What your Dog’s Name Says About You

12 Mar

Dog naming is nearly as funny, if not funnier, as naming babies. Baby names are frequently tamed by both social convention and naming guidelines and laws . However, no such laws exist for dog naming, and as a result we’ve seen quite a few bizarre dog names that rival the oddness of their human counterparts and tend to be common to certain breeds and types of owners. See below for a list of what we think about certain categories of dog names:

The “Smarter than You” name: Choosing a name for your dog is not the time to show off your (self-declared) intellectual prowess. Having a dog named “Dostoyevsky” or “Nietzsche” is not going to make people think you’re blessed with a superior intellect or that you are particularly well-read and worldly. Nope. They’ll just think you’re a pretentious asshole, which is probably true. Either that, or you’re a hipster, which ultimately works out to be one in the same.

“My name is Mensa and I only listen to bands you’ve never heard of.”

The Ethnocentrist: Do you know the language your dog would speak if it were a human? These people do, and be damned if they won’t use a name or a word from it to prove they’re more worldly than you. This ethnic cherry-picking is especially common in breeds hailing from east Asia. The main issue that arises along with these names are two-fold. Firstly, as a non-native speaker, odds are good that word doesn’t mean what you think it does. Context is something you won’t find in an online translator, and in terms of names… it’s sort of important. Nouns and verbs are frequently interchangeable and often there is no direct translation that will get your point across. You may think you just named your new Shiba Inu “Blood-balls the Magnificent” and really you’ve named them something like “Tuesday Veins-Play Object of Magical”. Secondly, you’re probably not pronouncing it correctly. Pretentiousness drips off these names but they can be done reasonably with an ethnic coordinator to guide you through the process.

Bloodballs? What’s wrong with you?

The Penile Extension: We’ve all met those dogs with names like “Glock”, “Felony”, “Cujo” and the like. You know, names that just scream “I’m insecure and need a dog with a badass name”. These dogs usually belong to men and tend to be from breeds that already have a hard enough time dealing with breed stigma, such as pitbulls, American Bulldogs, and Mastiffs. It does not in fact make you look tough to give your dogs one of these names. It just makes you look like a sad little man with penis envy.

Those are less obvious than your name.

The Social Statement: Religion, sex, politics and crazy Uncle Gary– anything you were ever told to not discuss at the dinner table is on tap to some people as a name source. I’m sure you thought it was adorable to name your Black *teehee* Labrador “Obama” and I’m sure your neighbor appreciates how much of a feminist you are while calling your dog “Vulva” to come home for dinner. Not only are a lot of these names questionable in taste, they can also be amazingly offensive, so just back away.

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The Self-Appointed Nobility: You will find that announcing your dog to anyone with a title, usually of royal distinction ,will get you a look followed shortly thereafter by a non-committal noise. Anyone who’s worked with dogs will tell you a dog with a self-styled title is a dog and owner combo you don’t want to deal with. Prince Foxy, Lady Dingles, Princess Mary Molly, Sir Charles and so on. Aside from the fact that you’re naming a dog, not the heir of the Luxembourgish throne, these people are typically incredibly high maintenance. They make the dog snobs look like slobs and while that’s not all that hard to do, it’s an impressive feat in micromanagement.

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Toddler Tacky: While we understand the idea behind allowing kids to name dogs, one must consider if they are truly willing to accept whatever comes spewing of out their childrens’ mouths. A mutual friend of all three Dog Snobs made this mistake years back and ended up with a giant dog name “Mr. Pookiehead”. Seriously. (Our friend wanted us to note that the first name her kids suggested was “Mr. Boogerhead”, but that was vetoed). Although this may sound cute when spoken by your three year old, imagine the horror of yelling “Stop humping that Mr. Pookiehead!!!” in a public place.

Mr. Huggles, be nice!

Mr. Huggles, be nice!

Animated Atrocities: A source of particular loathing and likely a sub-class of ‘Toddler Tacky’ category, it can also be attributed to a particularly nostalgic (read: immature) adult. Sometimes the dog’s own age can be guessed at by the release date of the movie. Labs named Simba, Dalmatians named Pongo and one particularly memorable Shih-tzu named Sharpay have graced the grooming tables of many a Dog Snob.

