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"If there must be a cat, do not, for the love of God, name it: Magnifi-cat or similar pun; Mr. Adjective-Anatomical-feature; with two or more words all starting with the same letter; or with any name plus the surname of the cat's owner."

Sometimes it's just not worth making up original names for animals. These are names that have been used forever in real life for (usually domesticated) animals, and carry over well for animal characters in fiction. Sometimes its an obvious pun or description of the animal's appearance.

For dogs and cats it seems like a new "stock" name is "Mr." or "Mrs." something; Mr. Muggles (dog, Heroes), Mrs. Norris (cat, Harry Potter).

The bottom line is, if you want an original name for a character, don't use these ones. Note that no one ever uses these names in Real Life. (At least, not anymore.) They don't even show up in the lists of most popular pet names. But if you use the names correctly, people know immediately what kind of animal you mean.

Compare Species Surname.

Since this is pretty much a Universal Trope, don't bother listing specific examples. But if you know of an interesting subversion, it's probably worth adding.

  • Dogs: Spot, Rover, Patch(es), Fido, Rex, Buster, Sparky.
    • For more aggressive dogs, Spike, Wolf, Fang, Killer.
      • In the UK they're often named after boxers. Tyson in particular.
    • For Scottish Terriers: Scotty.
    • For German Shepherds: Ace.
    • For poodles: Fifi.
    • In Japan: Pochi.
      • The female leads in He Is My Master have a pet named Pochi, who the male lead assumes to be a dog. It's actually an alligator.
    • In France: Médor. (Pronounced May-Dohr)
    • In the Deep South, Beauregard, particularly in Looney Tunes cartoons.
    • Prince for big, nice-looking dogs.
    • Blue for hounds.
    • In Hungary: Morzsi, Bundás
    • In Finland: Halli (obsolete), Murre or Rekku (onomatopoetics), Musti ("Blackie", and "the" name)
    • In Poland: Azor, Burek, Reks
    • In Sweden: Karo, Fido, Rex.
  • Cats: Sassy, Fluffy, Whiskers, Max.
    • In Japan: Tama. Usually (but not always) said "Tama" will be a calico.
    • For tomcats: Tom.
      • For queens: Queenie.
    • For white cats: Snowball.
      • Subverted in The Simpsons with a black cat named Snowball II. It was a replacement for a white cat named Snowball that was run over by a Chrysler.
    • Tiger, whether striped or not.
    • Ginger for ginger cats.
      • Cinnamon is also used for these types of cats.
    • In Finland: Miiru (obsolete), Mirri ("the" name)
    • In the UK: Tibbles/Tiddles.
      • Lampshade Hanging in Going Postal: When Moist gets told the Post Office cat is called Tiddles, he refuses to believe it: "I thought it was just a joke name".
        • Fun fact: "Tibbles" is a corrupted version of "Tybalt", the name of the Prince of Cats in the Reynard the Fox stories. Tabby is a related word. (Now you know why Mercutio repeatedly calls Juliet's cousin Tybalt "prince of cats" in Romeo and Juliet.)
    • In Malaysia: Comel is a very common name for cats, it means cute. Putih is another common name for white/mostly white cats.
    • In Poland: Mruczek, Puszek
    • In Norway: If the cat is grey, Gråpus, meaning grey pussy.
    • In Sweden: Misse (or some very similar-sounding name).
  • Lions: Leo.
    • Originated from the constellation (or astrology sign if you prefer).
    • Or more simply, the Latin name.
  • Rabbits: Whiskers
  • Cows: Bessie/Bossie, Clarabelle.
    • Bessie the Cow may have originated as the mascot for a brand of dairy products.
    • Flower names, especially Buttercup or Daisy.
    • In Finnish: Heluna, Mansikki, Muurikki (all "the" names); anything with the suffix -kki will be recognised as a cow (Tiistikki, Punikki etc.)
    • In Denmark: Karen, Maren, Mathilde(Or just Thilde)
    • In Poland: Krasula, Mućka
    • In France: Marguerite
  • Goats: Nanny, Billy.
  • Pigs: Hampton, Hamlet, and other variations on "ham."
    • Porky.
  • Goldfish: Goldie.
  • Parrots: Polly and its variations (Paulie, etc.)
    • In France, Coco.
    • Pete.
  • Turtles: Sheldon or Shelly, Speedy.
    • In France: Caroline
  • Raccoons: Rascal. See also Rascally Raccoon.
  • Generic:
    • Whiskers for anything with whiskers.
    • Blackie for anything black.
    • Tripod for anything missing one of its legs.
      • Also "Lucky" for an animal missing either a leg or an eye.
  • Non-Parrot Birds: Pete or Petey.
  • Horses: Dobbin
    • Silver, particularly when paired with the expression "Hi-ho!"
  • Bears: If it's a bearcub, then Little Bear. This remains true, despite this name being heavily associated with the popular book and television series by Maurice Sendak and Else Holmelund Minarik.
    • Bruin. (Dutch for "brown", originally from Reynard The Fox).
  • Foxes: Reynard(also from Reynard the Fox), Todd.
    • In Denmark, vixens are often called Rita, which is a Shout-Out to a popular Danish book series for little kids.
    • In Sweden, fictional male foxes are almost always named Mickel.
  • Skunks: Stinky. For a little irony, Floral Theme Naming is very popular with the females (and sometimes, males, Flower in Bambi being the Ur Example).
  • Hamsters: Hampton, Hammy, and other variations on "ham."
  • Apes: Bobo
  • Monkeys: Bobo
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