Monday, July 19, 2010

The History and Etymology of Bunny Hugging

Historically speaking, the Bunny Hug is, of course, syncopated ballroom dance that was once popular in the United States (no... not so much). In 1912 Harry DeCosta released the Bunny Hug Rag, not to be confused with.... 1913: Bunny Hug Rag (no 'the') by George L. Cobb (shown left). The bunny hug was one of a number of animal dances that the 'crazy kids' were doing those days.

In 1951 Bugs Bunny hit the big screen with "Bunny Hugged". You can see it in full here.

These days, of course, the term has a different meaning.  It started off fairly specific: 1990s: "bunny-hugger [n] ... an environmentalist, esp. an anti-blood sport campaigner." And then became more general: "...derogatory term for an animal lover", or: "slang; derogatory: a conservationist or animal lover", or: "Noun. An animal lover. Derog."

But, as is the case with many derogatory terms, they are subject to interpretation.  Bunnies, as a stand in for animals in general, are pretty damn huggable.  And as a gesture to express a love of animals, why not the hug?  So as a blog name for a professional animal lover, it didn't seem a bad choice.  I am an out and proud hugger of bunnies!

See also:
Bunny Huggers

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