Originally Posted on American Blues Scene
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In French Creole, salté means “dirty.” To jouer en salté means to play a dirty trick on someone. In Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary, salty appears to have an Old English meaning similar to “horny.” It was used to describe “of a bitch,” meaning a female dog that was maris appetens:“in heat,” or wanting to have sexual relations with a male dog.
In blues songs like “Salty Dog,” and “Candy Man,” the salty dog is someone who wants to have sex without taking on the responsibility or restraints of a love relationship. In “Candy Man,” the Reverend Gary Davis sang about a woman who told him:
If you can’t be my candy man
you can’t be my salty dog
In “Salty Dog,” Mississippi John Hurt states:
Oh baby let me be your salty dog
I don’t want to be your man at all
I want to be your salty dog
The song “Salty Dog Blues” is a folk song from the early 1900s. The earliest known recording is from 1924, by influentialPapa Charlie Jackson.
In the “slang gets grosser over time” department, Urban Dictionary reports that a salty dog is “the act of having sex with one girl, and then meeting up with another shortly after and having her perform oral sex.”
“Candy Man”- Rev. Gary Davis
“Salty Dog”- Mississippi John Hurt (John Smith Hurt)
Mississippi John Hurt – “Salty Dog”