You can gauge how much time you spend on the internet by decoding this sentence:
Chonky good boi boops smol danger noodle.
Does that make sense?
Chonky is “fat.” All dogs on the internet are “Good boys.” (There are good girls, but the default — thanks, patriarchy! — is “good boy” for any dog.) Boy is often misspelled as “boi” because internet people like to do that.
A “boop” is touching the nose. These are actual pages on the internet devoted to booping (“21 Epic Pet Nose Boops You Have to See,” “19 Adorable Boops that Shattered our Cute Meter,” etc.).
“Smol” is internet-speak for “small.” That must be because double consonants are exhausting to type. A danger noodle is a snake, or a “snek,” in another irritating, intentional misspelling.
Chonky good boi boops smol danger noodle translates into: Fat dog touches snake nose.
If the good dog is not a boi, it is a doggo or a pupper.
These terms were popularized by a Twitter account called WeRateDogs (@dog_rates). All the doggos and puppers are rated highly, with lines like “13/10, Would pet.”
The account has 7.6 million followers, gets 1,200 submissions a day, has a part-time staff of two, and sells a popular page-a-day calendar. In other words, if @dog_rates starts calling Pomeranians “floofboops,” everyone who is into the internet will fall in line and call them floofboops as well.
Now you’re probably wondering: Do floofboops dogberg?
Why, yes. “Dogberg” is a term for any situation in which a running dog wipes out a “hooman,” the term we suppose dogs use for humans. The typical dogberg video shows a romping mutt barreling into a child, who is knocked flat. It’s named after a professional wrestler, Bill Goldberg, who used a move called “the spear” to tackle opponents.
If you want to see videos of dogberging, just go to the places that supply all the cat videos. They start on Reddit, leak to Twitter, get scraped and reposted by BuzzFeed, then amplified on Facebook.
You’re never a few clicks away from pictures, videos and gifs of dogs and cats. We all know that dogs and cats don’t have all that much in common, except, perhaps, this: None of them are aware of the medium that has brought their antics in our daily lives.
They have no idea that we have constructed a vast international communications apparatus that allows hoomans to enjoy canine and feline foibles and dramas. Or that we’ve invented an internet language just for them.