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January 27, 2015

The Nickname Game

A pet gets one name. Whether grabbing your pet’s attention or talking about your pet to someone else, one name is a very useful thing. But no one name could hope to encompass the personality of a pet. Enter the nickname! “Penny” was the first name I gave her but
A pet gets one name. Whether grabbing your pet’s attention or talking about your pet to someone else, one name is a very useful thing. But no one name could hope to encompass the personality of a pet. Enter the nickname!Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

“Penny” was the first name I gave her but it certainly wasn’t the last

I love nicknames. Unlike names given or bestowed, nicknames are discovered and stumbled upon.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

With a name like Penny, the first few nicknames were quite easy: Pen, Lucky Penny, Pretty Penny, Miss Moneypenny 

Along the way Penny picked up plenty of other nicknames.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

I used to read a book called Pinkalicious to my little cousin, so we now often call Penny, Pennylicious

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

And when my sister informed me there is a show called Penny Dreadful? Yeah, that nickname stuck immediately

It’s not just us who’ve nicknamed Penny either. Her antics at the beach earned her another nickname.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

“There goes the Pied Piper again,” a man laughed. Penny’s reputation as a rabble rouser is well known

What I love about nicknames is how predictably unpredictable they are. Who could have guessed we’d have a dentist in the house?

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

“Dr. Penny will see you now.”

My one regret with nicknames is that I will never know what nicknames pets give each other.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory

Well, based on some of the incredulous looks Penny gets as she tears across the beach, maybe it’s best I don’t know those names

Nicknames are a story unto themselves, with new chapters constantly written. So what’s your pet’s nickname and what’s the story? I’ve no doubt you guys have some great ones.

Comments for The Nickname Game

  1. I totally love Dr. Penny… it has something and I bet Dr. Penny could be the new Dr. House :o) I’m The Mole and sometimes Easy-cheesy, my staff has no sense for cute nicknames…

  2. meANXIETYme says:

    We’ve always had nicknames…and plenty of them! Obviously we use Butthead as a nickname for the younger of our two dogs…and yes, because she is a butthead. Le Moo is also a nickname because she looks like a baby cow.
    The list is just endless and lots of fun. Also, it’s easier to give nicknames to dogs (or cats) because it doesn’t upset them like it might to a person. Dogs are just happy you’re calling them! LOL

  3. OMG I have sooo many for each pet! Some don’t have a story such as “Dakota Boda”, but…..I DO also call him “Bob Barker” for obvious reasons!!!!! I also call him “Mr.Boda” (no reason), The Neurotic Sheltie (figure THAT out!) lol. Cody is Jelly Belly (for obvious reasons!) “Code-alicious” (because he is delicious), “Co-dependent”….see? I have TONS!

  4. dashlilly says:

    Timely post!! This morning I called in Lilly from the backyard and said “let’s go Lill-a” and realized that I almost never call her Lilly! She is “lillabird,” “”Lilla and “lil bit” (which she really isn’t anymore!)/ And Dash is always Dashie, Dashie do, Mr. Dash, and sadly, sometimes, Dashie-do-little (because he is so good at that). Definitely nicknames in our haouse!! My sister’s dog is named Gallahad but after a fateful weekend stay that included accidents and general bad behavior, was renamed by our nephew and nieces: gal-a-BAD.

  5. KarenS says:

    My older guy is “Grumpy”/”Grumpy Dog”. In reality he is a happy spirit but first thing in the morning he comes in the kitchen head down like he’s waiting for his morning coffee to snap him out of a bad mood.

    My other RR is “Little One”. We would call to him as a pup with a nickname that stuck. And he is taller than his big bro. But he doesn’t seem to mind his nickname. Neither does our grumpy guy.

    It is fun to watch nicknames evolve. There were of course many over the years. I’m sure Eko had a few. And Penny will have more to come.

  6. Victoria says:

    Muffin’s nickname is Muffin-bear and Muffin Merry Berry -the first usually used when my queen-sized pup knocks stuff off of the counter or dresser and the second used to get her happy behind turning circles while she gets petted. Rigby’s nicknames are Rig-Bigger because although his is not near the size of Muffin he thinks he is pretty big stuff and B which is just a shortened name for Ribgy and we use that when we are emphasizing something he should stop doing -just the opposite of when you got in trouble w/your parents and they used your first, middle and last name when talking to you.

  7. Elyse says:

    My roommate and I simultaneously dubbed Goliath “The Goose” — she because he was, and me because he kept goosing cute men in the park.

  8. coastingnz says:

    Love it – and you’re so right nicknames galore depending on the situation.

  9. Neeka and Khoi are Chew and Fiend. Both for pretty obvious reasons. Penny’s ripped corner is nothing compared to what Neeka did to both of our leather couches. And Khoi is just that; a fiend. A cute one though. My daughter calls Zuma, her border collie, Monkey or Squiggly Wiggles. She never holds still.

  10. nerdgrl (Kim S.) says:

    Steffi had quite a few: since we live in the Twin Cities…Steffi-opolis. We often called her Little One. When she went through the destructive phase for an entire year when she was nine, it was Dr. Destructo. And, of course, Pampered Princess Puppy.

