Pet names

Names that I have lovingly bestowed upon pet rats that apparently some people bestow upon their children.
  1. Anne
    • Origin:

      French variation of English Ann and Hebrew Hannah
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      The name of the sainted mother of the Virgin Mary was among the top girls’ names for centuries, in both the original English Ann spelling and the French Anne. Both left the Top 100 around 1970 but Anne is still among the most classic names for girls, although others are more likely to choose the original Hannah, the Anna variation, or even Annabel or Annabella.
  2. Bandit
    • Origin:

      Word or occupational name
    • Description:

      We hesitate to call Bandit an occupational name, any more than Rogue or Vandal are occupational names, yet its use by one of the bandmembers of My Chemical Romance (for his daughter: we're not even going to go there) undoubtedly owes a debt to occupational cousins from Pilot to Parker. Recommended for use by rock stars with full-time nannies only.
  3. Doris
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • 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.
  4. Finnigan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "fair"
    • Description:

      Finnigan is another way to spell Finnegan, one of the energetic Irish surname-names in vogue now. One note: While Finnigan, Finnian, Finley and so on are appealing names on their own, you don't need to use a longer form to get to Finn, which is a perfectly proper name all on its own.
  5. Gwen
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Gwendolen/Gwendolyn
    • Meaning:

      "white circle"
    • Description:

      While Gwen may have originated as a short form of Gwendolen and Gwendolyn, these days it frequently stands on its own. Rocker Gwen Stefani has given it a shot of cool, and parents are choosing it as a standalone more and more often—Gwen hopped back onto the US Top 1000 in 2013 after an absence of over 30 years. Gwen could also be short for Guinevere.
  6. Horus
    • Origin:

      Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "sun god"
    • Description:

      Sounds like Horace, looks like the head of a hawk on the body of a human.
  7. Hugo
    • Origin:

      Latinized form of Hugh
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • Description:

      Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
  8. Jill
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Gillian or Juliana
    • Meaning:

      "youthful"
    • Description:

      Probably due to its nursery rhyme association, Jill has the perpetual air of a rosy-cheeked tot -- even though it is one of the oldest names on the roster, a medieval variation on the Roman Julia. The pairing of Jack and Jill to connote a generic boy and girl goes back at least to the fifteenth century. But can knowing Jill's history keep it from sounding like a cute mid-twentieth century invention? There may be some possibility of Jill making it back up the hill.
  9. Morys
    • Perseus
      • Origin:

        Greek mythology name
      • Meaning:

        "to destroy"
      • Description:

        Perseus is a godly Greek hero (he was a son of Zeus) whose ancient name just might have modern possibilities along with other so-old-they're-new-again names such as Atticus and Orion.
    • Shirley
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "bright meadow"
      • Description:

        Shirley Temple almost single-handedly lifted the gloom of the Great Depression, and in tribute (and perhaps wishing for a similarly curly-headed, dimpled darling of their own), thousands of parents of that generation gave their little girls her name. In 1935, Shirley was the second most popular girls' name in the country with more than 42,000 babies named Shirley.
    • TIBERIUS