooded hounds.

I, for one, am sick and tired of non-Southerners making fun of folks down here via this dog. I guess it's the fault of the Beverly Hillbillies. Nine years of that dimwitted claptrap had everyone in America thinking that, not only was our low IQ the result of the Jerry Lee Lewis syndrome (too much affection for your cousin), but that the bloodhound was somehow as dumb as we are. That's an insult to a great line of dogs!

I know you Yankees like your dogs all tidy and portable, but that's no excuse to portray bloodhounds as an icon of Southern trashiness. From Beauregard Jr. on Hee Haw to Cynthia on Green Acres to Flash on The Dukes of Hazzard to LadyBird on King of the Hill, you can't have a Southern hick if he don't have his "smell hound" (as Cletus the Slack-Jawed yokel calls 'em on The Simpsons). More Hollywood bullshit. I've been living here all my life, and I've never known anyone who had a bloodhound. We raise dogs to hunt dinner, not people.

Blood"hound` (), n.

A breed of large and powerful dogs, with long, smooth, and pendulous ears, and remarkable for acuteness of smell. It is employed to recover game or prey which has escaped wounded from a hunter, and for tracking criminals. Formerly it was used for pursuing runaway slaves. Other varieties of dog are often used for the same purpose and go by the same name. The Cuban bloodhound is said to be a variety of the mastiff.


© Webster 1913.

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