Whats in a wacky pet name?
Sarah Mouton Dowdy, a former associate content specialist for dvm360.com, is a freelance writer and editor in Kansas City, Missouri.
Learn about the motley monikers that took top honors in Nationwides Wackiest Pet Name contest this year.
Pablo Purrcasso and Isabella Miss Worldwide Boo Boo top Nationwide's 2018 Wackiest Pet Names lists for cats and dogs, respectively, according to a recent company release. This is no small feat, considering the names were chosen out of Nationwide's database of more than 700,000 insured pets.
As you might expect, there's more to these names than meets the ear, and the owners are happy to share the backstories. (Editor's note: Whether these pets actually come when their name is called remains unknown.)
Wanna pounce straight to the dog list?
The top 10 wacky cat names of 2018
All images courtesy of Nationwide Pet Insurance.1. Pablo Purrcasso
Pablo Purrcasso took the top prize in the cat category. You probably won't be surprised to learn that her owner, Christina Palmer of Charlotte, North Carolina, is an artist and art instructor with a flair for naming her furry friends after famous painters (previous cat names include Vincent van Kitty and Leonardo da Katty).
Pablo Purrcasso is a regular feature in Palmer's art class. “When I'm teaching my students, he likes to hang out,” she says, according to Nationwide's website. “It's like he's part of the class. He'll follow the brush strokes of the students and stare at them while they're painting.”
2. Sir Pounce a Lot
What do Game of Thrones and “Baby Got Back” have in common? They both played a role in the creation of the noble name chosen by San Francisco couple Mark May and Kim Kamitaki. First, inspired by a feline from HBO's hit show, May wanted to name the British shorthair kitten Ser Pounce, but Kamitaki wasn't sold.
“I liked Pounce as a nickname in case he was a frequent pouncer, which led Mark to his suggestion of Sir Pounce a Lot as his name,” Kamitaki says. “I loved that name because of the rapper, Sir Mix-a-Lot, but Mark didn't connect the dots until I sang his song ‘Baby Got Back.' We both immediately started to laugh, and we knew Sir Pounce a Lot was his name.”
If inquiring minds would like to know, the answer is yes-Sir Pounce a Lot does indeed pounce a lot. But his talents don't end there. May taught him how to use the toilet. “There are times when I'm home alone and get scared because I can hear someone using the toilet. Then I look over and see it's Pounce and laugh,” says Kamitaki.
3. Mewpocalypse Yarn Killer
Despite his ominous name, the story of how Mewpocalypse Yarn Killer was adopted by Ken and Kristina Elder-Flores of Hollister, California, is snuggly sweet. “I picked up the little guy and he nuzzled his way into my chest so peacefully. There was no way we were leaving without him,” says Ken.
The decision to keep the kitty was instantaneous, but landing on a name was a process. Ken was first inspired by a T-shirt he'd seen online before adopting the 4-week-old kitten. It featured a white cat (uncannily similar to the one that had just nuzzled its way into the Elder-Flores home) next to a ball of yarn with the following words: “I am the unraveler of worlds.” With this context in mind, the kitten's faint meow led the couple to think of the name Mewpocalypse, and Kristina's work with embroidery and yarn helped them come up with the finishing touch-Yarn Killer.
4. Edward Scissorpaws
When Loretta Majoy of Huron, Ohio, found an American shorthair kitty to join her family (including two other cats named Jinga and Bola Taiwo), the name of an old acquaintance (Edward) and his cinematic nickname (Edward Scissorhands) came to Majoy's mind and never left. “I liked the name Edward, and I liked the name Edward Scissorhands,” says Majoy. “I thought it would be funny to change Scissorhands to Scissorpaws. The name has stuck ever since.”
5. Sir Reginald Fluffybutt
One week. That's how long it took Samantha Bent and Paulo Vieira of North Hollywood, California, to come up with a “regal yet ridiculous” name for their then-6-year-old domestic shorthair kitty, according to Nationwide's website. Bent and Vieira started to get some traction with the name Reggie but wanted something with a bit more prestige, which is how they settled on Sir Reginald. The last part of the name was inspired by the cat's … ahem … physique. “Reggie has a fluffy face and butt, so we jokingly called him Fluffybutt,” says Bent. “When we verbalized the name, it sounded really silly, but Reggie's a silly cat so we knew it was perfect for him.”
