What is My Name?

No, no, no; it is NOT Rumplestiltskin.  Nice try though.

This is tangentially children’s literature related.  You see, I’m getting a dog (first one ever) and she needs a name.  I met her yesterday and she is truly a fairy dog so I’m thinking she needs a name ideally literary and fey.  Any suggestions?


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36 responses to “What is My Name?

  1. Literary and fey? Morgan. Or Morgain.


  2. Karen

    What about Gloria? It’s not terribly fey- but it is the name of the tiny dog in Betty Brock’s “No Flying in the House” which is one of my all time favorite fairy books featuring dogs!


  3. Lazygal and Rebecca: Thanks. I thought about them too, but they feel awfully grand for such a teeny dog (who may get to 7 pounds in adulthood).

    Roger: Yelp!!! How about if I add a German diminutive, thus Butchen? Or better yet, Butchlein?

    Karen: Thanks! Just checked out the amazon description and the book sounds fun. But I must admit the name Gloria doesn’t do much for me. I try out the names by thinking about calling the dog. “Gloria!”…”Morgan!”…”Mab!”….um…”Butch!”….

    I’m also considering Dido (from my beloved Joan Aiken books), Molly (just has a nice feel to it), and Lina (one of my favorite dogs in literature — from George MacDonald’s Princess and Curdie — supposedly a hideous looking dog that was a fallen woman).


  4. randomly … Fae … Yarrow … Berry … Madchen (isn’t that little girl in German? My spelling is probably off)


  5. I was listening to an adult mystery yesterday while cleaning the house, and in the opening scene a man has to walk his daughter’s dog when he stumbles on a body. The dog’s name was Hagrid, which was really cute, I thought. And it really set the scene of a middle-aged man who has to walk a dog who has been left behind by his now university-aged human.

    But, since your dog is a girl (even though she kind of looks like a Hagrid!), how about Lyra or Hermione or Luna?


  6. GraceAnne, thanks for those suggestions. But why Yarrow? As for Madchen, I fear for a too-Germanic sounding name (don’t want anyone to make fun of her Nazi-wise).

    Kelly, I have toyed with Lyra, but wondered if it was a bit too obvious. Similar problem with Alice. One of my students (whom we called Hermione for fun) just suggested Lucy which I like. And I just don’t think her coloring is very Luna-ish. Wouldn’t she need to be more moon-like for that name to work?


  7. Monica, I am so excited for you. How fun! We (my son and I) suggest “Bella” as a name.

    I once had a cat named Childe Harold, but the vet always called him Chill-dee, so I changed it to Edward. Which was perfect for him.


  8. Nina

    I like Molly and Lucy the best out of all the suggestions. She is so cute!!!


  9. Karen

    How about Gretchen (or Margaret)? Faust’s love interest. The Devil first appears in Faust in the form of a black poodle!

    (But think of the fun you could have singing to her if she was named Gloria! “Gloria – I think I’ve got your number…”)


  10. Lucinda (the crazy fairy from ELLA ENCHANTED — and that could be Lucy for short)

    Arabella (after Jonathan Strange’s wife in JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL — I don’t remember any named female fairies there)

    Coraline, because she has black button eyes? :-)

    Is there a name from LITTLE, BIG? Or “Fuschia,” from GORMENGHAST?


  11. hope

    It isn’t a fairy name, but you mentioned Aiken. I think you should name her “Dutiful Penitence” and call her Pen for short. Or Penny.

    Or Valiant, and call her Val.

    I like Mab, too.


  12. Titania, the faery queen from shakespeare.

    I also like Luna (from Harry Potter — she is a very other worldy character.)


  13. Wow; keep those suggestions coming! Thanks to all who have commented so far!

    Susan, tell your son that I’ll keep the Bella suggestion in mind!

    Karen, I can’t sing! I did think of Faust, but Gretchen doesn’t do it for me either. Now if I was getting a male — that poodle…

    Cheryl, Coraline did cross my mind, but you know that means everyone will call her Caroline. Checked LITTLE, BIG, but didn’t find anything in there. Fuschia, unfortunately, is a color I’m not fond of at all.

    Hope, maybe I’ll use Dutiful Penitence for her registration name. (Evidently I have to come up with a different one for that!)

    Liz, Titania just feels too big for such a bitty dog (as do Morgan and Mab).

    I considered Kirjava….anyone know who that is?


  14. Dee

    What about Fae? I know it’s not very literary, but it is short and sweet, like your puppy.

    One of my aunts is named Fae…she’s definitely otherwordly! :)

    Or you could try Mae. That’s the middle name for girls in my family.


  15. Monica, knowing you, I suggest Charlotte.
    Not fey, but appropriate.
    The best part is YOU ARE GETTING A DOG!!!! YAY!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!


  16. Kirjava is Will’s daemon, right? Mab doesn’t sound too big to me, but she’s your dog, after all. I like Lucy and Molly as well (Molly Weasley is one of my favorite Potter characters, after all…). She’s a cutie, whatever you call her!


