Pet names: What nicknames say about you

Power of naming is a true self-expression

I like naming things. Many people do.

My two children have official names, including hyphens.

They also have nicknames, Huckleberry and Blue Boy.

I also name my cars.

I have had three in the past 20 years: The Silver Chariot, Midnight (a car full of woe), and Silver Girl.

I collect real names that are memorable: Crank, Sillitoe, Simple, Dr. Wrong, Dr. Pain, Mr Brilliant.

People express themselves when naming their pets. A student of mine named her tiny dog Killer. Some people name their cat Dog.

Notable dog names I have seen: Valkyrie, Momma, Pickle and Pancake. Many individuals give their pet a human name: Abbey, Maurice, etc.

I read that many Americans have started naming their dog Fauci, after the famous virus scientist. I suppose that some of these people mean the name as a compliment and others do not.

Danbury, Connecticut, named a sewage plant after TV celebrity John Oliver in response to a tirade he had against the city. He was happy about the outcome and donated money to local charities.

I would donate a bit to have a sewage plant named after me. But I would be happy enough if you named your new budgie (or anything, really) after me. Johnny Bird has a ring to it, don't you think?

Why do we enjoy naming things?

To start, we like the power of naming. We give a name to things that are ours,to things that are important to us.

Also, naming gives us a chance to be creative. Humans like to create -- works of art, business ideas, names.

We give names or nicknames to people or things we like. The naming helps us feel closer to the cat, person, or whatever.

When we name something after a celebrity, we feel closer to the celebrity. That closeness feels good. "Good boy, Fauci!"

The specific names we give say something about us.

I associate my children's nicknames with Huck Finn, the Mark Twain character, and Blue Boy, the painting by Gainsborough.

Silver Chariot may have come from my fondness for the chariot race in the movie Ben Hur.

Silver Girl is what Paul Simon called his new wife in the song Bridge Over Troubled Water.

I reckon these names indicate that I like the arts and that I am open to experience.

What do the names you have given say about you? What would naming your budgie after me indicate?

This story Power of naming is a true self-expression first appeared on The Canberra Times.