Naming another living creature is a big responsibility. If you are a parent, your child will have to deal with his or her name, and whatever associations or nicknames it invites, for the rest of their life.
For pet owners, the consequences of the name chosen are unlikely to be felt much by the animal, but, when choosing a name, you might want to think about whether you will be happy to shout it in the street in the unfortunate event you may lose your pet.
Exotic pet owners, it seems, are fearless. Research by ExoticDirect into their clients’ pet names has revealed an array of unusual, quirky and just downright hilarious name choices.
Well known and loved characters dominate the list of names, with Rambo the tortoise, Captain Hook the African grey parrot and Mork and Mindy the ball pythons being just a few examples. The Simpsons put in a strong appearance, with two pythons named Homer on the list.
Another popular work of fiction for pet name inspiration is the Harry Potter series – the list features Crookshanks the tortoise, Dumbledore the bearded dragon and Hogwart the pygmy hedgehog.
But it’s not just fictional characters that attract the attention of exotic pet owners, real life celebrities also provide inspired name choices.
The best examples are without a doubt Elvis the bearded dragon, J-Lo the African grey parrot and Angela Lansbury the Hermann’s tortoise.
One ExoticDirect customer, clearly not content with simply naming their pet after a famous person, went the extra mile and named their pygmy hedgehog Albert Spinestein.
However, some people’s creativity was such that they didn’t need to twist existing names, but came up with unique creations all of their own. One customer named their African grey parrot Poly-Styrene and another gave their rabbit the very regal title of Prince Flump Muffin. There is even a bearded dragon called Sir Creepalot, though we must admit that one is a little questionable.
Special mention goes to the customer who named their tortoise Sir Sheldon Shellington.
While the award for the best pet name ever goes to the ExoticDirect customer who named their bearded dragon Lizzy Mclizardface, the company’s customers are not the only creative pet owners around. A survey by Over-50s insurance specialist Saga found a few gems amongst its customers as well.
A guinea pig named Chaka Khan, a hamster named Yoda, a rat named Sausage and a parrot named Asbo are just four of the prime examples there.
Many of the names mentioned so far clearly show that naming pets after the rich and famous is popular with owners, but it appears the celebrities themselves are not immune from making unusual choices when it comes to their own pets.
Reese Witherspoon honoured her Southern roots when she named her pet donkeys Honky and Tonky, while Megan Fox honoured legendary Hip Hop rapper The Notorious B.I.G by naming her pet pig Piggy Smalls.
Not unused to being funny and a little weird, Adam Sandler named his beloved Bulldog, Meatball. Sadly, Meatball is no longer with us, but Sandler’s current Bulldog sports the even more eccentric moniker – Matzoball! (A Jewish staple dish, delicious in soup).
If you’ve just welcomed a new pet into your home, whether exotic or not, make sure you take the time to think about what you’re going to name it.
While your choice of name won’t mean your pet gets picked on in the schoolyard or gets an awkward nickname in college, it does have the power to put a smile on people’s faces when they hear it. It’s a chance to show off your creativity and, most importantly of all, how much you love the precious new addition to your family.