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illustration Infracaninophile



Part of speech: noun

Origin: American English, 20th century


One who loves and roots for underdogs (competitors at a disadvantage)

Examples of Infracaninophile in a sentence

"Irma’s such an infracaninophile that she changes her favorite baseball team every year to whoever’s lowest in the standings."

"The infracaninophile in me always wants to see the end of the game to find out if the loser turns it around."

About Infracaninophile

“Infracaninophile” combines the Latin prefix “infrā,” meaning “underneath,” with “canin,” referring to the Latin “canīnus,” meaning “dog.” Together these create a Latin improvisation of the U.S. slang term “underdog” (coined in the late 19th century), meaning “the competitor at a disadvantage or expected to lose.” The suffix “-phile” comes from Greek, meaning “dear” or “beloved.” Thus, “infracaninophile” is one for whom the underdog is dear or beloved.

Did you Know?

“Infracaninophile” was coined in the first half of the 20th century by American humorist, journalist, poet, novelist, and essayist Christopher Morley. In a preface to Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Complete Sherlock Holmes,” Morley wrote of Holmes that “he was always also the infracaninophile — the helper of the underdog." Morley likely knew the word “underdog” was a recent American invention; he saw the humor of rephrasing a modern slang word in ancient-sounding Latin.

illustration Infracaninophile

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