Hakuna Matata, asshole.

Hakuna Matata, asshole.

The Long Lost Relative: Recently lose a great-aunt Myrtle? Have I got the best dog name for you! Yeah, we didn’t think it was a good idea either. Naming pets after dead relatives is weird and we’re pretty sure those relatives wouldn’t appreciate it.

Great Uncle Horace loves a nice hat

Great Uncle Horace loves a nice hat

The Gender-Bender: Got a Dog named Sue? So does this guy and will he ever be offended if you dare assume ‘Sue’ is a bitch. Spencer, Shelby, Muffin, Cupcake (and any other baked goods for that matter) along with numerous others have unfortunately confusing monikers as well as owners misguided enough to get upset about it.

dog-about-to-pee-on-girl

The Mismatch: I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all met a large dog named “Tiny” or a small dog named “Tank”. Opposites are so clever. Oh wait. They’re not. So the next time you meet a black dog named “Snowflake” be sure to congratulate the owner on being an intellectual giant.

Is

Is that you Fluffy?

Food Names: Naming your dog after foods (think Quinoa, Asparagus, or Sushi) is a quick way to have people think either that you were on a diet when you named your dog or that you simply ran out of ideas so you looked to your fridge for inspiration. Calling out the name “Yogurt” at the dog park will not in fact have people applauding your creativity. Instead, they are far more likely to snicker behind your back and wonder what exactly you were eating (or smoking) when you decided to name your dog after a nutritious dairy treat.

Borscht?!? Really??!!!?

The Luxury: If you name your dog “Mercedes”, “Porsche”, or “Coco Chanel” (or any other luxury brand name) people will immediately assume you have shitty credit and most likely a hovel of a home. Naming a dog after name brands makes you look tacky and pretty much guarantees you will never actually have nice things. You may as well call the dog ‘Things I can’t afford’ and leave it at that.

“Please meet ‘Manolo Blahnik von Furstenburg’ ”

The Aspiring Namer : The Aspiring Namer has high hopes for their dog. Unfortunately. Angel often ends up closer to demon, Sweetie is a total asshole, Cutie looks like she was beaten with the ugly stick, and Darling would gladly remove a finger. When naming your dog, remember that a name won’t do what training can… make your dog less of an asshole.

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Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to naming dogs? What are the worst dog names you’ve ever heard? Share below!

128 Responses to “What your Dog’s Name Says About You”

  1. PuppyFluffer March 13, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    LoL we like to joke about dogs at work with names like Sweetie, Princess, Pumpkin ect… they usually are crapholes for something. Also agree that the Luxury names make me laugh. Used to groom two Goldens named Mercedes & Lexus. The owner dropped them off in a Taurus.

  2. M.C. March 13, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    Food names drive me a little crazy, mainly because they’re so prevalent and I am a little too sensitive to the stereotype that “my” people see dogs as food.

    Also, I hate playing the role of “ethnic coordinator” to my friends’ dogs, but I will do so because I’d rather tolerate the momentary discomfort of being someone’s native informant than being subject to a dog’s offensively Orientalized name for the rest of their life. That said, I am fluent in the language of my dogs’ names, and KNOW they sound weird, even to native speakers. But they’re linguistically correct, completely appropriate to each dog, and most importantly, do not fit into any of the categories on this list. 😉

  3. Krista March 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Oh no, I might be borderling in “The Luxury”, not that it will stop me.

  4. Leah .S April 7, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    Hmmm, my dog’s name sounds like a third generation Australian/Chinese immigrant’s. Where the first name is entirely westernized but the last is not. Wonder what ‘Jackson Tan’ says about me? That I didn’t think this through, probably …

  5. Corgeek May 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I have the habit of naming my dogs after entertainers. Doing agility I try to be original with my call names, but not TOO original the average person can’t pronounce it.

  6. mathitalladdsup August 1, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    My dog is named Honey because her eyes are amber and it was either honey or beer. It’s good she’s female or she would have been named Bud.

