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Pet Names: Bye-bye Bella!

Pet Names: Bye-bye Bella!

by Sophie Kihm

Naming a dog and naming a baby, while similar in some respects, are two totally different tasks. We have different requirements for our pet names and our baby names. Children need names that can serve them in multiple contexts over the many stages of life. Dogs don’t.

This is why we can call our dog Oreo, but our daughter has to be Oriana.

People just have more fun with dog names. They tend to be snappier and nickname-ier than the names we choose for our children. People are also more willing to give dogs names that are on the edge of style. Chester might seem too dusty for a baby boy, but on a Boston Terrier? Adorable.

So there’s more freedom when it comes to the cutesiness and casualness of a dog’s name, but there are also restrictions. According to experts, dog names should ideally be two syllables—long enough that they can hear the inflection in your voice, but short enough that they easily learn to respond to it. Now, you don’t have to follow that advice (there are plenty of well-adjusted pugs and poodles out there named Pearl and Penelope), but for the sake of this list, I’ve only suggested double-syllable names.

Below are less popular alternatives to the 100 most common female dog names. Because even though there’s less pressure when naming a dog, we know you name-nerds still aren’t going to settle for something in the Top 100.

Popular Dog Name

Uncommon Dog Name

Bella

Della

Lucy

Clara

Daisy

Poppy

Lola

Lula

Luna

Lumi

Molly

Mamie

Sadie

Zadie

Sophie

Sylvie

Bailey

Lainey

Maggie

Greta

Chloe

Effie

Lily

Violet

Stella

Zella

Zoey

Sosie

Penny

Polly

Roxy

Romy

Coco

Kiki

Gracie

Dolly

Ruby

Gemma

Mia

Pia

Zoe

Zara

Ellie

Nellie

Nala

Kahlo

Rosie

Ruthie

Ginger

Clover

Abby

Agnes

Lilly

Libby

Piper

Pippa

Sasha

Zosia

Riley

Skyler

Pepper

Saffron

Lulu

Zuzu

Emma

Immy

Lady

Lottie

Layla

Freya

Lexi

Kenzie

Olive

Ivy

Annie

Anya

Izzy

Esmé

Maya

Gaia

Maddie

Marnie

Dixie

Dottie

Princess

Queenie

Cali

Cami

Millie

Tilly

Belle

Estelle

Ella

Elsie

Harley

Hadley

Honey

Blossom

Kona

Cora

Charlie

Darcy

Willow

Willa

Marley

Marlowe

Roxie

Nixie

Cookie

Dulcie

Scout

Sloane

Holly

Lolly

Minnie

Minna

Winnie

Edie

Angel

Dream

Dakota

Bristol

Callie

Hallie

Missy

Lissy

Phoebe

Daphne

Hazel

Haven

Athena

Sage

Shelby

Ashby

Peanut

Jelly

Sugar

Plum

Jasmine

Lilac

Ava

Evie

Penelope

Portia

Sandy

Blondie

Trixie

Scarlett

Gigi

Vivi

Fiona

Flora

Sydney

Aubrey

Josie

Posy

Cleo

Clea

Mocha

Sable

Leia

Lena

Delilah

Dinah

Baby

Darling

Harper

Harbor

Shadow

Evening

Macy

Kelsey

Pearl

Opal

Allie

Birdie

Mila

Mika

Heidi

Ida

Bonnie

Lindy

Nina

Mina

Grace

Audrey

Katie

Kitty

Lacey

Chelsea

Gypsy

Genie

Cocoa

Winter

Nova

Lyra

Charlotte

Alice

Xena

Xanthe

And tomorrow–suggestion on how not to name your boy dog Duke.

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.