"sausage on a split roll," c.1890, popularized by cartoonist T.A. Dorgan. It is said to echo a 19c. suspicion (occasionally justified) that sausages contained dog meat. Meaning "someone particularly skilled or excellent" (with overtones of showing off) is from 1896. Connection between the two senses is unclear. Hot dog! as an exclamation of approval was in use by 1906.
: Walter is one of the good guys, not a hot dog(1966+)
To perform in a brilliant, spectacular way, esp in order to seize the admiration of an audience; grandstand, play to the grandstand, show off: a little careless against Bob Cousy's Royals, hot-dogging their passes and loosening their defenses(1960s+)
To surf spectacularly: Surfers may ''hot dog,'' do acrobatics(1960s+ Surfers)
To do hot-dog skiing (1970s+ Skiers)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with hot-dog
A person who performs showy, often dangerous stunts, especially but not exclusively in sports; also, a showoff. For example, He was a shameless hot dog on the tennis court, smashing every ball, or She was a hot dog behind the wheel, screeching her wheels at every turn. The relation of this term to the edible hot dog is unknown.
[ ; c. 1900
hot diggety dog;
hot diggety. An interjection expressing delight or enthusiasm, as in Hot dog! What a great gift, or Hot diggety! We got the best concert tickets after all.
[ ; c. 1900