Whatever happened to the Baha Men?
And now, let us reveal the truth behind the greatest mystery in music history this side of that one thing that Meat Loaf won’t do for love: What does “Baha Men” mean, anyway?
The “Baha” is short for “Bahamas,” where the band originated, and the “Men” part is because the group consists of dudes. Mystery solved! Okay, just kidding — one of the original lyricists of the song has gone on record to answer the question that’s really on your mind: Who, exactly, let the dogs out, and why they would do such a thing?
In 2016, the song’s lyricist, Trinidadian musician Anselm Douglas, told Time to Break (via Digital Spy) that his uncle inspired the song. His older relative would witness guys catcalling women on the street, and he’d say to Douglas, appalled, “Who let the dogs out?” He was using “dogs” in the sense that “men are dogs.”
Paying close attention to the lyrics shows that the truth was hiding in plain sight all along. The lyrics of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” are delivered extremely quickly, meaning listeners probably didn’t hear this part: “the party was nice, the party was bumping … until the fellas start the name calling.”