You may know them as wiener dogs or Doxies, but do you know how to say their proper name? Like many German words, the pronunciation of dachshund is often bungled by English speakers. Dash-ind and dash-hound are among the more common pronunciations, but both of those are technically incorrect.
Here to help is Jen Dre, a YouTuber who makes videos about being a German expat in London. Dre explains that dachshund is actually made up of two smaller German words: Dachs, which means “badger,” and hund, which means “dog.” “So together it means ‘badger dog,’ because these dogs were bred to go down badger holes and rabbit holes as well,” Dre says. That’s right—your lovable little Doxie might not hurt a fly, but her ancestors were fearlessly hunting down badgers.
It’s easy to see how dachs might be pronounced as dash in English, but German pronunciation rules must be taken into account. In German, the letters chs are often pronounced like an x. With this in mind, you’d pronounce the word dahks-hund. But if you want to give it more of an English accent, dacks-ind is also fine, Dre says. You can hear how she says it in the video below.
A version of this story ran in 2018; it has been updated for 2023.
Are you a logophile? Do you want to learn unusual words and old-timey slang to make conversation more interesting, or discover fascinating tidbits about the origins of everyday phrases? Then pick up our new book, The Curious Compendium of Wonderful Words: A Miscellany of Obscure Terms, Bizarre Phrases, & Surprising Etymologies, out June 6! You can pre-order your copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Bookshop.org.