Category: dog names for babies

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The People-Pet Name Switcheroo

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Puppy names

By Sophie Kihm

I’ve been thinking non-stop about dog names since we just recently got a puppy. When coming up with a name for the little guy, I was adamant about giving him a name that didn’t sound too “dog-like,” (aka, not Fido or Rover). I wanted him to have a real name. A person name. We ended up calling him Fisher, and it’s really the perfect name for him. It’s not too dog-like, and it’s not too common among animals or people (it ranked #799 last year). However, this whole situation got me wondering: if we like people names for pets, what about pet names for people? Are they off-limits or fair game?

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Baby Name Spike: People vs pet names

dog

When Mike Myers named his son Spike recently, there were several comments on our Nameberry facebook page along the lines of: “Did his wife have a puppy?” and “Bit doggy for me.”  Not very kind, perhaps, but it does raise the subject of the blurring of the line between human and canine names, when babies are being named Buster and Buddy, and pups are commonly called Chloe and Mia.

So little Spike won’t be alone in his name zone.  Other celebs have provided him with a number of comparably-named prospective (if older) playmates.  There’s Michelle Hicks and Jonny Lee Miller’s Buster, Rosanne Barr’s Buck, Jamie Oliver’s Buddy Bear and Alicia Silverstone’s Bear, Justine Bateman’s Duke, Damon Dash’s Lucky, Gerard Way’s Bandit and Robert Rodriguez’s Rocket, as well as the poodle-ready Coco (Courteney Cox & David Arquette), Gigi (Cynthia Rowley), Fifi (Bob Geldof) and Zuzu (Tania Peterson).

But are these still the kinds of names that are actually given to dogs today, when pups are considered more family members than pets?  The answer is a resounding no!  Traditional canine monikers like Fido and Rover, Spot, and Champ have virtually disappeared, having been replaced by popular people names.  In fact, looking at the most recent list of top names for dogs might make you do a doubte-take as it’s so similar to the top babies’ names lists.

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