Say my name

—Mutt Bones

A: Purrrfect! Ace has had enough of these doggone questions about who’s building what where and why those things are over there when they used to be somewhere else. Thanks, Mutt, for a question that makes Ace’s hind leg wiggle.

 The first consideration when naming a furry companion is species. For example, Mutt, if your new pet happens to be a cow, Ace recommends names that begin with “Miss.” If, however, your new pet is a baby nerd, allow Ace to direct you to the “What to Name Your Baby Nerd” website, Suggestions there include a recent Name of the Day, Zivan, “a nice, Slavic choice.”

 Ace understands, though, that most new pets are either dogs or cats. With this in mind, may Ace suggest you get to know your pet? Observe his or her habits with the practiced eye of an amateur zoologist. If Dog scratches a lot, christen him “Itchy.” If Cat can’t shut up, try “Chatty” on for size. If Dog has a penchant for falling in love with tubercular prostitutes, call him “Alexandre Dumas Fils.” Or follow Ace’s own example. The Ace pooch is widely appreciated for his ability to anoint fireplugs with eau de dog, so Ace callshim “Whizzard.”

 If you’re one of those people who think animals should have human names, Ace advises a perusal of a Top 20 list of doggy names. This includes Jake, Casey and Charlie, for males. Lucy, Molly and Maggie for females (Ace once knew a bitch named Lucy, but Ace digresses…). Kitties, apparently, prefer names that scare people, hence the popularity of Tiger. If your pet is transgender, submit “Casey” or “Pat” for his/her consideration. Other popular cross-species names include Buddy, Prince, Missy and Lady.

 If you’re still up a tree without a firefighter, then open the dictionary for pet-name ideas. Close your eyes and put your finger down on a word. In practice runs, Ace turned up the promising names Pushful, Menstruation and Bill of Divorce. “Bill” is the obvious nickname for the last one.

 Ace must also note that popular pet names vary from country to country, from state to state, and from century to century. In Alaska for example, a popular dog name is “Pukulria,” meaning “bone chewer.” Popular Hungarian dog names include “Zsuzsa” and “Blamazs.” (No, Ace cannot provide a pronunciation guide. Ace is an investigative journalist, damn it, not a linguist!) Si ton chien est français, you have no choice. Name him Balzac or Eiffel. Name a female dog Ovary, er, Bovary. If your dog is an ancient Egyptian, consider him the honored namesake of that historic canine, Hekenu.

 Finally, keep in mind that most pets don’t care what you call them, as long as, in that time-honored tradition, you don’t call them late for dinner.

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