I love that we give our pets nicknames. As if choosing a name is not enough. We then need to shorten it, lengthen it or adapt it to suit our whims. Nicknames often take over as the preferred name for our pets.
So how do we choose these nicknames? To understand how nicknames are given, it may help to look at how humans are given their nicknames…
Nicknames are often used in a social context. When your given first name is more formal, nicknames may be more playful and easier to say. Research shows that human, female nicknames are less powerful than given names and they are also more positive. And they tend to end in “ie” or “y”. Male, human nicknames are more often associated with personal attributes eg. BigEars. With humans, females tend to be given their nicknames at home while males are coined by their peer groups.
Pet nicknames are generally formed and used at home. Different family members may have different nicknames for their pet. Although these nicknames may not always be flattering, they are generally a sign of affection… a term of endearment for our much loved furry companions.
My pets’ nicknames
So my pets are:
Most of these are pretty straight forward adaptations of my pet’s given name. Big Man, of course, suits Leo’s 9kg! and is a common nickname for men in Scotland (where I originate from) – that is, unless you are a “Wee Man”!
The Cat Fun Police is Chilli’s role in life, whenever she spots any of our cats having fun. She likes to stand over the offending felines until they are quiet!
What nicknames do you have for your pets?
I’d love to hear your pet’s nickname. Please share (in the comments box below) your pet’s given name, their nicknames and how you came to give them their nickname.