According to a myth, the use of the complete phrase hot dog in reference to sausage was coined by the newspaper cartoonist Thomas Aloysius "Tad" Dorgan around 1900 in a cartoon recording the sale of hot dogs during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds.
However, Dorgan's earliest usage of hot dog was not in reference to a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, in The New York Evening Journal December 12, 1906, by which time the term hot dog in reference to sausage was already in use.
Hot dogs often have high sodium, fat and nitrite content, ingredients linked to health problems.
Changes in meat technology and dietary preferences have led manufacturers to use turkey, chicken, vegetarian meat substitutes, and to lower the salt content.
The hot dog's cultural traditions include the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.