  11. Kismet says:

    You shouldn’t worry about the names the dogs give each other but rather what do they call YOU.

  12. Jeff says:

    Stryder has a few. Pup, because he will always be my little pup since the first day I got him. Bud, has developed because he is my closest friend and confidant. Last is Knucklehead, because there are those times he he just wants to do what he wants and ignore all thought.

  13. Very very true. I have a dog I named “Scraps” before I even picked him up from the rescue and everyone agrees that his name suits him, but from time to time, I still call him “Scrizzle”.

  14. KDKH says:

    I have a dog we got off Craigj’s list named Peanut. He hates the name-us too. So he only goes by his nicknames: Nutty, Nut-boy, and Nut-butt are our favorites!

  15. raisingdaisy says:

    There’s not enough room for all the nicknames Daisy has and the stories behind them. But some speak for themselves: Crazy Daisy, Little Pretty, NutterButter, Sweet Baby, Sweet Little Thing, and most often, Puppy. I’ll just stop there. 🙂

  16. Lana says:

    Our RR girl got her “Koda-Shmoda” for all of the antics similar to Penny’s. We also call her “Girl Named Titanic” for her clumsiness and goofiness in addition to a 100 pound size. 🙂 Our RR boy has been called “Babagush” forever. I am not sure how we even came up with this nick name 7 years ago, but there is something very lovable and comforting about his desire to be next to us all the time that sounds like “babagush”.

  17. Emmadog says:

    We have a ton of them including our names being shortened. Most of them are funny or cute, but there are a few we don’t appreciate like little stinker, or doggy terrorist.

  18. We had a black lab mix named Abraham. The obvious nickname was Abe, but that often became Abey Baby. One of my daughters in a silly moment called him Flavorham. It stuck. In his last years, I started calling him Baby Boy. Don’t know why. I just did. He died a few months ago, and I still look for him.

  19. Wendy says:

    Curdie (Shetland Sheepdog named after the hero in a 19th Century children’s book) gets Curdles, Curdie Fluff, Fluff Pup, Fluff Bomb, and Mr Pokey Nose. I don’t know what the dogs at the beach called him but in Curdie’s puppy fervour to play with every dog or child he saw, he spent a lot of time standing on his back legs straining against his leash. With his white front legs he became known as “the dog who waves”.

  20. Misaki says:

    I’m usually called the monster, but i have no idea why…

  21. I just posted about all of my nicknames. I did forget to list Noodle J. Parker. Where did that even come from? Our last name is not Parker and my middle name is Pants – that doesn’t start with a “J”!!! You humans are very strange with your nicknames BUT we love you just the same 🙂

  22. Oh, too many to even list. Some are leftovers from Sally, Tino & Becca…like “Boodle” – it’s kind of a term of endearment like ‘sweetie’. Steve calls Maggie “Moop” all the time…and I call her Maggie May a lot. TIno was TInoBeano…Sally was Pumalee…don’t even know where that came from – so weird to think about all the things we call them.

  23. Yep Will, MY family loves nick names, so, of course, so do I. Mazie thinks her name is Puppy, or Big Girl. Anne is Nanne-Boo or Nanne-Ba-Nane. Abbe is Chunky Monkey or Monk. Ralphie answers to Pretty Man or Grey Man. Marty will actually answer to Mr. Mouth, MartyManx and Stinker Butt. They have others, but those are the ones they actually answer most to. Oskar thought his name was Pooh and answered to that more than Oskar 🙂

  24. Another great post. I can totally relate to the nicknames. Here are mine for Kali: http://wp.me/p4Fi7G-4t

  25. Cody was his given name. He had a few nicknames. But the most popular one was Snoopy. Cody had quite the personality that may have riveled the famed beagle.

  26. Eann says:

    We have a yellow Labrador named Dobson. We got him when he was 8 weeks old. He was so wrinkly, we called him Mr. Rumples. He had so much loose skin as a puppy, he looked like a Little Old Man in a Sweater, which we also called him from time to time. He loves going on walks and barks all the way down the street until he finally settles down. That gave rise to Bob Barker, or just Bob. It’s funny to me that one of your other readers calls their dog Bob Barker, too.

  27. Penny Dreadful? Eish, man! 🙂 My cat, Savannah is called anything from pumpkin schmumkin to noonie pie (can’t believe I’m admitting this) and quite often, ‘fat cat’… but I’m the only one that can call her that otherwise I get terribly defensive and tell everyone that she is ‘chubby’ and not fat.

  28. Clowie says:

    I have a few. I had lots when I was a pup – but some of those were rude! I’m often called The Hair Factory – usually when they’re picking up white tumbleweed indoors!

  29. Great nicknames Penny. Nellie’s nickname is turd, since Norman’s nickname was bung she had to be turd. Glory’s are beaner, glory b, gloryous one. Gambler wins out with many, G$, Gman, Giblet, Giebler. When he was a puppy on his first hunting trip in canada the lady who we rented the farm house from thought his name was giebler so it has stuck.

  30. Cathy & Banjo says:

    Banjo’s nice nickname is Neato Banjito, and his naughty nickname is Captain Butthead.

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