Pronounced: RUSS-tih-kate, verb
Notes: You may know this word; I keep seeing “rust” and go down the wrong path
The phrase dog whistle, as a noun, refers to “a coded message that appears innocuous to the general publish, but that has an additional interpretation meant to appeal to the target audience”. As an adjective, it means “relating to such a message”.
Our phrase came into usage in the 1900s
Background / Comments
I detest our phrase, and almost didn’t use it. However, it was a phrase I didn’t know, and just because I dislike it is no reason not to use it. First, though, the background: our phrase refers to the whistle that dogs can hear but humans cannot, and thus, by extension, a message that only certain initiated people truly ‘hear’. I think the reason I dislike our phrase is that all of the examples I have seen are just a way to paint political opponents as “racist” or “<something>-phobic” in order to avoid having a legitimate debate on the issue. For example, it could be claimed that the phrase ‘border protection’ is a ‘dog whistle’ used to appeal to racists. That way, the real issues involved with porous borders can be ignored.