Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dog Names for Babies?

Brent Schoepf via Dribbble
I've been thinking non-stop about dog names since we just got a puppy a week ago. When coming up with a name for the little guy, I was adament 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?

Beau- Beau was the quintessential dog name for a while, but ever since the early 2000s, he's been climbing up the charts for baby boys. Alternate spelling Bo is also on the rise (and is the name of the Obama's dog). Beau definitely works for both dogs and babies.

Boomer- I was hesitant to include Boomer on this list, because--much like Fido and Rover--I thought he had absolutely no potential as a baby name. But Michael Phelps gave the name to his son a couple weeks ago, which changes things. My brother has been telling me forever to expect a nephew named Boomer in a dozen years or so (Beau also makes his list). I've always thought it was to annoy me with its non-nameness, but who knows, maybe he sees the future of baby names. Do you think Boomer could be a hit in 2028?

Coco- Coco is a name I have my eye on. I've seen a couple of bloggers and other tastemakers use the name recently, and I think it wears really well. They are often ahead of the curve by many years though, so I suspect we'll see a big Coco rise in around 3-5 years.

Duke- Duke still feels decidedly doggish to me, but I'm curious to hear what you all think. He came back into the top 1000 in 2013, and is on the rise, along with many other royal names. Giuliana and Bill Rancic have a son named Duke, which may be inspriring many parents to go for it with their baby as opposed to their dog.

Huck- Huck is a sweet nickname-y name whose most obvious full form is Huckleberry. It makes sense that parents would want to skip over that, and just give the name to their pet instead. However, I'm more of a fan when it's used on a baby. There are plenty of full name options besides Huckleberry, as illustrated here.

Murphy- Fun loving, Irish surname Murphy has always been common among pets, but dropped out of the top 1000 for baby boys in 1956. These days I can see Murphy working for a baby boy or girl, especially in this era of last-names-first.

Rex- Rex may seem like the classic dog name, but he's actually not too popular among pooches or people. I am a big champion of using Rex on babies--he's the perfect alternative to Max! Plus, he's actually fallen lately in popularity. Rex is currently at #682, down from a peak of #617 in 2011.

Roscoe- Hipster favorite Roscoe is currently a hit for dogs, and I suspect the number of children and pets with the name will only go up. He really is a fun and sweet name--I wouldn't be surprised to see him break the top 1000 in the next few years.

Roxy- Roxy (or Roxie, if you're a Broadway fan) is not used as often on babies as she is on pets, most likely because her most obvious full name is the outdated Roxanne. However, she'd work just as well as a nickname for any of the Rose names, or even names like Aurora and Veronica.

Scout- All the buzz about To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman led to increased interest in the name Scout, but I can't tell if it's going to stick or not. For a long time, Scout sounded too wordy to bestow on a child (i.e.: perfect for the dog), but I think she's a totally viable choice nowadays.

Thor- People love to give their dogs slightly comical names, which is why you meet many a small dog named Thor. This is one of the few that I would not give to child--I think it's best for the family pet. Try the variation Tor instead.

As you may have noticed, I'm taking a lighter summer schedule. Regular posting should resume in October, when I go back to school.

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