What’s In A Name? How To Pick A Good One
Veterinarian Reviewed on December 9, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
I’m a lucky dog, on so many levels. I have a human who loves and adores me, lots and lots and lots of yummy treats, and a yard I can go to town in (and on). I also have a cool name: Buster, of English origin, meaning a particularly robust child. Also used informally in place of “fellow”, or as in “pal” (ie. from one pal to another). Very appropriate, IMHO, and don’t you think? I am a very robust type of fellow, who loves to pass on ideas from one pal to another. I’m just yapping.
So that makes me wonder: am I so affable a guy because of my dog name, or did my human Sage just pick a good one? Seems a lot of my friends have names that perfectly describe who and what sort of personality they are. Note to humans: we are what you name us!
If choosing a pet name can determine our humor, let’s have a gander at some worth (and not) trying out:
Alfie: meaning “elf” or “magical counsel; ready for battle”. Hm. I thought Alfie was a tail-chasing sort of fellow, but perhaps I had that wrong. Well, ready for battle – as in Sir Yapalot – is definitely the sort of fellow we all like around an empty house!
Arrow: On the straight and narrow. A pointer, surely in the right direction. Keep those other kitties off the catnip, keep those puppies away from the shoes – this one’ll rule the household all right!
Buttons: Button, button, who’s got a button? You lose ’em, we ate ’em. Probably, anyway. This fuzzy friend will make a great substitute! Well, sort of.
Chunky Monkey: My humans’ fave Ben and Jerry’s flavor. There’s only thing this pet wants you for: to bury your head deep into his/her tummy and blow out warm air. That’s it. Life is so simple.
The Dude: Yes, one can use “The” , as in “I have a title”. Here we have the most radical, most laid-back sort of creature in the house. And probably not out of, since he likes to lay on the rug – all day long. No one’ll take yours!
Gonzo: Our favorite muppet. Gonzo is equal parts smarts and nuts. We all need a great entertainer!
Jazz: Sweet, sweet music. Your pet will be equal parts cool, classic and contemporary – and creative. Same goes for Herbie, Nat, Louis, Ella, etc.
King: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all think we’re royal (same goes for Drama Queen, Queenie, Princess et al). Save this one for someone else, unless you want your name to become Slave. Which, if you have a feline, it already is.
Lucky: Well. Who doesn’t want a pet with a name inferring the loveliest lady of all, Luck? I promise your Lucky will be your luckiest charm, yet. Or he/she will tie your tongue in a knot.
Maestro: Here, you may have someone who can conduct your orchestra of life. Could be great (make hubbin’ change the litter, keep the mice away, keep the socks in line), could be not-so-great (will sleep on your face until you wake up, will sing for their supper all day long).
Renaldo: Want a pet who will keep you on your toes? Playing ball with this critter will keep you active forever. Goal!
Stinkpot: Poobutt, Buttboink, or any other name referring to you-know-what should be avoided at all costs. Reasons: obvious.
Tiny Tim/Tina: Small pet complex? I might skip this one. Unless of course you’re one of those humans who thinks it’s funny to name a big animal a small name, and vice versa. You’re probably the same type who thinks the bubble-bum trick is hilarious, too. Well then, you deserve a personality like this one. Good luck!
Zeus: All knowing, all powerful. Enough said.
There we go folks, a round up of some of our most auspicious names.
So now I’m asking myself: would a Rose by any other name smell as sweet? Hmm. I think I’ll go take a walk and sniff around some. Ahem.
Smell y’awll later, Buster
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan