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What’s in a Name?

Author: Nicole Stewart | Date: October 10, 2012

One of my favorite parts of the first week of classes is that I get inundated with new dog names.

You have to be in awe of some of the creativity that lights up my classrooms that first day.

Of course, there is always a Cooper, Buddy or Molly. In fact, the most popular dog names of 2011 (apparently I’m internet challenged — I looked several times for 2012 stats to no avail) were as follows:

2011 Top 10 Most Popular Dog Names

1.  Buddy

2.  Max

3.  Daisy

4.  Bella

5.  Lucy

6.  Molly

7.  Charlie

8.  Jack

9.  Sadie

10.  Rocky

Lovely names actually, just ones that I hear a lot.

My favorite names go into two categories:

1.  Dogs with human names: Ron, Phil, Heather, Abby, Jenny, Jack and Peggy Sue.

2.  Dogs with unique dog names:  Suzy Greenberg, Cookie, Smudge, Jiminy, Boom, Chaos and Hef.

Regardless of what you name your dog, there’s undoubtedly a reason behind it.  For instance, my Golden’s name was Denver.  I’ve never been to Denver.  She came to me that way and I didn’t have it in my heart to change it.  Plus, I thought it was a pretty cool name.  I toyed with Sunday, but decided to keep it as is.

My Clumber Spaniel is Finlay.  It’s Scottish.  My husband and I have roots that go deep into Germany, but our last name is Stewart, which is Scottish.  I think that his name lets us embrace our very shallow Scottish roots.

Listen, I didn’t say it had to be deep, just that there’s usually a story or reason behind it.

  • Sometimes, I think that people use the name that would have been another child if they had decided to have one, but they didn’t.
  • Sometimes, it’s descriptive of the dog’s personality, where they came from, or what we hope them to be.
  • Sometimes, it’s about our favorite team, day, musician, song, etc.

Dogs really allow us to play in a way that we can’t — nay — shouldn’t with our kids’ names.

We are all sorry Inspector, Apple, Moon Unit and Banjo that your parents didn’t leave the creative naming to their pets!  To see who they belong to click here.

What about you?  How did you get your dog or cat’s name?




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