What's In A Name?

While on the subject of animals, ever paid attention to the sort of names we give our pets? My friend once told me that naming must be done very carefully since the namee takes on the qualities of the name. Of course, she was speaking about humans. But I suppose the logic can apply to pets also. Looking around my immediate circle, I came across some very interesting names. I'll start with my own pet.

We had a dog. Or rather, he had us. Arrived one day as a pup from the litter of the colony mongrel and decided to stay. He was very cute - copper colour with intelligent eyes. We didn't want any 'phoren' name and nixed suggestions of Jimmy and Tommy. After trying on some names for size, like Mr. India, we settled on Sher Khan. But our fellow did not really live up to such a grand name. He was content to forage in the neighbourhood dumpster and ignore strangers when they walked into our home uninvited. In course of time, the name got shortened to Sheru.He was much more a Sheru than a Sher Khan. For eg. a Sher Khan would have simply roared at his owners and made them open the gate. Sheru on the other hand, would dig furiously in the garden, perhaps attempting to tunnel his way under the compound wall to freedom.

My husband is an animal lover and had a dog and a cat. He also had some visiting friends in the form of a garden lizard and a cow.

The dog, Scamp, was a cross between a Labrador and a Daschund (how on earth did tha happen?!) He was named in honour of the Disney character Scamp, the scion of a pedigreed mother and a mongrel father. I have never met Scamp coz he scampered off to the happy hunting grounds before I entered R's life. But seems he was not such a good tempered fellow. Barked a lot and bestowed his good graces only on my father-in-law. Did the name Scamp have anything to do with this?

The cat was named Mahabali. A unique cat name, made even more unique by the fact that Mahabali was a girl. My niece giggles when she hears this name. "how can you call a cat that? Cats are not known for Strength!'. A good point. But perhaps cats have more than physical strength. And don't forget their nine lives. That would make their cumulative strength impressive.

The garden lizard was called 'Sori' (meaning Itch in Tamil) so called on account of its scales. Not very clear to me, but R says when you have some skin problem, you get itchy and the skin flakes off. Sori would come very day to a specific spot on the wall to sun itself. A creature of habit this one.

And of course, Daisy The Cow. A comely bovine that would amble over everyday for a snack. I howled with laughter when I heard the name. Imagine a cow named Daisy in Mylapore, the Brahminical stronghold of Chennai city?!! Rather ironical. In days of yore, people 'lost caste' if they went overseas and had to be purified by drinking (or was it bathing in) 'go moothra' or cow urine. The same purifying cow now bears an English name!! Not to forget that the same Mylapore Brahmins mostly straddle two worlds these days - one leg planted firmly on the hallowed grounds of Mylapore/Mandavali and the other arching over to Silicon Valley. All the 'go moothras' of Chennai cannot purify them now!!

So what's the story behind the name your pet carries?

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13 Responses to What's In A Name?

  1. SUB says:

    lol...that was funny...loved the Daisy part...

  2. Kasturi says:

    Nice post. I liked the name mahabali.Never heard a pet with such a name. Did she rule over scamp?
    My little ones are called Kali and Pixie. Kalis name pertains to her dominant color and she is naughty, sharp and active.Pixie is most unlike her name now at 13. She was a mischeveous, loveble ball of fur when she came into my life. Now she is fat, old and still lovable."Whats in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - WS

  3. Priyanka says:

    We have had Loveleen, Meow, Shaina, Sharuk, Sheaba, Shanaiya, Nandu, Icky, Boo, Shasa, Melody Varma and such:P So I actually am inspired, rather than tickled, by Mahabali :D

  4. Sandhya says:

    Mahabali?! Normally, we don't call our dogs in OUR gods' name!

    Daisy? I have never heard this name to our 'goddess' cow!

    Yes, in whichever name we call them, they are our pets always, young or old!

    Very well written post, Deepa!

  5. Deepa says:

    SUB: Even liked Daisy the best!

    Kasturi: Scamp & Mahabali were not contemporaries

    Priyanka: You seem to be real animal lover. And you had a punjabi cat (Varma) or is it a Mallu cat of royal lineage?!

    Sandhya: Does Goalie like football? :))) And what does it matter if the animals have a godly name? The Lord-God made them all as the poem goes.

  6. Sandhya says:

    She plays football with baby squirrels and baby rats! She doesn't kill them directly but they die by the impact of falling on the floor from heights. Both my husband and I have rescued a number of these babies from the clutches of our murderess cat, Goalie!

  7. Nice template and that was one entertaining and joyable post. Keep them coming...

  8. pri says:

    lol!!! i enjoyed reading this post and the story behind each pet's name :D

    i dont have pets but had i to have one, i would have called him "murphy" :-|
    ohh and it would definitely have to be a DOG!

    Love in the times of 'samsung galaxy tab'

    cheers! ;)

  9. radha says:

    That was fun. When we were children all pets had english names. We had Bobby, Roy and then Dizzy, because she would chase her tail round and round.

  10. Deepa says:

    Sandhya: Goalie sure is a cat with an attitude!!

    Roshmi: Glad you liked the post.

    Pri: A dog is a good choice! And what is the story behind Murphy?

    radha: Wonder why we give english name to pets? I could never figure it out!

  11. Daisy is probably the funniest! Hope Mahabali lived up to her name!

  12. ashok says:

    wonderful blog...enjoyed ur posts..

  13. Entertaining post. Enjoyed reading it and look forward to more :)

    P.S. Once upon a time not so long ago, it was somewhat of a status symbol to own lady dogs and christen her 'Madonna'...