Is there anything inherently “doggy” about the word “dog”?
Obviously not — to the French, a dog is a chien, to Russians a
sobaka, to Mandarin Chinese-speakers a gǒu. These words have
nothing in common, and none seem any more connected to the canine
essence than any other. One runs up against that wall with pretty
much any word.
Except some. The word for “mother” seems often either to be mama
or have a nasal sound similar to m, like nana. The word for
“father” seems often either to be papa or have a sound similar
to p, like b, in it — such that you get something like
baba. The word for “dad” may also have either d or t, which
is a variation on saying d, just as p is on b. People say
mama or nana, and then papa, baba, dada, or tata,