6. Princess Consuela Bananahammock
Fans of the show Friends will have no problem zeroing in on this cat's namesake. New York City resident Rachel Simpson and her roommate adopted the kitten while in college to keep them company. “We were broke college students at the time, so we didn't have cable TV,” says Simpson, according to Nationwide's website. “We would watch the series Friends over and over on DVD, which helped us in choosing a name. We first considered Smelly Cat as a name, which reminded us of Phoebe, and then we remembered her name Princess Consuela Bananahammock. Immediately we knew that was our kitten's name.”
As if attempting to live up to her diva name, Princess Consuela Bananahammock has developed a love of feather boas over the years and leaves a path of feathery destruction wherever she goes.
7. Bobcat the Builder
Jennifer Tollar of Newark, California, wanted to name her new kitten something that would resonate with her then-3-year-old son. Luckily, inspiration came quickly and musically. “My son is obsessed with the cartoon Bob the Builder, and [the theme song] happened to be playing while I was thinking of a name,” says Tollar. “It came to me in no time and I decided on naming him Bobcat the Builder. My son was thrilled.”
8. Colonel Puff Puff
For Colonel Puff Puff and his owner, Amy Dresner of West Hollywood, California, it was name at first sight. “His hair was puffy and he had this white mustache that reminded me of Colonel Sanders. In that moment I knew his name had to be Colonel Puff Puff,” says Dresner. Dresner was surprised to later learn that her father had given a toy soldier the same militaristic name as a child. Like father, like daughter.
9. Majesticoons Carefree Dior Blue Knight
This mouthful of a name has several stories behind it. Here's how it came to be: First, one of owner Debra Shannon's grandsons wanted to name the Maine Coon after his favorite color, blue. Shannon wanted a longer name, so she looked to her kitten's origins for more inspiration. As a nod to his home country, England, Shannon wanted to give him a title, so Blue became Blue Knight. Next, Shannon added Majesticoons as a play on the kitten's breed, and Carefree, as she lives in Carefree, Arizona. Lastly, after learning that the kitten's grandpa, Dior Blue, was a former breeder world champion, the final piece of the naming puzzle fell into place.
10. Banana Pawz
Banana Pawz looks nothing like a banana (he's a tuxedo cat), but owner Akudo McGee of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was only 12 years old when she received her beloved kitty as a gift, was never able to come up with a name that fit him better. Perhaps, given his foodie name, he can be forgiven for his food-stealing habit?
The top 10 wacky dog names of 2018
1. Isabella Miss Worldwide Boo Boo
Madison Lee of San Jose, California, drew from both popular culture and the calendar to come up with this award-winning name for her then-newborn pit bull, beginning with the Twilight series. “Pit bulls are often misunderstood and believed to be aggressive and unfriendly,” Lee says, according to Nationwide's website. “In Twilight, Bella is seen as awkward and somewhat of a misfit. I saw the similarities and knew Isabella would be part of her name.”
Next, Lee turned to the rapper Pitbull, who also goes by the name Mr. Worldwide (though she tweaked it to have a feminine salutation). Lastly, Lee was inspired by the day on which her pup was born-Halloween. Hence, the Boo Boo addition.
2. Franklin Woofsevelt
What do you name a puppy who's joining a home that's already occupied by a dog named Winston Furchill? Owner Britney Colantonio of Charlotte, North Carolina, and her boyfriend Corey turned to history and puns for inspiration. “We wanted Winston and the newest addition to be best of friends,” says Colantonio. “We looked to history and recalled the relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. It took us a while but eventually we came up with the perfect name, Franklin Woofsevelt.”
3. Ruffy the Vampire Slayer
Ruffy the Vampire Slayer has been slaying the hearts of her owners, Abby Podratz and Robert Brooks of Baltimore, Maryland, since the day the married couple visited a local foster home and the tiny pup crawled onto Brooks' lap and fell asleep. Television served up the inspiration they needed for a name. “I'm terrible at puns but my husband and I both love them, so we knew that her name had to be a pun,” says Podratz. “We love the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we were thinking of dog terms and immediately we thought of her name, Ruffy the Vampire Slayer.” Ruffy is a bit of a performer herself, as she accidentally learned how to whine to the tune of “Good King Wenceslas.”
