Dogspotting may even be the birthplace of DoggoLingo’s titular term “doggo.”
Though created in 2008, Dogspotting really took off in the summer of 2014, particularly in Australia.
This is significant because, as internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch points out, adding “-o” to words is very Australian. For example, where we’d say def to abbreviate the word definitely, Australians would say deffo.
So were Australians posting in Dogspotting saying “doggo,” which English-speakers around the world picked up on and turned into a viral Internet word?
“That makes a shocking amount of sense,” says John Savoia, who founded Dogspotting and runs the page with Reid Paskiewicz and Jeff Wallen.
“I bet you anything [doggo] was used before Dogspotting and we just made it part of the lexicon,” Paskiewicz says.
James Moffatt, a performance artist who grew up in Adelaide and is not a member of Dogspotting, says he remembers doggo being used “as an affectionate diminutive to refer to dogs throughout my childhood.”
— I’m quoted in this NPR article Dogs Are Doggos: An Internet Language Built Around Love For The Puppers (which you should definitely read in its entirety)