What’s in a (Dog) Name?

What's in a Name 1 thek9harperlee

Last week, I received a fun little email from my friends at Bark Box about the current trend in naming dogs. According to this infographic from Fatherly.com, humans are giving their four-legged “children” names that are also quite popular for two-legged children.

Fatherly Infographic Dog and Baby Name Trends

As you know, my humans named me after Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill and Mockingbird. My humans tend to make dog name selections long before the dog actually comes into their lives. That was the case with me, and that will be the case with my little sister . . . when she finally comes to live with us . . . one day . . . after my humans find her. Her name will be Tallulah, after the American stage and screen actress Tallulah Bankhead. So clearly, with Harper Lee and Tallulah my humans are on trend with the suitable-for-human-children dog names. Which made me wonder about all the dogs who came before me in my human’s lives.

 My Sister, Lexi

This is my late canine sister Lexi. (You can click here to read more about Lexi’s life.) My humans adopted Lexi from the animal shelter when they lived in Galveston, Texas. Lexi’s shelter surrender papers listed her name as Alexis, but after she was adopted she completely refused to respond to Alexis. Apparently she preferred to be called Lexi in her new life . . . and Lexi she was. So that’s Lexi, Harper Lee, and (one day) Tallulah. Yep, all of those would work for two-legged children. Let’s go back a little further.
What's in a Name 3 thek9harperlee
This is Talbot, the Golden Retriever who preceded me. Here she’s pictured on a very unusual snowy Christmas day on what was usually a quite tropical Galveston Island off the coast of Texas. She’s probably focused on the snowman’s carrot nose. Talbot loved carrots. My humans selected Talbot’s name about a year before they actually selected Talbot and–you might have guessed this already–she was named after Talbots, the ladies’ clothing store. Talbot is listed on several baby name websites, but it’s not considered to be a very popular name, perhaps because of its meaning: messenger of destruction. My human mommy would like to point out that Talbot was in no way a messenger of destruction.
What's in a Name 2 thek9harperlee
And finally, this is Sheffield. Before my human mommy found my human daddy, she found Sheffield at the animal shelter in Houston. My mommy wanted to get a Boxer puppy and she wanted to name him Boris after the tennis player Boris Becker. But then she started thinking about all the shelter dogs who needed loving homes, and that’s when she met Sheffield. Mommy thinks she found Sheffield’s name in an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, but that was quite some time ago and her memory is a bit foggy. It’s probably safe to say that there are not too many parents currently naming their human children Sheffield.
 What's in a Name 5 thek9harperlee
So now I want to hear about your name. (If you’re a dog, you can answer these questions on your own, or you can have your human help you. And to all of my non-canine animal friends, please feel free to play along.) What’s your name, and is it on the list of Top 10 dog names? How did you get your name? I’m curious to hear all of your naming stories!
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30 Comments on “What’s in a (Dog) Name?”

  1. Emmadog says:

    Mom likes common or trendy human names for us furry kids. Mom was into the letter K when she got Katie and a year later her cousin named her daughter Katie. Mom says the human was named after the dog. Mom has a running list of names she likes and when a puppy comes home she figures out which one best fits. I think Emma is ideal for me since I am from the UK and rather stuffy at times. Bailie, she is a trendy third child so it fits her well too.

    • My humans also have a running list of names. They recently came to the conclusion that they probably have more names than years left to name future dogs, which made them a little sad. Love all three of your names, and I cannot imagine you being anyone other than Emma.

  2. Your humans had some real nice companions. Cool post.

  3. Even though they were mostly chosen in advance, all of your names suit you all very well. I think your mom is psychic. I got my name because I am so sweet. Plus I soon found out that Mom loves cupcakes almost as much as she loves me!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake
    PS – Mom is wearing a shirt from Talbot’s right now!!

