Names have always been DIY to a degree, but they used to come from a traditional pool of existing names. Now many parents choosing completely original names for their children, although it is still true that a library can never be to too thin, too rich, or have too many baby name books.
However there is another DIY name tradition in our family which originated with an Irish woman of our acquaintance who had her very own DIY approach to names. For example, she called Hydrangeas, Hygeraniums and Rhododendrons, Rosiedenderons.
This turned out to be an excellent game for cold winter afternoons – create you own plants and animals out of already existing ones. You can also start by drawing an animal, with a piece donated by each participant and then name it.
Choosing a name for a child is of course a solemn and important task, but pets give one a whole canvas for the creativity of DIY. There are books of pet names and websites with such things as literary cats to guide you, but the best fun is had from making up you own.
I like my cat names to reflect their nature. I had two cats called Mack and Mabel because one was had a white bib and always looked neat and demure and the other had a wild look in his eye that reminded me the mad Scotsman in Dad’s Army (Mack was short for MacTavish).
My current cat unfortunately bears a name designed only to expunge his original inappropriate name which, like Morse, he will never now divulge. It had to be close enough that he could still answer to it so it’s Jimmy, when it should be something closer to The Terminator. He’s a killing machine when it comes to birds and isn’t above taking on the odd human. We won’t mention what happened the arm of the man who rescued him from the roof on Feb 22nd. He recently upset one of my neighbours when she hissed at him to get rid of him and he turned around an hissed back. I’m pretty sure if he could talk he would have said “go on lady, make my day ” (wrong film I know, but you get my drift) The only thing that Arnie would not approve of is his tendency to flirt outrageously with men, which ruins the macho image just a bit.
What is your pet’s name and why did you choose it? Do you know any musicians with pets called Bach, Offenbach and Debussy? Or Sci Fi fans with cats called Schrodinger? Let me know your favourites.