Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: What’s In a Name?

Today I want to hear the story about how you named your pets. Or your kids or your car. If you have something that you have given a name, I want to know about it. 

I love the naming process. It’s like finding someone the perfect gift, you want to find one that makes that little *click* in your brain that says, “Yes, this is just right.” With one of our dogs, it was easy. I took one look at him and said “He looks like a ‘Murphy'” and everyone agreed. With our second dog, it took a day or two. I knew it had to be something that I would feel comfortable yelling out while walking around our neighborhood, after eight years of dog ownership I was not so naive as to believe that she would never escape the yard, and it had to be something that would reflect her spritely nature. In the end we went with “Molly,” because Murphy makes me think of Dropkick Murphys, and Dropkick Murphys always make me think of Flogging Molly. It fits her quite well.

Now bring it on, let me hear your best naming story.

By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at if you're interested in checking it out.

58 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: What’s In a Name?”

Loki (white labrador) went unnamed for two weeks because we couldn’t choose one.  We settled on Loki because my little brother plays dagorhir, and wanted to give him a norse name.  Unfortunately, it ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Loki is the norse trickster god, and our Loki likes to be a pain in the ass, especially if he can steal someone’s underwear.  Our house is a graveyard for good bras.  And he knows how to open the drawers in the kitchen and is tall enough to reach things on high counters.  The only good thing was that it made it really easy to name the stray dog we couldn’t give up after we found him “Thor.”  And they’re best buddies.  They also have a black cat that they hang with sometimes in the backyard.  It’s not our cat, but we’ve named it Val anyway, short for Valkyrie.

I am forever baffled by the Droid phone comercials that use HAL imagery. I don’t want my phone to decide that I am a threat to the mission and try and kill me, forcing me to kill it first while it sings the saddest version of “Daisy Bell” ever.

Deep Thought on the other hand is a perfectly good computer name.

I did see that bit! Well, at least, part of that bit. I always stayed awake until shortly after they got up on the ship, woke up when Hal started killing them, fell asleep before I saw how that went, and then woke up to see the weird ending, having gotten absolutely no context for it.

I really did try to stay awake, too!

Naming! My laptop has a name, I give our dog a new name every other day, come up with the most obnoxious pet names for boyfriend freckle and for years I gave myself a different name with each new different online account (and personality). Both my bikes have names (and I also talk to them). On the one hand I think it incredibly silly and it will only bond you more with a lifeless thing. On the other hand it looks so ..dull to go through life without names in your surroundings.

For example: my laptop is Gulliver. Because it’s a Acer Travelmate. Gulliver’s Travels, tada!

I’m not in the habit of naming, really. Except for all the nonsensical, embarrasing cutesy stuff I call BF (I have enough self-control to only do it in private, most likely to everyone’s relief). I’m guessing I was conditioned to do so by having had my parents pretty much only refer to me by name when I was in trouble, or when they were discussing me with someone else. Normally, it was just random nicknames, even my brothers hardly use my name when addressing me. It pretty much feels like some arbitrary tag assigned to me to make paperwork more convenient.


We had a Siberian Husky when I was a kid, and my mom suggested a good Russian-type name for her. My dad, however, preferred the more Alaskan name that I suggested. When my parents surprised me a year later with an Alaskan Malamute puppy of my very own (brief break here to sniffle over her being gone now), I felt like I had to name her immediately, and went with the Russian-type name suggested by my mom.

So. We had an Alaskan dog with a Russian name, and a Siberian dog with an Alaskan name.

(This would be less confusing if I were more explicit, but between this and my user-name and oh dear Flying Spaghetti Monster I’m not telling/explaining my old vehicle’s name – anybody who’s ever met me would be able to ID me on here!)

My little kittyface had a nasty upper respiratory infection when I adopted him that took three courses of antibiotics and several visits to the vet to clear up. And thus he was dubbed Mr. Sniffles.

My laptop is named Stanley. Well, to be more precise Stanley II. (RIP Stanley I. You lived a good life until a glass of water fried your keyboard.) I named him after a tree that was right near my bus stop when I was in middle school that I also named Stanley. No reason, I guess, I just liked the name.

