Sorry Fido, Today’s Pet Owners Prefer Human Names

Just read an article in the Daily Mail by Ryan Kisiel reporting on research that shows “today’s pet owners prefer human names” instead of traditional pet names. The Daily Mail article listed the top 20 dog and cat names in the U.K as:

Dogs: Poppy, Alfie, Molly, Bella, Charlie, Ruby, Daisy, Millie, Lola, Tilly, Rosie, Max, Oscar, Bailie, Archie, Holly, Coco, Barney, Monty, Toby

Cats: Poppy, Daisy, Charlie, Millie, Molly, Bella, Oscar, Rosie, Tilly, Lola, Alfie, Lily, Willow, Coco, Tigger, Smudge, Milly, Monty, Ruby, Jasper

Two observations:

-There doesn’t seem to be much difference between names for dogs and cats. Thirteen of the names are on both lists.

-The majority of names on both lists have a “y” or “ie” (diminutive) ending—including 15 of the dog names and 12 of the cat names

At the same time, the long-term trend for top-10 girls’ names  is to move away from “pet names” with “y” and “ie” endings in favor of names with “a” endings and consonant endings.

It’s fair to speculate that as names with “y” and “ie” (or “i”) endings become increasingly perceived as names appropriate for pets, they may not be as attractive or appropriate for use on humans.

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