Tuesday, June 21, 2016

They could call one another!

I hate to admit that any department of the City of New York ever did anything well online, but I liked this map from the Health Department:


It shows the popularity of licensed dogs' names by borough. As you can see, Max and Bella are the most popular names, just like in the rest of the country. Rocky, Coco, Daisy, Teddy, Lola, Lucky, Molly, Princess, Lucy, and Charlie are some of the also-rans.

These are all good names. Naturally, I was not surprised to not see the name of my dog, Tralfaz, up there, even though the name is quite famous as the original name of the Jetsons' dog, Astro. (I did find one other Tralfaz on the name search site, so someone else out there also spent too much time watching cartoons.)

Since naming our pooch, it has occurred to me that some of the cleverest names for dogs are those that they can pronounce themselves. Apparently dogs do understand that certain phonemes make up their names to some degree, sort of, and if they learn to attach certain sounds to certain other dogs, they can yell at each other by name!

Of course, their vocalization skills are limited, so there's no point in naming a dog Pilavullakandi if you want other dogs to call her. It's hard to exactly spell out a dog's vocalizations. Some say Woof or Bark or Bowwow or whatever else we think it might be.

Here are some I think might work, a few of which I have heard used as names for canines:

Arch
Art
Aurora
Bard
Bart
Bert
Buck
Bud
Mark
Pal
Ralph
Rex
Rock
Rollo
Rory
Rover
Rufus
Walt
Wolf

You could include made-up names like Ruff or Howell, but I only used legit first names, well-established nicknames, or classic dog names. Got any I missed?

As for the NYC map, it is very clever and is used as a means by the city to promote licensing and registration for dogs, which is a good idea. I'm sure that, done by the city, with standard contractor bidding processes, labor rules, kickbacks, and featherbedding, it cost only a quarter of a billion dollars to put together.
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