Names, as I have said before, are, like the third variety of greatness that Shakespeare spoke of, "thrust upon you." Well in my school days i'd have liked to be Yamini, Kamini, Ragini or at least Nalini which would have allowed me to share my name with a favourite teacher. But no, my folks had decided that I'd be a Usha. They had a Ravi and Chander before and they probably decided to explore the space in-between and came up with Usha! Or may be it was just that every 3rd child was named Usha in my days and voilà, I was the third wasn't I? Anyway, by the time I was old enough and brave enough to go to the gazette and have a name change, I had achieved enough notoriety to go with this name that I did not want to lose this identity. So here I am and even for writing a blog I could not come up with a fascianting name like Hyperactive Amygdala or Synaptic Catharisis (or Cathartic Synapses) but had to be the plain Usha. This is what happens to you when you are stuck with a boring name for 45 years.

Well, why this rant about a name all of a sudden? Ok, that is because the daughter of lady who gets our clothes ironed came today with a dog in tow. What with my natural instinct for socialising with animals, I needed an introduction so I could chat up the dog and endear myself. So I asked her what the name was and she responded "Rosie". Nice name, better than usha for sure but I had a problem with it. I looked again at the said canine and I could see without any doubt that it was a male. Rosie for a male dog? In my mind this amounted to cruelty and I was about to call the SPCA.
Poor guy, to be called Rosie forever. I was reminded of all the Radhakrishnans and Sitaramans who end up being Radhas and Sitas. But at least the dog had no way of knowing that he had a cute, sissy name like "Rosie" so he responded to that name with absolute dignity as if he was being called Caesar!

Then I realised that most of the mongrels are called Raja or Jimmy or Blackie or Peter if they are male and Ramu (if they're Tamil) and most females of the species are Rosie or Jikki (djikki?). And if it was a pomeranian it was Julie. (in fact my maid thinks Julie is the name of the breed and calls all poms "julie Naayi").In one friends house they called out to "Lakshmi" and out came the canine bounding with joy! My shock was almost similar to the time when I heard so much about a Mittal with the same first name and was so proud of an Indian woman who produced most of the steel in the world and then saw the photo for the first time!

Anyway back to names of dogs
Aren't the bigger pedigree dogs mostly Caesars and Cleos?and sometimes a Bruno if they are brown. Calling call them Tiger shows total ignorance that the real Tiger is a Big cat.Lassie became a common name for golden retrievers after the film and its endearing lead star. Spotty and Puppy and dolly are perhaps the least imaginative.Our colony has some of the dogs with most original names. Our own Sabapathy doesnt qualify for entry here because we "borrowed the idea" from the Tamil Film Sati Leelavathi. So here are the prize winners:
A daschund called Brandy
A Labrador called Pepsi
Another labrador called Random
A terrier called Bayroz
A mongrel called Biscuit ( pronounced Biscoot)
And Shib's dog Shadow ( She wanted to call it Kempe Gowda's shadow - even better!)
Two boxers called Kaaju and Badam who belong to our friends, the Sens.

I was terribly annoyed when I saw these cutest little pups of the world (Pug pups - ya same dog as in the HUTCH ad)at the Alliance Francaise the other day and guess what they decided to call them - Micky and Minnie. Can you believe it - MICKY and MINNIE!!! What is wrong with these people? I was so angry all of that day.

Anyway what would you like to call the Hutch Pug if he was yours? I will probably call him Karma or Carma, if I want to sound French!
(His/ her real name is Cheeka.)

(And ya, warning: I WILL judge you by the name you give your dog!)
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26 Responses
  1. Good one! Hubby had a female german sheperd named Daisy and a male cat called Ponsy :) Go ahead....I know you are itching to judge :)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I know a person who named her dog Whisky and cat Bilkul. :)

  3. passerby55 Says:

    haha...a good post.

    How about Fudgy or Pudgy.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    My friend had a dog called Bruce Devarajan!

  5. Unknown Says:

    We had a dog once whom we christened.... Yelsin ( without the 't') but he ended up being called default! No wonder he was a touchy, tetchy tyke!

  6. Shruthi Says:

    Good post :)
    There can't be a worse name for a dog than "Nazi"... yes, I knew one :(

    I am sure you'll get lots of interesting names in the comments!

    Btw, I think Usha is a very nice name - very common yes, but very beautiful - slips off the tongue very nicely... and has a good meaning. A good name, that is, errr.... for a human being ;)

  7. Shiv Says:


  8. Mahadevan Says:

    I think Tiger and Tomy, like Smith and Patel, are the most abused names.

    Your 'Sabapathy Iyer' ( Does it not sound like Sir Roger de Coverley) is immortal and I can't imagine a better name

  9. Fuzzylogic Says:

    Artnavy directed me here because I happen to love dogs a lot!Lol,I liked your name analysis.I have a cousin named Usha and I know a lot many Ushas.It's perhaps very common to name the son as Ravi or Kiran and then name the daughter Usha I guess.I always felt my name was also pretty hackneyed.I laughed when I read about your maid referring all poms as Juli naayi,it's so so very true:)I have heard it soo many times.I have had dogs in our home all my life.All males with names "Jughead" "Adam" "Duke" and "Archie".I loved this post!

