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Who Let the Dogs Out? Woof! Woof!

Let’s face it. Homo sapiens have been sharing human names with our canine friends for a long time. And why shouldn’t our “best friends” get the same naming treatment as us humans? Below is a list of commonly used names for dogs, while still being actively bestowed upon children today. Many parents aren’t bothered by the perception that their sons or daughters share his/her moniker with many four-legged folks out there, but we still believe this is an aspect to consider while naming your child. Certainly names like Jake and Sam are super common for doggies, but they somehow don’t make us think of dogs exclusively. Although there are several other names which are so closely associated with celebrated dogs that one immediately thinks of the name as perhaps more fitting for one without opposable thumbs. Such as:  Lassie, Benji, and even Santa’s Little Helper (you know, from The Simpsons). Fortunately, such names are rarely, if ever, used as people names. Marley is, though.  Bailey and Riley have also become popular human names, but we still often associate those names as ϋber-popular for the furry people, too.

Aside from names that just flat-out sound more canine than human, there are also several names that have specific etymological meanings associated with dogs and/or wolves. Two such names rank very high on the American male naming charts today: Caleb comes from a Hebrew word meaning simply “dog” and Connor comes from an old Gaelic word meaning “dog/wolf lover”. Raul/Ralph are names derived from an Old Norse name which means “counsel of the wolf” and Randolph/Randy are Germanic in origin meaning “shield of the wolf.” The female name Guadalupe is a Spanish place name derived from Arabic (during the Moorish occupation of Spain) meaning “river of the wolf”.

Look, we love dogs, and totally agree with Franz Kafka who once said: “All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog.” Dogs are more than just our loveable furry friends; they are an inherent part of our families. So why shouldn’t we grant them the same high standards we employ when naming our own children? Well, the simple answer to that question is just be careful. When your kid comes onto the playground during recess, you don’t want the other kids to yell: “Who let the dogs out?! Woof! Woof!”

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