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Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The name was in use at least as early as 1774. The 1804 jo...
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Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The name was in use at least as early as 1774. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition note that in September 1804, they "discovered a Village of an animal the French Call the Prairie Dog." Its genus, Cynomys, derives from the Greek for "dog mouse".

In companies that use large numbers of cubicles in a common space, employees sometimes use the term prairie dogging to refer to the action of several people simultaneously looking over the walls of their cubicles in response to a noise or other distraction. This action is thought to resemble the startled response of a group of prairie dogs.
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