Using a name on future KID or current PET?

I’m years away from having kids, however, I’m not as far away from getting a dog (if all works out as planned) and the namenerd I am, I’ve been thinking about names and one of things that came up was choosing names that are (close to) current favourites.

On one hand, I might never be able to use the name otherwise - a future partner might not like it, I’ll never have a kid of that gender or I might fall out of love with it.

On the other hand, I might still really love the name in a few years time and curse myself for using it or a one that’s very similar as I cannot use it then.

Also, keeping in mind that dogs don’t tend to live that long (in human years), would a similar sounding name (think a dog named [name_u]Max[/name_u] and a future son named [name_m]Maximilian[/name_m]) be off the table for you when the pet has passed away?

What are your thoughts on this, what would you do?

I would totally name a pet and a kid similar names if I really loved them (the names, not the animal and child haha). I don’t think a former dog named [name_u]Max[/name_u] and a son named [name_m]Maximilian[/name_m] is a big deal at all. If you love it, go for it! :slight_smile:

[name_m]AH[/name_m] I totally understand this predicament. As a name nerd (and a pet lover), I always struggle with coming up with names that I [name_u]LOVE[/name_u] but not enough to use for a future child. I think using a similar name to one that you would use is fine. I enjoy the challenge of finding that happy medium name - like I mentioned - a name you love but could decide to NOT use on a baby if it really came down to it.

My past dogs were [name_f]Cosette[/name_f], [name_f]Margot[/name_f] and [name_m]Ogden[/name_m] - all names I love and are totally useable but I have chosen other names for my now kids.

Random side note:
I have two cats now and as a name nerd, I am slightly disappointed in myself for what we named them. Its hard enough to think of boy names I like, let alone ones I wouldn’t use for kids. Their names are Huckle & [name_m]Harvey[/name_m] ([name_m]Huckleberry[/name_m] & Harvest). Their names are fine but I always feel like we could have done better.

[name_m]Just[/name_m] personally I wouldn’t use any of my favourite baby names on a pet, however this is a good chance to use any GPs you might have that you know for a fact you’ll never give to a child.

I don’t want to imply you’d be wasting a name on a pet, but I would definitely recommend saving the names currently on your list for any actual children you might have. If you end up dropping the name off your list later without ever using it, oh well.

As for the similar name thing, it’s only a problem if it bothers you. Most people aren’t going to know the name of the dog you had before you had your child, so unless they both exist at the same time, it doesn’t seem like an issue. Dogs can live well into their teens and even their 20’s, so if you’re banking on the dog passing away before you start thinking about children, then you might want to take that into consideration when picking a name.

Not really doing that, just wondering how people feel about using a similar name to an old pet’s.

Also, if I had usable GP names, that would be wonderful, but as most of them are foreign or “problematic” (sounding too much like a bad word, etc.) in [name_m]German[/name_m], they’re not very usable. I’m also not a huge fan of names like [name_m]Cornelius[/name_m], [name_m]Percival[/name_m] or [name_m]Horatio[/name_m] on a dog, I’d rather keep it simple

Then I find the name also has to fit the dog, look and personality-wise, and as a namenerd, I also don’t want to just use the uninspired (on a dog) [name_m]Jack[/name_m] or [name_u]Max[/name_u].

Personally I’d steer clear from my favourite names. I prefer to use either names-I-like-but-don’t-love-enough-to-use-for-future-children or GP names.

Finding a name you love but don’t love quite enough to give to a child seems like your best option.

I felt like I was settling when we named our dog. The more I fell in love with the dog [name_u]Roscoe[/name_u], the more I fell in love with the name [name_u]Roscoe[/name_u], so much so that a) I felt it was the perfect name for our dog after all, and b) I kinda wished we had saved it for a someday-son. Eighteen months after adopting our dog, I got pregnant with our first, maybe only, child, who turned out to be a son. I felt a moment of regret that we’d included names we would have used for kids when we were deciding what to name our pet. All that being said, [name_u]Roscoe[/name_u] is the right name for our fur-child, and [name_m]Ruben[/name_m] is the right name for our son. They are not too sound-alike, but they do both start with R. No one has given us guff for their similarity, though we do get ourselves tongue-tied sometimes.

This is all to say, I doubt the “perfect name” for your dog will also be the perfect name for your kid. Put it entirely in human terms: if your first son seems like a [name_m]Hugo[/name_m], and then you find out you are having a second son, will you wish you’d saved [name_m]Hugo[/name_m] for Boy 2? I doubt it. [name_m]Hugo[/name_m] will be [name_m]Hugo[/name_m], and Boy 2 will be someone else entirely.

As for using a name similar to an old pet’s…five years ago, I told my younger sister that [name_f]Olive[/name_f] was my No. 1 favorite name if I ever had a daughter…a few months later, she got a dog and named her [name_f]Olive[/name_f]. I’m still a little sore about it but what can I do? I may - just may - use the name anyway if I ever have a daughter who really, really strikes me as an [name_f]Olive[/name_f]. My sister inexplicably refers to the dog as “[name_u]Bert[/name_u]” and “Troll” more often than “[name_f]Olive[/name_f],” anyway! While [name_u]Max[/name_u] and [name_m]Maximilian[/name_m] are very close, if either the dog or the boy mostly go by an unrelated nickname, the closeness of their names on paper would matter less.

I hope these anecdotes help, and congratulations on adopting a dog!

Thank you all for your input, it’s greatly appreciated!
There seem to be split opinions and I’m still not quite sure what I’d do, however, I’m leaning towards using a name I really love that I think will fit the dog (if I get to adopt him afterall).
Ten years (or so) is a long time and I think I’d rather us a name I love for a dog (none of my absolute favourites, I’ve pictured them on humans too much) on a dog, even if it is similar to other favourites, than not ever getting to use it.

Our cats have names that suit them and that I like but would never give a child. [name_f]Luna[/name_f] is a good example; love the name, but there are plenty of reasons I wouldn’t use it on a kid, so that is my rabbits name.

I also don’t like to re-use names, even with pets being named after another pet. I have enough issues with having a cat named [name_m]Nemo[/name_m] and one named Momo. (but they fit them so well!)

I think you should definitely go for it and use one of your favourite names. As you say, it’s a good ten years until you might even try for a baby, and that is a long time for things to unfold and evolve. If you still love [name_u]Max[/name_u]/[name_m]Maximillian[/name_m] and you want to use it for your child, you absolutely can, you’ll know if it feels right or not. And if you’ve had ten years with a beloved pet who now ‘owns’ the name [name_u]Max[/name_u], you will find another name for your child that you love.

[name_f]Tessa[/name_f] has been one of my favourite names since I was a child. My childhood cat was named [name_m]Tiger[/name_m]-[name_f]Tessa[/name_f] (pretty much only called [name_m]Tiger[/name_m]) and my parents now have a cat called [name_f]Tess[/name_f]. If I’m ever fortunate enough to have a child (and these things are not guaranteed, much as we love to think we can plan our lives!) I’m sure I’d consider [name_f]Tessa[/name_f].

I also sometimes toy with using my favourite names in the fiction I write - could I use a name I love in a story, and still have it on the table were I to have children? My answer is yes. A fictional [name_f]Holly[/name_f] would be quite separate to a real child [name_f]Holly[/name_f] [name_f]IMO[/name_f], and like I said before, I can’t guarantee how I’ll feel about [name_f]Holly[/name_f] in a few years time, or whether I’ll have child/ren (much as I do want them!).

These days I like to use GP names for pets. :slight_smile:

Thanks guys!

These are exactly my thoughts, restricting myself now for something that might happen in 10 years started feeling a bit silly to me.
If I had usable GP names, I’d absolutely consider them but most are just not ones that I feel comfortable shouting out in public, wether I’m calling for a child or a dog (ex. [name_m]Rasmus[/name_m] is too close to Rassismus, the [name_m]German[/name_m] word for racism, for me).

I’d never use a name that I like for a child for a pet. We are struggling to get pregnant with even one child, let alone plan for more, so there are tons of names that I like but might not ever get to use. We might be getting another pet in a year or so, but we will NOT be giving it a name that we’d possibly like to use for our potential child someday.

[name_m]Even[/name_m] if you adopt a dog and it passes away before you have children or early in your child’s life, you cannot guarantee that you will be perfectly fine with just bestowing the same name on your kid. To many, pets are family members. You bond with them, love them, and develop relationships with them. I’m not sure how easy it would be for me to give my baby the name of a much beloved pet that I just lost… That name isn’t a clean slate…it will hold memories and experiences from its previous use.

I think it would be odd, but if you are truly set on the idea, then go ahead.

I had this exact same problem when I got my cat 2 years ago! As a name enthusiast, I had a list of 10 or so names I wanted to use for her, and I wanted to make sure not to use one that I would want to use for a future child, so they were mostly GP names ([name_f]Athena[/name_f], [name_f]Daenerys[/name_f]/[name_f]Dany[/name_f], [name_f]Xena[/name_f], [name_f]Cleo[/name_f], etc). But when I actually got her and got to know her, I knew that the name that fit her best was one of my favorite non-GP names: [name_f]Lily[/name_f]. I tried to get used to calling her other things but I just kept coming back to [name_f]Lily[/name_f] because it suited her so well. (I had wanted a regal name or one that referenced a favorite character, but she was just so sweet and silly that none of those fit.)

[name_f]Lily[/name_f] had originally been one of my top choices for a future child, but I am so glad I went with that name for my cat. A pet really becomes a huge part of your life and your heart, so it’s a good idea to pick a name you love. Plus, as you mention, you may never have a child of that gender or may have the name vetoed by your partner, so I’d say it’s worth the risk. My advice is to come up with a list of names you think might work on a dog, and then get to know the dog you choose and see which one feels the most natural to call him/her. It may take a week or two to settle on a name, but you’ll know when you’ve picked the right one.

Regarding the similar sounding names, I can empathize with that too. One of my favorite names for a future daughter is [name_u]Ruby[/name_u], and I keep wondering if it would be strange to have a [name_f]Lily[/name_f] and a [name_u]Ruby[/name_u] of different species since they’re kind of similar names. I think it ultimately depends on your own gut reaction, since that matters more than anything else. If it doesn’t bother you, it won’t bother anyone else!

As much as I love names, my formula for naming pets is that pets get names that I never want to use on children. This includes “guilty-pleasure” names ([name_m]Sirius[/name_m], [name_f]Persephone[/name_f], [name_u]Winter[/name_u]…), names of my contemporaries/dated names ([name_f]Jessica[/name_f], [name_m]Travis[/name_m], [name_f]Amanda[/name_f]…) and names that would be ridiculous for use on a child, but seem funny on an animal (Potato, Boots, Marzipan… a lot of food/object names in this category).

I’ve had cats, dogs, fish, and rabbits, named [name_m]Linus[/name_m], [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]George[/name_m], Grapefruit, [name_m]Bob[/name_m], Agamemnon, [name_f]Cinnamon[/name_f], [name_m]Josh[/name_m], [name_f]Meadow[/name_f], [name_m]Dwight[/name_m], and more. They all fit but I didn’t have to sacrifice the names I could imagine on children.

This way I still get to use names I like, and names that fit the animal, but I don’t have to worry about overlapping. As we are a child and pet-loving family, it makes things much easier! Plus, you have to remember that there is an endless need for animal adoption; if you love [name_m]Josiah[/name_m] but never have a boy, you can always get a new family pet and name him [name_m]Josiah[/name_m].