No, we aren’t talking about Jennifer Lopez’s endearment for fiance Alex Rodriguez (hopefully something more imaginative than A-Rod), or what Ariana Grande called her Beagle-Chihuahua (Toulouse), but the trend of regular folks naming their beloved animal companions after pop culture icons.
Although classic names like Bella, Daisy, Max, and Buddy still top the lists, pop culture names for dogs and cats are on the rise. According to Rover.com, a network of pet sitters and walkers, the number of pet names influenced by musicians, actors, royals, and other celebs is way up this year.
Somewhat newer kids on the block Taylor Swift and Khalid were the favorite musical names, though classics like Madonna and David Bowie are still rockin’.
Names of the new babies of the English royals, and of Us Weekly royals, trended up too. Don’t be surprised if you find an Archie, Stormi, or Saint curled up in your lap. (Of course, that last really is doing double duty as Kimye’s kiddo and a classic canine name.)
And they don’t have to be the names of real people to gain a following, Maisel (from Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) rose 1,000 percent in 2019.
For those whose pooch or puss is their hero (or nemesis), there’s Harley, Loki, Thor, Flash, and even Thanos (yikes). Or if you prefer something even darker, Arya, Melisandre, and Brienne from HBO’s Game of Thrones were popular choices even though the show wrapped this year.
At Catchword, our animal friends are, perhaps, a bit more modest, and their names reflect that. Doogie Mehta, our Stress Reduction Specialist, has been testing out furniture and staff laps for maximum comfort for nearly a decade.
Canine companions Mabel and Martha Cypher enjoy old-fashioned fun with their family.
Snowflake is precious, but the ever-pragmatic Sutton family call her “Cat.”
And Renny (a dog), Monty (python), and Pepper (gecko) Skoultchi live in harmony with each other and their human hosts, er, household.
I currently have no animal friends at home. My family growing up tended to the traditional with dogs Muffin and Pepper, but we went full-on pop culture rerun when we adopted our cats Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel.
Whatever you name your furry, feathered, scaled, or other pal, remember their dignity. I recently found Bob, a neighbor’s golden-collie mix, on the sidewalk several blocks from his apartment. I checked his tag to make sure it was really him before I escorted him home. It read “Robert.” Well done.