Hush puppies are little balls of seasoned, deep-fried dough (usually made with corn meal), often served as a side dish or appetizer in the South.
The origin of this fried dough is unclear. One tale suggests that Confederate soldiers during the Civil War kept their dogs quiet while they were cooking by feeding them fried dough balls. Thus, "hush, puppy." Another tale is that Cajuns in southern Louisiana used to eat a type of salamander they called a mud puppy. They weren't too tasty plain, so folks would dip 'em in corn meal and fry 'em. Supposedly the term just grew from there. Source
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