The Cynics were a group who practised a philosophy of living in virtue and in harmony with nature. Their names comes from the fact that the first cynic taught at a place called the Cynosarges which means the “Place of the White Dog”. But “dog” quickly became an insult used by people to criticise their way of life.
The word “cynic” in English comes from the Ancient Greek word κυνικός (kunikós) which means “dog-like”. κῠ́ων (kúōn) is the Ancient Greek word for “dog” and is actually cognate with the English word “hound”. So “cynic” and “hound” are actually related 🙂