  7. Krissy August 27, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    mathitalladdsup we named our dog after beer! Our neighbor has two black lab mixes named Porter and Stout, and we thought it was cute. Fiance’s favorite beer is “Murphy’s Irish Stout,” so our ACD’s name is Murphy. Our neighbor got Murphy’s litter mate and wanted a related name, but he drinks Busch and his wife was not ok with that choice!

  8. Katie September 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    BELLA. That is all.
    (Apologies to those of you who already had dogs named Bella. I’m sorry that had to happen.)

  9. charitynicole October 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Love the blog, will be linking from mine. On the subject of names, i’m a groomer and have a standard poodle named Bonzai (for the little trees requiring tons of grooming). I also have a son named Talon Nicolai, which translates to “Clawed Victor of the People”.

    My pretension was inherited, as my parents gifted me with the name Charity…

  10. shan shan October 4, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    i love this blog! my border collie is named Waffles, and my border collie/ great pyr mix is named Boondox. i tried to name her Apathy but she wouldn’t respond to it. *giggle*

  11. jescargill October 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    So what about nerd names? One of my dog’s registered name is Quadrupedal Organism Designation DAX. (named after Kurzon Dax on Star Trek).

    I guess that is kind of annoying. >.>

    *sigh*

    • Gail F. October 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      Love it that you named your dog after Kurzon Dax! ‘Nerd names’ (and my first mental response to that is that Kurzon Dax was not a nerd, which shows you that I am something of a nerd) are great, as long as you don’t mind explaining their origins to non-nerds occasionally.

    • Rebecca November 12, 2013 at 4:06 am #

      My cattle dog is named “Helo” after a character in Battlestar Galactica (the new one). My husband is in complete denial and says I named it after a “helicopter.” He is wrong.

    • Ashley January 24, 2014 at 1:01 am #

      I’m with you on the nerd names. I have a Gallifrey, a Valyria, a Daedra, and a Vivec…

    • Katie January 29, 2014 at 3:47 am #

      Mine are: Conan the Barbaridog and Edward Spazhands (Yes, we do change the theme song from the cartoon and sing it to Conan.) Dog loving nerds unite!

    • dorannadurgin April 30, 2014 at 3:23 am #

      *raises hand* Jean-Luc Picardigan. (But I was writing one of the Trek books at the time, so I had to do it, right?)

  12. Diane October 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    My dogs (JRT’s) are called Mick & Wilson. According to this article I think I may be ok. Love this site guys, you are so wonderfully rude!

  13. Lauren Leigh Winnett November 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    i usually pick character names from my favorite authors =p

  14. tinylurcher November 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    My dogs names are Gracie Mansion (after the art gallery in Chelsea, and the official name of Disney’s Haunted Mansion) and Kippers (after the Fawlty Towers episode). I don’t give a crap what that makes me. My husband wanted to name Gracie “Iggy Pop” which I took umbrage with. My dog is not cool enough to earn that moniker. What pisses me off are Labs and Goldens (or any “wholesome” or athletic dog) named Cody, Dakota or Cheyenne, usually sporting a pert bandanna. Your dog did not settle the far west, nor does he run a saloon.

    • A. B. Whitzell November 20, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      Well said, “tinylurcher”. I just don’t know what it is with those people! It’s almost like a social cliche’ that’s sadly true…most of the time. I don’t if it’s just me, but it certainly seems that all the “Cody”s and “Dakota”s of the dog world just happen to belong to the very same people that live in Edward Scissor hand-like houses (decorated with “primitive” items like Longaberger baskets, no doubt), sport the “my child is an honor student etc. etc.” stickers on the back of their minivan, and name their human kids things like “Tyler”, or “Grayson” ; ) Its so stereotypical…but sadly true. And you’re spot on. They ARE typically Goldens or Labs! Well put my friend. Well put.

      • A. B. Whitzell November 20, 2013 at 1:07 am #

        We chose the name, “Judah”, for our Pit Bull Terrier/boxer mix. In my opinion it’s uncommon enough to be unique, but still sophisticated, and refined enough to reflect both my partner and I’s personality. I guess we’re a bit like “dog snobs” ourselves, but I wanted a name particularly of Jewish/Hebrew origin, but also with a nice, linguistic appeal as well. His full name is “Judah Halo”. Some might say it reflects a bit of pretentiousness, or even snobbiness, but we love it, and he certainly wears it well.

  15. Claudia Siniawski November 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I’ve got a Boston terrier named Chowder; people, obviously not in your echelon, often tell me it’s a cute name.

    The rescue was calling him Bugsy, and I couldn’t help but think it was a description of his eyes. His original name was Shadow, a completely unoriginal name, in my opinion.

    Eh, I stand by his name.

    The ones I dislike are athlete’s names and breed related names, e.g. a wheaton named Wheatie.

    • Stephanie Colman (@caninestein) January 23, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

      “Chowder” is an awesome name! Do you go with the regional pronunciation, “Chowdah?”

      After my first dog (“Zoie”), I decided I prefer non-human names. The next dog was “Quiz.”

    • Frank January 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      Chowder is a GREAT name for a Boston! We have one named Jester. We adopted my sister’s Boston who was named after Frankie, after me. We’ll be naming our next one Beans (my sister’s nickname is Bean), which I think is also an appropriate name because of the breed’s city of origin, and well, they have a habit of tooting.

  16. Pam Lowrey November 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    My biggest pet peeve is the name Benji for a Basenji. Not sure why, but it grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard…

  17. Janice K. November 8, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    I named my male puppy “Mr. Right” because I never could I find a better man. Hee hee.

  18. Robin November 12, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    My first dog was already named Kama when I adopted her from the Humane Society. After one too many jokes about her name being “parentheses” or “exclamation point”, I decided to lengthen her name to KamaKazi so “Kama” would make more sense. Apparently that inspired her, and she became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I suppose that means I’m insane. My family and friends still mock me to this day.

  19. Nevaeh November 12, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Our animals have had okay names, I believe.

    Our first dog was called Henna, because for my mom’s birthday she really wanted to get a Henna Hair Dye. My dad, however, had already got her a mange ridden mixed breed puppy from animal control. (The last puppy left of her litter and the runt AND the only completely black one AND she had mange) My mom named her after the hairstyle that almost was.

    Bono was again a gift from my dad to my mom as yet another birthday present. (However, they got Bono a year before Henna) She had never had a dog before and was SO excited when my dad got him for her. He was an AKC registered field lab and my mom was so happy she named him after my dad’s favourite singer, Bono.

    Chester our cat was named from my dad’s hometown, Manchester, England.

    Rascal our other cat was named after The Little Rascals

    Samson our dobie mix came with that name when rescued.

    Cinders MY cat’s name I picked just because it suited her.

    Lucy our Dane was named for a combo between my mom’s favourite TV show (I Love Lucy) and my favourite song (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds)

    Dirk our Dane was named after (cough) Dirk Diggler (cough) but by his owners before we adopted him.

    Lucky our Dane was named after the Daft Punk song ‘Get Lucky’ that came out on the day we adopted him from the shelter (after having him for 4 years, his previous owner never had named him)

    Most of the animals here have unfortunately passed away, We only have Lucy, Lucky, and Cinders.

    • Rachel November 12, 2013 at 6:55 am #

      When I was a preteen girl I named my cat Cujo,he at least sometimes acted like it,and at least its unique being a cat.

  20. Kyle Lawrence November 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Worst name I ever heard was a lady who named her dog Big Sexy. I kid you not. We all HATED it when he’d come into the salon…it was creepy as heck.

    • Charlie January 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      I think I’d avoid the awkwardness, if possible re owner, and call the dog simply ‘Biggs’. It follows the official name without getting into the awkward part.

  21. Elaine Lawrence November 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    You never know what the basis for a dog’s name is unless you ask the owner–we have a Bernese Mt Dog named “Kitty”…but she is named after an airplane, not a cat. My husband is a retired Navy fighter pilot, and “Kitty” is CH Starkenhund Fox Fourteen–named after the F-14 Tomcat, the plane my husband flew. (I wouldn’t let him name her “Tommy”) Her name did cause some confusion at the vet: The receptionist asked how much Kitty weighed, and I replied “about 50 pounds” (she was still a puppy). They lady next to me said “you’re kidding!”–she felt better when I explained that Kitty is a dog….

  22. Ann November 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Sometimes it’s a reverse self-fulfilling prophecy: My husband named our new Newfoundland puppy ‘Neptune’ because his breeders raved about how much he loved the water. He doesn’t, and one of our other newfs will roll her eyes and go pull him in when he does spaz out into the water…..

  23. J. Howell November 26, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    We may be considered pretenious, but that’s OK. Our first dog- adopted while we were out of town by my step-daughter without my husband’s OK – was named Harley as my step-son thought that it might ease the pain of the unannounced adoption since it was a motorcycle. We kept the motorcycle theme, as we added the regal yet sometimes goofey English cocker spaniel to our mix. We used the kennel’s name + English title + motorcycle type + “of Tarmac” as our AKC names. To date we’ve had Harley, Beemer (BMW), Ace (Honda Shadow Ace), Connie (Kawasaki Concours), and Trey (Triumph).

  24. Catriona November 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I have 2 Whippets. One is called Diver, because when he was 2 days old he crawled into his mother’s water bowl…it must have taught him a lesson, because now he actually HATES getting wet! The other is called Tealeaf, which is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘thief’ (anyone who has sighthounds knows that stealing is in the genes). She is certainly true to type in that respect :(.
    Before them I had 2 lurchers, called Nemo (WAAAAAY before the film!) and Wiz (she did and she was).

    • Lolly December 12, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      I love love love the idea of using Cockney rhyming slang, that is brilliant!

  25. JessieD November 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Hmm. . .my dog, a Chiweenie, came from the rescue with the name “Scooter” and I didn’t change it. He knew his name and my mom said it suited his personality, and I agreed. It may not be pretentious, but I make sure his leather biker jacket and rhinestone halter cover that criteria for us anyway.

  26. formerpessimist December 1, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    I am a German and I happen to spend some time on German messaging boards and a college aged girl just introduced her Podenco Mix “Pussy”.
    I had to read the name twice.
    They KNOW what that means back at home.
    They know….

    Funny enough though, my German Shepherd is named Quark – after the elemental particle and the Star Trek Character (the ears, get it? Like a Ferengi!!!), we shortened him to “Q” (also an amazing Star Trek character.
    Quark in German though… well, it is a cheese.
    We are moving back home to Germany next week and my dog is named after a freaking mild product!
    I am allergic to milk….

  27. Keechy December 2, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    I always keep in mind what I once read in a book on dog naming: “Better a plain name for a glamorous bitch than a glamorous name for a plain bitch.”

    • Lolly December 12, 2013 at 5:46 am #

      I am quoting this FOREVER. I knew a girl named “Darleen” who changed her name to “Darja” so she’d sound more exotic, and I would have loved to have been able to quote this quote when she did.

  28. Shari December 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    My dogs name is Rollo, and not after the candy. I wonder which category she’s in.

  29. Lolly December 12, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    I think I swerved around and through various categories. My dog is a retired showgirl, and her show name was also her call name, and I did not like it at all. Loved the dog, the name was “Sheena” and boy is she ever not a Sheena (not Sheena of the Jungle, not Sheena Easton, and I don’t like EEEE! noises – her lovely, wonderful, adorable show home lady called her “Sheenie Weenie” and I just could not. Not ever. So I decided to name her Kit. Because she’s a Shiba Inu, and fox kits, and foxy faces, and etc. – so I’m running around calling her Kit. And I’m at the park one day and this elderly dude wants to know her name. And I say “Kit! Kit!” while he “EHHHH?!”s at me. And then he goes “OH! CRICKET!” And so now I call her mostly Kit, but when I’d like to have two syllables, Cricket it is. And Cricket is on her collar. I like Cricket a lot, because it’s not so much a bug to me, as a nickname for a sporty young New England girl who breaks ALL the rules. Lord be kind to we who have been blessed with the abundant opportunities to practice grace and equanimity and patience that come with owning a Shiba. Mine is an astonishingly good girl but I’m pretty sure these are the stubbornest, most determined, most self-assured and independent-minded dogs in the world. It brings a lot of joy, but oh man, it also brings a lot of chances to be zen.

    • Pam Lowrey December 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Bless you for being a Shiba fan! I once fostered a Shiba who made my Basenji (aka Butthead) look like a walk in the park. 🙂

  30. Nisa December 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Being a Shiba owner means having infinite patience. They can be pretentious little assholes but oh so intelligent and if you can figure out what motivates them they are PERFECT trick dogs. I named my Shiba Renji (No i dont watch Bleach). Ren on its own means water lily and the tacked on Ji is so i can call him JiJi as a nickname but the full name stays in tune with his Japanese heritage and inherently means “to make happy” or “to be happy” and my dog is his name. He is never seen without a huge tounge lolling shiba grin. Bounces around the yard like a deer and finds entertainment in the silliest things. I think the name I picked suits him well.

  31. Liz Blue January 21, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Why people name their dogs what they do is a big interest of mine. Tho the blog is funny, don’t assume that a name always means what you think. I have never named an animal based on just what I liked. I’ve always wanted to name someone “Demon”, so I could say I have my own pet Demon. LOL I would never do that tho. My dogs are always Rotties and they don’t deserve that baggage. My first dog came from the shelter, Faith, and she was 5 so I didn’t change it. After she passed, I got a puppy and named her “Hope”, in honor of Faith. I would’ve never have named a dog either of those names, tho Faith suited her to a T. For the 7 years she lived with me, whenever people asked me her name, they’d reply, “Where’s Hope and Charity?” How original, right? Well, it seemed like the right thing to do when Hope came along, as I was really broken up about Faith. The worst dog name I heard was “Courvoisier” I would put beverage names along with your food names. Oh! And a dog named “Porterhouse”. That’s just strange. And the adopted cats I’ve had also came with their names, most of the time, though I did rename a kitten after her personality came through. The first name I just made up because I had to give the vet something till I figured out who she was.

    • Chrys Marty January 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      I have a shelter dog who was named “Pickles”. I was going to change it but then realized he really was a pickle. Besides he was a rez dog and therefore allowed to have such a name.

      • Elaine April 14, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

        I love that name!

  32. Ed January 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    I made the BIG MISTAKE that all dog people tell you not to do when naming your dog. Shhhhhh…. I named my English Springer Nocioni (No-Cee-O-Nee) or Noci (No-Chi) for short. Yep thats right I named my dog a name that sounds a lot like the word NO. Guess what it has had no effect in his training and or development as a great dog. Yes I use the word no at times, but in the past my “stop action” word was HEY and it continues to be.

  33. Greta January 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    I hate when people name their dogs after firearms – like in the Penile Extension category, or when they use mystical names, like a Hindu name for a Husky, and Greek and Roman names, the Athena trend is disgusting I thought I was done with that in 4th grade.

  34. Playing with the Big Dogs January 27, 2014 at 12:17 am #

    We have Simon and Sadie. No family names and I don’t think I fall under any of those so yay!

  35. Alicia Corona January 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    I have a few “bam brand” pets but not because they are bam brand all my pets are named off of cars and although someone them are high end its because they are the best sounding for my pets
    cat- Bugatti
    Iguana- Maseratti
    Water dragons- Chevy and Blazer

  36. Becky January 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    I must admit my shame…I have a cat named Muffin. Actually it’s Fuzz Muffin. Word of advice: don’t give fosters ‘joke’ names, figuring their ‘real’ families will rename them. It may backfire.

    Also, the vet tech will ALWAYS giggle before calling out your pets name at the vet office. And then so will everyone else waiting to see the vet. *sigh*

  37. Linda k January 28, 2014 at 4:21 am #

    Our two Shih Tzus are names Hanuman and Sita. My husband who is from India said Hanuman was a monkey and the puppy looked like that in the face. Sita is a goddess from the same story. One day we may complete the story with a Ram. The most unusual name I’ve heard was Bootlegger. My father named him after he followed him home from a bar.

  38. Rosemary January 28, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    Dioge, Deeogee, Deohgee, or any other variation of D-O-G. It just screams “I think I’m cleverer than I actually am” to me.

  39. Kate J January 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I have shameful dog naming tendencies! My xolo-x was named after Cindy Lou Who, the little female character in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” but with a twist (Dixie Lou Who).

  40. SheJackal January 29, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    I’m terrible naming dogs, especially fosters…I assume their new owner will rename them anyway….My meanest have been….

    Soup: The pound called her Midge which was equally stupid….later renamed Azula by her adopter
    ‘Murica: came to me as a young fat all american lab mix puppy with gold “eagle” eyes and the social skills of your average drunken frat boy…now in training as a service dog and actually kick ass amazing nerves, work ethic, and stability go figure….I think they’re going to call him Doc.
    Juggernaut: Pit/cattle thing who was quite literally unstoppable…somewhere the leash training had gone so…so wrong in this dog’s past. I’ve been running him wheel with the dogsled with some success and he’s so much nicer on leash now…He’s still waiting for a new home.
    Hyundai: Cattle/Toy Fox Terrier thing in what I’m going to guess (based on the area) was someone’s “mini heeler” attempt until she bit the crap out of the kids Christmas morning…some moron stuck her through the open back window of my car in a parking lot…came back to find my crated malinois all hyped up clearly under the impression he scared someone so badly they shit a puppy…..still stuck with this one too….

  41. Josie January 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Our dog Jambo probably falls under the ethnocentric category, but at least it’s correct. Jambo means “hello” in swahili and it’s perfect for our sweet lab. Although she’s a girl and it’s a bit of a tomboy name. Too bad Jamba means “fart” in swahili or we would have named her that!

  42. Sarah & Lola January 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Dying over here!! Especially at, “If you name your dog “Mercedes”, “Porsche”, or “Coco Chanel” (or any other luxury brand name) people will immediately assume you have shitty credit and most likely a hovel of a home”.
    These are spot-on and I’m making everyone I know read this. Thanks for the laughs.

    • Robyn February 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      My Mercedes (Mercedes Vom Cristenin Brunnen) is a rescue…the fosters called her Sadie, but I had just lost a dog named Sadie…so that was not a fun option… I thought I would call her Mercy…but after getting to know her…she really is a Mercedes…I may drive a Toyota….but my girl is quality and class all the way.

      And Snobs….if you are there…I love this sight! Finally, someone who calls us all out on our shit. I especially loved the dog park people…true story.

  43. Shayne February 1, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    You forgot the “Agility hipster/addict with a Border Collie whose name needs to instantly inspire awe and respect with fellow Border Collie owners” category. Epic, Havoc, Swagger, static, wicked, etc.

    • TheDogSnobs February 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      That I personally know dogs with each of those names is hilarious. Wicked is the only non-BC though.

  44. D. K. Wall & The Thundering Herd February 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Oh, my, we fit this in some ways. We have the Ethnocentrist all the way down to the wrong meaning (Cheoah, a Cherokee word that we were told meant spirit but actually means Otter. Oh – and we live beside the Cherokee reservation where thousands of people actually know what we call the dog – we actually have told the whole story many times, but will leave it at that for comment purposes). We also have a Kiska (Russian – pure) and Qannik (Inuit – Snowflake). Fair, we are labeled.

    But how do you explain Typhoon? A Natural Disaster in the planning stages? Is that the opposite of an aspiring namer?

  45. Julia February 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    If I could just meet a German shepherd that isn’t names Max, Fritz, Kiaser, Madchen or Heidi, I’d be so pleased. Really, people, Germans have many more names and words , really. .A little imagination, huh? Oh and aren’t ALL yellow labs named Cody? And all chocolate Labs named Hershey or Cocoa or Fudge.