4. Vladimir Poochin
When Mia Hanson and her husband, Zach Werner, of Everett, Washington, brought home their then-8-week-old North American village dog, they knew they'd landed on the perfect fit. When soul-searching for the perfect name, Hanson drew from her childhood. She'd grown up with cats named after former dictators, and she wanted her puppy to follow suit. “Zach and I were joking about the name Vladimir Poochin because it had a nice ring to it,” Hanson says. “It's made us laugh ever since and it suits him well.”
5. Sir Lix a Lot
Who would've guessed that Sir Mix-a-Lot would serve as inspiration for multiple wacky pet names on Nationwide's list? The unexpected is a theme that carries through Sir Lix a Lot's story. When Rebecca Macias of Davis, California, set out to get another dog, she wanted it to be big. The local rescue group, however, had only one dog to offer-a tiny Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix. Macias ditched her former plans and brought the pint-sized pup home to her other pint-sized pup, a Chihuahua named Pink Floyd. “I love all genres of music, including old school rap,” says Macias on the website. “He's always giving kisses and licking everyone so I knew that had to be part of his name. I thought of an old school rap artist I like, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and combined it with his love of licking and came up with Sir Lix a Lot.” Another unexpected detail? Sir Lix a lot can say, “Hello there,” as well as “I want a treat.”
6. Chauncey Von Poops a Lot
Twyla and Ryan Sirrine of Salem, Oregon, made the decision that they wanted a dog together, but it was Twyla who took the initiative to seek out a particular pup and bring it home while her husband was out of town. “We came across the name Chauncey Von Poops a Lot before we adopted him,” Twyla says, according to Nationwide's website. “We wanted a unique name for our puppy. When we first heard the name, we loved it and knew that would be a perfect and proper name for our newest member.” With such a grandiose name, who can blame Chauncey for being a bit of a foodie who avoids eating the same food twice?
7. Madame Squishy Van Wrinkleface
Cassandra George of Cumming, Georgia, was eight months pregnant when she and her husband, Michael, unexpectedly lost their beloved dog. After reaching out to a rescue group in Atlanta, the Cummings were able to welcome a new member to their growing family-a 2-year-old English bulldog with a decidedly squishy face. When it came to a name, the couple wanted it to be both English and fun. “I think pet names should reflect your pet's personality,” Cassandra says. “It's OK to have fun with the name and love it, but your pet will definitely tell you their name in some way.” The first words that came to the Cummings' minds when looking at their new dog was “squishy face,” and with a few proper tweaks and additions, they landed on a name that ticked all of their boxes: Madame Squishy Van Wrinkleface.
8. Lord Stanley the Pup
Sometimes, the first name just doesn't stick, which was the case with Lisa McDowell of Wyandotte, Michigan, and her Brittany spaniel. “In the photos I saw of him, he had a mark on the side of his face in the shape of a duck, so I decided to name him Ducky,” says McDowell, even though her original plan was to name him something that would bring to mind her favorite sport: hockey. But after watching him play in the yard, she felt Ducky wasn't right. The way he played with his littermates reminded her of a hockey player, so McDowell put on her thinking cap again. “He's so spoiled, and being an only dog, he's the king of the house,” says McDowell. “I went back to the idea of naming him after the Stanley Cup and the man who donated the cup, Lord Stanley. Eventually, Lord Stanley the Pup was derived and it's fit ever since!”
9. Little Bunny Foo Foo
Lisa and Stewart Colovin of Kansas City, Missouri, may have traveled to Texas to get their pharaoh hound, but they had to travel back in time to get the name (well, sort of). “When she was born, her ears shot straight up,” says Lisa. “One night I woke up out of a sound sleep and her name came to me-Little Bunny Foo Foo. It's the name of an old children's song I know. We had the name picked out before we had her, but once we picked her up, we saw how accurate the name fit.” Little Bunny Foo Foo is as gentle as her name and enjoys playing mom to two kitties, Cow and Chicken.
10. Sylvester Stud Puddin' Pop
Name inspiration didn't come as easily for Danielle Morgan of Commerce Township, Michigan. Knowing she wanted to incorporate “Stud” in some way, Morgan first named her pug Stud Muffin. This eventually morphed into Sylvester Stud, which wasn't quite right either. “I was looking at him one day and thought he looked like the popsicle treats Pudding Pops,” Danielle says. “He loves to eat, and I knew that had to be a part of his name. I put everything together and came up with Sylvester Stud Puddin' Pop.” Morgan calls Sylvester her “partner in crime,” as he's used his devastatingly good looks to get her out of a speeding ticket.