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Category: dog names

posted by: Nick View all posts by this author
Christmas baby names

By Nick Turner

It’s the holiday season, which means eggnog, carols, twinkling lights and — for millions of American parents — remembering to move that damn elf around the house every night.

Yes, I’m talking about Elf on the Shelf, the Christmas tradition that feels like it’s been going on forever but is less than ten years old. If you’re unacquainted, the idea is to plant an elf doll in your home that serves as a sentry for Santa. It watches your children and reports on their evil deeds. (Somehow this delights kids rather than terrifying them.)

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pet names

There’s less and less difference between pet names and baby names.

The most popular puppy names of 2013, according to the website Vetstreet, include a lot of names trendy for babies: Bella, Daisy, and Sadie for females; Max, Cooper, and Jack for males.  Kitten names are also trending increasingly toward the human: Chloe and Nala, Oliver and Charlie.

All kinds of pets from hamsters to goldfish are more likely to be called by baby names these days than by a moniker like Fluffy or Fido.

And then there are the names formerly reserved for pets that are starting to be heard more and more on human babies: Bear and Coco, Bandit and Buster and Bo.

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pet names

A question over in the forums about naming vehicles inspired this week’s Question of the Week: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever named?

A car or a cabin?

A dog or a cat….or maybe a pet rat, snake, or lizard? Or maybe you named the squirrels who regularly raid your bird feeder, or the little orange lizards you used to catch and race when you were a kid.

A doll or a stuffed animal? A fictional character, or a body part?

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dog ames

Dog names have become indistinguishable from baby names, with virtually all the most popular and stylish dog names coming from the human lexicon.

Cities like New York and Seattle as well as smaller towns such as Wellesley, Massachusetts and several dog-oriented websites publish yearly tallies of most popular dog names. Top choices these days include Bella and Max, Molly and Jack, Sadie and Cooper.

One detailed rundown of the most popular dog names in New York City includes a really cool map of the top dog names in different neighborhoods. Residents of the tony Upper East Side, for instance, prefer Lucy, while denizens of the bohemian East Village like Lulu and dog-owners in a tough section of Queens favor Rocky.

Noted dog expert Stanley Coren has even written for Psychology Today about the art and science of naming dogs.  A dog’s name is vitally important, Coren says, since it’s one of the few words he understands.

What about the human psychology of choosing dog names?  You don’t have to be Freud to surmise that the current taste for human names is evidence that our dogs have become our babies, deserving of the same consideration and treatment as little boys and girls.

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What Are Your Pets’ Names?

dog-baby

George Washington had a dog named Sweetlips.  Paula Abdul‘s dog is named Puggy Sue.  And Ozzy Osbourne‘s dog is named…..Ozzy.

In my new book Rabid: Are You Crazy About Your Dog or Just Crazy?, a loving look at our sometimes over-the-top dog culture, I include a long list of such strange and surprising celebrity dog names.

And now we want to know about your dogs’ names — and cat, hamster, fish, iguana, and parakeet names.  We want to hear about the names you’ve chosen for your pets over the years, from childhood animals to pets you own now.

Do you give your pets people names?  Names, maybe, that you love but are not brave enough to use on actual children?  Or maybe baby names that, for whatever reason, you’re afraid you’ll never get to use?

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