Foo-dog meaning

fo͝o
A stylized figure of a lion, traditionally placed as a symbolic guardian at the entrance to a Chinese temple or other building.
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A fierce-looking dog with a lion's mane, used as a motif in East Asian art.
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A figurine or statue in the form of this dog.
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A Chinese guardian dog / lion statue that traditionally stands in front of Chinese imperial palaces, emperors' tombs, and government offices.
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Origin of foo-dog

  • Perhaps from Mandarin Buddha (from Middle Chinese ffiut Buddha) (from late Old Chinese but Buddha) (from Sanskrit buddhaḥ Buddha Buddha2) or from Mandarin good fortune (from Middle Chinese fuwk) dog (from the stylized lion's doglike appearance)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition