Duana Names: Big, Black, and Furry

February 6, 2013 18:09:55 Posted at February 6, 2013 18:09:55
Duana Posted by Duana
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I have a name problem and hope your advice isn't limited to humans.  I have a dog and in my mind he has the perfect name.  His real name is Herbert Marcuse (said as one name like "Billy Bob") and his everyday name is Herby. I loved the idea of giving my small dog a two-name name and naming him after an impressive person.  I also like that Herby isn't a common dog name like "Sam" or "Daisy" nor is it a common people name.  He's white and brown and looks just like a Herby.

My problem is I am going to get a second dog and I have no idea what to name her.  She is going to be a large black dog.  She doesn't need to have two names (I like the juxtaposition, small dog, big name and vice versa) but I'm not opposed to it either.  Here is the challenge:
1) The name has to have some reference (either philosophy, literature, pop culture).  I'm also from Seattle and living in the deep south so some reference to back home would work too.
2) The name has to be able to be shortened into a cute but non super common everyday nickname. My favorite book is Anna Karenina and I thought about that as a name but ruled it out because Anna/Annie is so boring.
3) Like with siblings I want her name to go with Herby but not be too matchy-matchy.

Some people may think I'm crazy putting so much thought into a dogs name but I think a dogs personality tend to coincide with their name. And I love Herbert Marcuse/Herby's name so much I want to give my new girl an equally special name. Any suggestions?

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I was going to save this post for a Friday, but it made me laugh so much I had to use it today. Thank you for this! For the record, my dog’s full name is Libby – but my cat is named Zadie Smith (and she came first) so this post really appeals to me. I am very much a “names-for-pets” person: that is, I am much more likely to want to share my home with Libby and Zadie than Muffin and Chuckles. I feel that we are kindred in this way – and yes, I feel as strongly about pet names as human (though in a different way). When I met Lainey the first thing I found out was her dog was called Marcus (you guys know after whom, right?)

Right off the top of my head, picturing your two,  your tiny and your giant, I immediately thought of Lennie. You know, Of Mice And Men Lennie? I mean,  just the way you speak about her gives me the idea that she’s going to be a bit of a galumphing goof, and Lennie’s last name is Small.  Come on.  Lennie Small? Lennie and Herby? 

If the implications of that - since, you know, Lennie kind of loves too much and too hard - don’t sit well with you, then my next one would be Harper Lee, nicknamed Nelle, which is what Harper called herself. I misread your letter initially and thought you wanted some reference to “back home” as in the south, not the other way around. However, Nelle doesn’t end in a vowel, and that might be hard at the park or the beach when you’re calling her back. “Neee-eeelllll” doesn’t go so far without something vowel-y at the end.

My knowledge of Seattle is kind of limited, so I went to that arbiter of correctness, Wikipedia, to find out what I could see – at which point I discovered Seattle was the place where Quincy Jones’ career started. Quincy Jones, the dog?  Herby and Quince?  

These are all over the place but since she’s never going to fill out a job application (unless she’s in the movies – anyone out there a dog agent?) you have a lot of latitude. Let me know how it goes!

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