    • autiger23 February 7, 2014 at 7:03 am #

      My dumb brother is guilty of this- Kaiser (who I mocked by calling ‘Keyser Soze’ in a whispery voice) and Ilse are his GSD’s names (Ilse’s not too bad), but I have friends with 5 GSDs named: Pixie, Tiger, Marvin, Jethro and Rusty. Fair game though, my friends *are* awesome.

    • autiger23 February 7, 2014 at 7:05 am #

      My friends have five GSDs named: Rusty, Pixie, Jethro, Marvin and Tiger. Just so you can know they exist (and are awesome).

  46. Kristy February 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    My ex has an English Lab named Bentley.
    My husband is Scottish, so of course we had to have Collies, and we had to name them Kieran and McKenzie. Kieran is an angel dog, so I assumed all collies are like that. McKenzie came in the mail, sight unseen, with the promising registered name “Angel Flight”. HAH. This pup eats sheetrock when she gets bored. As a result she has the most impressing assortment of toys and bones ever assembled.

  47. Louise Hanson February 4, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    Our Jack Russell/Dachshund was already named Tinkerbell when we rescued her from our granddaughter, so we kept the name but changed it to Tinker Belle. She also responds to Tink and to Stinker, depending on which personality she is showing at the time. Our Yorkie/Pom was a stray that somehow ended up in our backyard when we weren’t home and nobody claimed her after two weeks of advertising and contacting local animal shelters. Not knowing her name, we decided to call her Spryte Marie…the Spryte because she is so quick and dances and twirls a lot. Our Chow/Boarder Collie, that we lost to illness last summer, was named Omei Gudmis. She was a rescue that we got from an adoption event at a Petsmart when she was 8 weeks old; she was just a small round ball of red fur. On the was home she started playing with the necklace I was wearing and my husband, who was driving, saw this and said “Oh my goodness!” and that’s how she got her name, but we wanted an unusual spelling.

    We also have four cats, all of whom have names which we feel describes them to some degree. Our two Turkish Angoras are Sasie Mohawk, usually called Sasie Mo, who got her name because as a kitten her hair stood up between her ears like a mohawk and she was just a sassy kitten playing with her sister, Preshus Wun. Preshus and Sasie Mo were two of a litter of five kittens rescued at about 2 weeks old and raised by one of our vet’s technicians. Preshus got her name becaise she looked so precious and of the litter, she was labeled as #1. Our third cat, a calico shorthair who adopted us and frequently called Annie or Anna Banana, was named Anne Frances by my husband because of a black spot on her cheek that resembles the mole that the actress Anne Francis had on her face. Sasie Mo, Preshus, and Annie are all 14 years old. Our youngest, a Silver Tabby rescued from the next door neighbors back yard, is 9 years old and named Marble Luck. He got his name as he has a silver horseshoe on each side and his coloring reminds me of a lucky marble shooter I had as a child.

    As you can tell, all of our animals names have unusual spellings We have had many other dogs and cats in our long lifetime and the majority of them had unusual names with unusual spellings. I’m not sure what category that puts us in, but most people who meet our “kids” are taken with them and their names.

  48. Angela Mancuso February 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    I have a gender bender, but it was her rescue that named her Ace, not me. I still like it though, since I grew up in Las Vegas. Plus, she was my first dog, so it was fitting in that way too. My second dog also already had a name, so he was spared being named Deuce.

  49. Viki February 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Barney, Hoagie and Rufus here. I get dogs but don’t name them right away. I will look at them outside from my kitchen window and “feel” their personality. Usually I get “goofy” dogs, so I give them goofy names. They aren’t really goofy/stupid, but funny/sense of humor and I love that. A few times they’ve surprised me by being “serious” when they really needed to be. The newest addition was pre-named “Bambi” — she’s a short-haired chi/peke mix. A great cuddler.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dog Related Craigslist Ads that Make us go “Huh?!” | The Dog Snobs - March 16, 2013

    […] claims it has no problems…mmmhmmmm) AND it falls into one of our naming pet peeve categories, “The Mismatch”. Just so much wrong with this ad. Ignoring the numerous spelling mistakes…. they’re […]

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