Hush puppy, hushpuppy or hush-puppy

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Today, the tern hush puppy usually refers to a food item, though hush puppy originally had a different meaning. We will examine the meaning and correct spelling of the term hush puppy, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A hush puppy is a fried cornbread doughball, most often served with fish. The hush puppy originated in the American South, and interestingly, the practice of frying cornbread doughballs may predate the term hush puppy. The practice of frying cornbread in this manner has probably been around as long as there has been cornbread  and oil to fry it in. The term hush puppy first appeared in print at the turn of the twentieth century, though the term was probably popular in everyday speech long before that time. The idea that the term hush puppy is derived from the practice of throwing fried doughballs at dogs to keep them quiet is probably an exaggeration. The term hush puppy has been around since at least the 1700s, used at that time to mean to cover something up or to silence someone. Hush Puppy is also an American shoe brand. The Oxford English Dictionary prefers the spelling hush puppy, though other dictionaries render the term as one word, hushpuppy. It is sometimes seen hyphenated as in hush-puppy. Plural forms are hush puppies, hushpuppies and hush-puppies.


I am speaking of hush puppies, and these were perfectly round, not sweet, and golden brown. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Jones, the Hostess Princess for the 2017 World’s Biggest Fish Fry, was tasked with throwing out the first hushpuppy of the Fish Fry on the first day for meals to be served. (The Paris Post-Intelligencer)

She had mercy on me and brought a free appetizer of hush-puppies that were fresh out of the oil and steaming hot. (The Tallahassee Democrat)