  17. Gini

    What a little cutie! I think she looks like a Lucy or what about Curly?


  18. Deborah

    I suggest this: Pippi Dogstocking


  19. Yarrow because it is a lovely weed, and there’s a character in the Wizard of Earthsea whose use-name is Yarrow, and I thought it had an otherwordly character to it and yet is a common plant.

    I do like Fae, and Mab. Maybe she will tell you her name herself. Thanks for letting us in on the fun!


  20. Reka

    Oh, Dido seems perfect! And not just because I love the character so much–the name actually seems to fit her, from what I can tell from the photo. What a cutie!

    I adored No Flying in the House as a child, but I can see how the name Gloria might not be very appealing if you don’t know the book.

    Then again, I named my cat Little My (now just My, as she’s rather spherical) and that’s hardly a lovely name on its own.


  21. Okay, someone just reminded me of a name I had in mind before I saw her. Meggie (from Inkheart and, sort of, A Wrinkle in Time).


  22. rebecca

    I’m back–ok, not mab. …but I should point out that she rode in a tiny nut carriage with spider legs as wheels, or something–so, even smaller than your little one. but I don’t think it would be vary fun to call out “mab” all the time.
    what about PIPPI …I know anarchy-lunatic-child isn’t “fairy”… but (1) the pippi from children’s literature is terrific and (2) “pippi” aside from p.longstocking IS kind of fairy-ish, no? …plus? fun to say!


  23. EM

    Penelope? Beatrice (Beatrix)? I also like Pippi, or Pippa.


  24. In honor of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (tomorrow, right?), why not consider: Puck, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mustardseed, Moth, Titania?

    Or perhaps Viola, Miranda, Ariel, or even Ophelia (shortened to “Philly”).

    I’ve always wanted to name a dog Touchstone; but in my mind, that name seems better suited to a big galumphing Golden Retriever, not a fairy dog.

    Probably my favorite dog name from recent children’s literature would be the Disreputable Dog from Garth Nix’s Lirael.


  25. Lynette Roster

    Have you read Laini Taylor’s children’s fantasy The Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer? You will love Magpie Windwitch, a brave young fairy who travels with her crow clan hunting djinns.


  26. (trying again) There’s Flumpdoria, from Shadow Castle (one of my all time favorite fantasy books). Shortened to Flumpy, of course. Think of all those AKC Dog Show winners, with some ridiculously long, fancy name and called “Spot” or something when not competing!


  27. Pingback: Belated Father’s Day Post « educating alice

  28. Amy

    I’ll second Lazygal’s Flumpdoria ( aka Flumpy) someone else who loved Shadow Castle wow! DIdo is good too and a pretty resourceful namesake. She’s very cute Monica.


  29. betty

    Min. As in miniscule etc. She is lovely adorable! But if you don’t like the nickname Minnie, Min won’t do as a name.

    I’m thinking of the soot sprites in the film Totoro. Little black spots of soot. Soot with Tom Kitten rolled up in the dumpling….

    Dot. (likewise Dottie for nickname…)

    However LONG her actual name will be, her nicknames will likely be SHORT (my dog Idgie was often called Idge). A very SHORT name will be lengthened naturally (Min to MInnie etc)

    A medium sized name ending in the EE sound might be less subject to funky nicknaming… but all dogs get lots of nicknames…

    so pleased for you. ENJOY HER!


  30. betty

    I did not intend to put that winking smiley thing in there. Harumph. Wonder what keystroke combo produced it. Harumph.


  31. Nancy W.

    Oh, she’s adorable! And she has your hair (albeit a different color).

    I am terrible at names, though. But who wouldn’t like “Lucy”?


  32. Thanks so much for all these thoughts and suggestions. As I consider them I realize that I want a name that isn’t overly familiar to me already through literature or real life. Some of the most appealing names suggested are those I already associate with people I know and I now understand that I want a fresh name that has no such connections for me.

    I’m picking her up after ALA and will let you all know then what her name ended up being. But if you have any more suggestions or ideas, bring them on!


  33. Nancy W.

    Hey, how about Mathilde? A French name is always right for a poodle; it’s pretty; I bet you don’t know anyone called Mathilde already (do you?); and there is a literary reference (Roald Dahl’s Matilda — and you can bet he picked this name on purpose, for its meaning, “strong in war.”).

    And “Mattie” for short is so charming. So is “Tilda,” as I think on it. If you like Tilda Swinton, which I do.



  34. CupcakeGrl

    it’s me, c16rc! u should name her Tino the 2nd! OK, maybe not. That would be a bit weird. Tino is a boy’s name. you could always name her after a New Berry prize or a character in a book that won a prize. so many people commented with ideas, but nobody gave a name that really meant somethig (except for “Nancy”) so instead of just a name that you think just sounds good, maybe you could name her after someone or something. :-) Hope you find the best name for her!

    (I think you know what I mean when I sign this from CupcakeGrl,)
    from CupcakeGrl


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