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CUR (kuhr)

An aggressive, ill-natured mongrel
clues: Mongrel; Junkyard dog; Mean mutt; Scoundrel; Blackguard; Dirty dog; Mangy mutt; Knave; Bad dog; Common canine; Dogcatcher's prey
Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year
Frequency in English language: 52519 / 86800
Neighborhood dogs

In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. – Dereke Bruce

Etymology: Middle English, short for curdogge, from (assumed) Middle English curren, ‘growl’ (perhaps ultimately from Old Norse kurra, ‘grumbling’).

A mixed-breed dog (also called a mutt, crossbreed, mongrel, tyke, cur, or random-bred dog, see Terms for mixed-breed dogs, below) is a dog that is a mixture of two or more breeds, or a descendant of feral or pariah dog populations. Since, except for extreme variations in size, dogs interbreed freely, mixed-breed dogs vary in size, shape, and color, making them hard to classify physically. Historically, all purebred dogs have been selected from a mixed-breed population.

There is a profusion of words and phrases used for non-purebred dogs. The words cur, tyke, and mongrel are generally viewed as derogatory in America, whereas in the United Kingdom mongrel is the unique technical word for a mixed-breed dog, and is not a term of disparagement when referring to a dog. Therefore, many American owners prefer mixed-breed. Mutt is also used (in the U.S.A and Canada), sometimes in an affectionate manner. In Hawaii, mixed breed dogs are referred to as poi dog. Some American registries and dog clubs that accept mixed-breed dogs use the breed name All American, referring to the United States' reputation as a melting pot of different nationalities. In South Africa, the tongue-in cheek expression pavement special is sometimes used as a description for a mixed-breed dog. Random-bred dog, mutt, and mongrel are often used for dogs who result from breeding without the supervision or planning of humans, especially after several generations, whereas mixed breed and crossbreed often imply mixes of known breeds, sometimes deliberately mated.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mixed-breed dog".