Pet Names So Ugly They're Cute
Ugly names for pets are so crusty, they're actually cute. Pet parents love to use ugly names for dogs, such as Buster, Minnie, and Bruce, which are vintage names that aren't yet fashionable for babies. The same goes for ugly names for cats, such as Merlin and Garfield.
What makes a pet name ugly? The best ugly pet names are big, clunky, and full of consonants, such as Brunhilda, Gomer, and Hortense. They'd suit your funny-looking feline or you could subvert expectations and use one on your perfect purebred poodle.
These funny, old-school names are practically extinct for babies (but to be honest, we'd be thrilled to meet a baby named Gertrude or Seymour), which makes them all the better for your pet. Here, our favorite pet names that are so ugly, they're cute.
Description:Wilbur is a stylish name in the UK whose merits are just starting to be discovered in the US. Wilbur, the loveable pig who Charlotte of the Web called Some Pig, is an inspirational hero. And Wilbur and Orville Wright were early aviationists.
Origin:Scottish and Irish
Meaning:"man of force"
Description:In Celtic lore, Fergus was the ideal of manly courage; Fergus is a charming, slightly quirky Scottish and Irish favorite.
Meaning:"strength of a spear"
Description:Could cute nickname Gertie, remembered as cute five-year-old Drew Barrymore in E.T., revive the long shunned Gertrude?
Description:Ethel is a name we once declared as 'So Far Out They'll Probably Always Be Out,' but with the return of other names on that list and with its new starbaby cred via Lily Allen, its soft sound and admirable meaning, we're not so sure.
Description:Blanche, which originated as a nickname for a pale blonde and then became associated with the notion of purity, was in style a century ago, ranking in the double digits until 1920. She then had to fight the stereotype of faded Southern belle, a la Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Blanche Devereaux in TV's Golden Girls. Now all three of the Golden Girls--Blanche, Rose and Dorothy--could be ready for revival, with Blanche sounding like a stronger, simpler alternative to Bianca.
Meaning:"stone of help"
Description:Ebenezer is the name of a biblical place --the stone set up by Samuel to mark his victory over the Philistines--rather than a person. It was adopted by the British Puritans as a first name and then exported to America, where it had some early popularity, even entering the Top 1000 in the 1880s.
Description:When scientists do research on the effects of an unpopular name, we're afraid that Mildred is one of the examples they cite, often in tandem with Bertha and Gertrude. But with cute nickname Millie on the rise, anything's possible.
Origin:Medieval variation of Esther, Persian
Description:The disgraced heroine of The Scarlet Letter's name, after long neglect, just might have a chance at revival, following in the wake of sister-name Esther. We've characterized her elsewhere as an eccentric aristocrat, much more accepted in the U.K. than she has been here.
Origin:Greek botanical name
Description:Long in our category of so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out category, once seen as a gum-cracking 1940's telephone operator, we think it's time to reassess Myrtle, and look at is as a nature name, a plant with pink or white aromatic berries. Ruled by Venus, myrtle is a plant associated with love, peace, fertility and youth.
Meaning:"little female bear"
Description:A saint's name with a noteworthy literary background, including uses by Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing, by Ben Johnson, Walter Scott, Longfellow, D. H. Lawrence and Neil Gaiman. In real life, her two most well known representatives are writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress. In literature, there is also Ursula Iguaran, a key, long-lived character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's major work, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Origin:Slavic or German
Description:Rarely heard, and when it is, usually attached to a witch. Historically, though, Wanda was a legendary eighth century queen of Poland, and in literature it is the central character of Ouida's eponymous novel Wanda. A musical namesake is the great Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.
Description:In the Bible, Beulah is a place, not a person, applied to the land of Israel by the prophet Isaiah. The land of Beulah has sometimes been considered a reference to heaven. Beulah began to be used as a given name in England at the time of the Reformation and was used by the seventeenth century Puritans.
Meaning:"gift of the ocean"
Description:Doris had long been on our so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out-for-babies list, and seemed to be written there in indelible ink. But there are signs of a sea change, that Doris could profit from the revivals of Dorothy and Dorothea.
Meaning:"marshy land near the sea"
Description:Out playing shuffleboard at his condo and not expected back for several generations -- unless it morphs into a girls' name, a la Sydney.
Origin:Possibly a form or Claudia or Welsh
Description:Hard as it might be to believe, Gladys was the Harper of 1900, emerging almost out of nowhere to take the naming world by storm. It became a favorite among parents — and writers of romantic Edwardian novels, seen as alluring and unusual. One impetus was the 1870 Ouida novel Puck, whose heroine was the idealized beauty, Gladys Gerant.
Meaning:"she who brings victory"
Description:Rarely heard today-- it fell off the list around 1980--Bernice is a biblical name of Greek origin. In the Bible, she is a sister of King Agrippa. Bernice was a Top 100 name in the US for more than three decades--from 1900 to 1936--hitting a high of Number 39 in 1921.
Description:Classic name used by the Romans, the Puritans, and the Bard, but pretty much taboo today due to the objectionable connotations of both its front and back ends.
Origin:Scottish, variation of Menzies
Meaning:"tenants of a manor"
Description:Supermodel Helena Christensen named her son in honor of jazz great Charles Mingus, opening up a whole category of jazzy possibilities: Kenton, Calloway, Ellington, Gillespie, Mulligan, Tatum, and Thelonius.
Description:An Anglo-Saxon name that held on in Northumbria years after the Norman Conquest, and gave rise to the surname Oughtred. It's known today from the television series The Last Kingdom, based on Bernard Cornwell's books: Uhtred is our Dane-bashing hero.
Description:Sometimes used as a short-form of Catholic Pope name Anacletus, Cletus is an ancient name that has not-yet found the popularity of Theodore, Leo, Atticus and Max. It perhaps suffers from its association to the yokel character in The Simpsons , but we think it's time for a reconsideration, given how well it fits into several current trends. Nickname Clete is cute as a button!