    • Cupcake is the perfect name for you, and aren’t you thankful that your mom didn’t decide that she loves anchovies almost as much as she loves you? 😉
      P.S. My mommy was wearing a dress from Talbots when she read your comment. Well, technically it was from Talbots Outlet. She likes to save on clothing so she can spend more on dog treats. I’m a lucky girl. 😉

  4. We named our girls after honeymooning in Italy. Tiamo, Dolce and Amore. And of course, our fat cat, Gordita!

  5. AliJustine24 says:

    My mom named me Jagger. I was born in the Summer of 2012 right as the song “Moves Like Jagger” was popular on the radio. She went to pick me up and wasn’t sure what she was going to name me. As I was laying in the passenger seat, the song came on the radio and she said my head perked up and bobbed along. So, the name stuck. I’m a golden retriever, too!

  6. Kuruk says:

    The people who rescued me from the puppy mill named me Kuruk, which means Bear, to give me courage to get over my anxiety! Wooooowooooo and ❤ xoxoxoxoxox to youwooowooo Miss Lee!

  7. Ginger Beagle says:

    My person named me “Pepper” after much debate. But I’m glad they did because it matches the pattern of my coat and my spunky personality. I don’t really think it falls into the trend of human names, though.

  8. When my Mom and Dad adopted me from Golden Retriever Rescue, my rescue name,given to me in the shelter, was George. I was eleven months old. I had not been to school at all.
    Here was the problem.
    My Dad’s name is George!

    My Mom looked at us both of us and pondered ” I don’t know who will come when I call…..GEORGE!
    (the answer -neither one)
    So she joked, “maybe we should call him George Junior.”

    ………And that is how I got my name.

    Love,
    Junior
    Therapy Dog and Writer

    Ps(now Dad tells everyone, “Can you believe it, she named the the dog after me?)

    Great Post Miss Harper Lee. XXoo

  9. I am Dakota.
    Nope, not on the top list and Mom is THRILLED about that!
    When Mom got me, my name was “Tanner”, Mom hated that name and said it didn’t suit me. She always liked the name “Dakota” but NOT because of Dakota Fanning, it was because of Don Johnson’s daughter who was named Dakota BEFORE Dakota Fanning came along. Mom looked up the meaning of “Dakota” it means “trusted friend” in American Indian (Mom forgot what tribe), that was it, Mom was hooked and I became “Dakota”

    • I absolutely cannot imagine you being Tanner, Dakota. Dakota is the perfect name for you and I love that it means “trusted friend” because you certainly are that to your family and everyone who knows you.

  10. We have always given our pets “human” names. Bentley was born in 2007 and I see his name has risen in popularity. These facts will go straight to his head. BOL! ☺

  11. Sonny says:

    How about Uga? You may recall it is the name of the Georgia Bulldogs’ mascot, but did you know that the current Uga and all the Ugas before belong to one Georgia grad named Sonny Seiler?

  12. dorysbackyard says:

    We love the way your humans knew what they were going to name the pups in their lives! Me, I am named after Dory, the Blue Tang fish in finding Nemo!
    Smileys!
    Dory

  13. Well I am named Marty because Marty the Manx “just felt right” Mom says. Mazie was originally Daisy, which is on the list, but when Mom adopted her from the shelter Mom wanted to change her name. Anne and Abbe chose their names out of a handful of names Mom tried on them and those were the ones they answered to. Ralphie, well his name was my Mom’s grandpa’s. Everyone in Mom’s family uses people names: Bruce, Jack, Maggie and Lola are just a few 🙂
    Marty

  14. Mom has always given her furbabies hooman or as she calls them “real” names because we are her children after all.

    Our sister cats are Simone (she is 13) and Talullah (she is 11) – mom can’t remember how she came up with their names she just knows that she liked them.

    I (Wallace) started off as William but mom and dada eventually settled on Wallace (as in William Wallace) by the time they arrived to pick me up.

    I (Samuel) am actually registered as Sammy-Lie, mom wanted to call me Benjamin and I was going to be Benjamin right up until 5 seconds after mom and dada met me and they agreed that I am really a Sammy, so they decided to call me Samuel and Sammy for short.

    What a pawsome post 🙂 thanks Miss HL
    Wally & Sammy

  15. Ah, Mistah Sheffield! (You have to say that very nasally) They are all such sweeties. I sort of want a little girl dog and name her Annabelle Lee and I’m sad, too that I have more names for dogs than I have years left to give to other dogs.

  16. Thunder, Storm and Freighter….lol…not on the list. 🙂


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