Pippin, the first cat Mr. Dormouse and I got, picked us out at the humane society, and on the way home, we decided not to keep his given name (‘Stache) because it didn’t seem to fit him except being an apt descriptor. We were on a tabletop rpg kick at the time, so we tossed around class types as names (Rogue, Paladin), but settled on Pippin from LOTR. Our second cat, Rosie, was easier named because then we had a Hobbit theme going.

My car is named Ebony because it’s black. I keep wanting to get a white car mascot so I can have Ebony and Ivory. ;)

Nimbus (Am. Eskimo)- my white dog.  The shelter named him, however, our first thought when meeting him was “Cool; he’s named after Harry Potter’s broomstick!” Whereupon the staff reminded us that Nimbus is also a white cloud.  Our interpretation was cooler, so Nimbus stuck.  Coincidentally, we call him Nimby which is also a zoning acronym meaning “not in my back yard” and a few years after getting Nimbus, I became a zoning attorney.

Ursa – (black Pom) Ursa looked very much like a tiny bear when she was a puppy, so I named her Ursa.  We joke that she is an Ursa minor who thinks she’s an Ursa major.  (she’s my avatar)

Ginger – (orange Pom) Got her name b/c she’s orange and sweet/shy, so the name seemed to fit.  Ginger was also the name of my husband’s grandmother’s dog, so it’s a also family dog name.  Very important to keep traditions where we can since these are likely the only grand-kids his family will get. :)

LaVelle – my first car. When I got my first car, I knew I wanted to name it after a character from Buffy, preferably a male character. I was leaning towards Spike, but then I ended up with a station wagon. My friends wisely pointed out that this was more of a Xander car than a Spike car, so I should go that route. But Xander didn’t seem to fit. It would also have flagged me as a huge geek to anyone who heard me talking about or to my car (which probably would have raised flags on it’s own). So I went for Xander’s middle name, a much more obscure reference to the show. Most people thought I was a bit weird, but people who got it really got it. Eventually it actually became a way to find out whether someone was as big of a Buffy fan as me.

I’m in the process of rewatching the entire series. I’m currently halfway through season 4, which I think might be the most awkward before the writing got super dramatic. I still love it, don’t get me wrong. But seasons 6 and 7 were ridiculously dramatic.

Scotch- a golden retriever, named because his coat was the color of a good scotch.

Betty Sue- my car, named for the song “Peggy Sue”, which immediately popped in my head when I sat in her for the first time, but the lyric morphed to Betty Sue in my mind hence the Betty instead of Peggy. When we drive around town, I blast her song and sing the proper (for her) lyrics. We have much fun.

I always liked the name Ian, so I knew I’d name my first son Ian. Ian Fleming, Ian Astbury, Ian Curtis, Ian Holm… just always thought it sounded cool and British, and since his father’s name was John it was kind of like being a ‘jr’ (well technically the third) without having to deal with the III.

My other son’s name came from Beavis and Butthead. There was an episode where they were talking to a guy who had ‘killer’ carved on his forehead and they said ‘huh-huh, ky-ler, that’s a cool name.’ One of my employees had a son named Tyler, so I thought, Tyler/Kyler + Killer = Kile. I thought it was cool to spell it with an i instead of a y, which it usually is, except you can’t find pre-printed names and people constantly misspell it.

Boo – I went through 80 million names that didn’t stick until I started calling her Boo Boo Kitty


Booger – Knowing how many names it took to settle on one for Boo, we decided not to call him anything until something fit.  Unfortunately, I had to talk about him SOMEHOW, and my mom didn’t like me calling him “that bastard” so I started calling him “that booger cat” and it stuck


Marty – Marty is a pug named after Mart Feldman


TANK cat was originally named after the Yoko Kanno song. My mother then decided that it was actually an acronym for Terrible Attacking Ninja Kitten because he is dark grey and thought that our ankles needed to die when he was young. Mostly now everyone accepts the name because TANK cat is very large.

Freya cat was named by my boyfriend. She came to me with the name Bobtail, but a) she has a normal tail and b) she didn’t respond to Bobtail. She doesn’t respond to Freya either, but she will come if you call her true name which is three little tongue click noises.

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