  10. reborn Says:

    ha ha ..LOL

    when i was small i too thought julie was the name of the name of the breed.... i still call pomerians as julie naayi !!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    'Stella' who peed on my flowers! very rightly named...should I name her Stella Artois?... ;)

  12. Hip Grandma Says:

    My son took a long time to forgive me for not naming him Sai Satyanarayan but for giving him the name in his birth certificate instead of Rahul as we called him at home.He is now Sai to his friends and seems okay with the name.He still stares hard at me when he has to fill out a form where he has to add his dad's name as his surname making it even longer.we had an alsatian who was called Tony and another (female) called Helga.So my first choice for a dog would be these.

  13. Alapana Says:

    One of my dogs is called Raja,he was given this name by my bro because he says he is just like him, arrogant, rude,confident and headstrong and positive and killers instinct and will always aim high;p hahaha,so he named him the KING:)
    the other one is Sandy,i don't know why i gave her that name{maybe that name looked very stylish 4yrs back}but she is never called by that,i love calling her "Bangaaru" that is gold or goldie and i also call her sunny {even when i know that she is a SHE;p} and mostly i call them both "kanna,chunnumunnu,chotu, {kanna is someone very dear,like her own kid,chunnumunnu is small,sweet cutiepie )

    I know a dog by name Subramanyam and i call him subbu:)

  14. My dad use to say ... street dogs are no lesser dogs and called them lediapsoes.. (ledi in bong meaning local) :)
    he adored them and we had so many dogs till today....
    Bhuto (ghost in bong coz he was pitch dark)
    Peggy (dachshund she was very proper & English-like!)
    Naughty (he was loony with a adrenalin over dose.)
    now we have Simba ..he does resemble Simba from Lion King.
    poor guy is called all possible names Simber, Chimber, Chimba Shimber..thanks to our house help!!

  15. passerby55 Says:

    What about Oxford / Webster..the one who had named his Dog Oxford said that his Dog understood every word.

    Usha is a good name. In my school days we had few Ushas but many AShas.

  16. lol!! good post.
    My friend's dog (technically it was a street dog but he was fed everyday by my friend) was called 'Narayan rao'....

  17. Visithra Says:

    Love the post - i love my dad for naming me visithra - so much ive never bothered with getting a nick or anything - n hence im very particular with names ;) at least for ppl ;) though i will officially give them a nick

    on dogs n cats - hehe pity rosie

    but my dog was simply named browny (i was 7) - n though it was commen it fit him to the t - im not sure how else to explain ;)

    but one of my fav names ive heard is smokey for a cat - n said cat is smoking cool ;p ive finally got an appointment to see him ;p hehe

  18. Artnavy Says:

    I have always had neighbours who had dogs
    the one i liked best was tequila- a labrador
    thankyou- a pom
    cherry- a pom
    bubble- a lhasa apso

  19. Usha Says:

    Orchid: Ok, likes to be a bit adventurous but not go all the way..hhhehe...Ponsy is nice.

    Kishore:why do people name dogs after liquor, I wonder. Imagine them having to say,"We ca't travel much because we can't leave whisky alone at home." heheheh.

    Passerby: ya, Pudgy sounds good for cheeka.

    Priya:That is very close to our own Sabapathy Iyer.

    a4isms:Boris Yeltsin huh? Actually I like Boris.

    Shruthi:Yes that qualifies for the worst name.
    oh yes, see the variety of names.
    Ya, after you put it that way, it doesn't seem that bad. Thanks

    Shiv:Nino sounds good. Is it unisex like Rosie..heheh, lol!

    Mahadevan:Absolutely I like the comparison with Sir Roger de Coverley.

    Fuzzylogic:Welcome here and thank you. Duke is another name I have heard often wonder why?

    Reborn:Actually it suits them too.

    Anon: G, dont be upset with Stella...It is lack of training. hahahha, I can see how upset you are.

    Hipgran:hahahah...I know some people with such long names in our family too. I can also understand his anguish at having to forego a hep name like Rahul in favour of a more orthodox one!

    Alapana:so those are the R and S in those photos..they are so lovely.Our saba had those pet names too including pattukutti. heheh
    You know there was a Tamil film called "Moonram Pirai" where shreedevi 's pup is named and e she calls it chubbramani.

    Antara:hey lediapso - so creative. I love all the names of your dogs and the ones from your maid's imagination.

    Passerby: lol. Dog lovers are just besotted with their dogs they'll claim anything about them.

    Ober:oh he even had a surname huh? Cute.

    Visithra: Yes, your name is nice. Poor Rosie, indeed. But he has no clue what is wrong so it's ok I guess.
    Looking forward to the pic of the smoking cool cat- or perhaps he is just smoking?

    Art: Hey, I love all those names especially bubble.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Awesome post Usha! Very funny, esp. "Julie nayee" :D. And whats funnier is, my wife's name is Usha and her maiden name was Sabapathy :)).


  21. Anonymous Says:

    I was just given the name Usha last night. We all love it. Now i'm Usha too! Usha Grenade. Didn't think a white rapper girl from Oregon would have it, did ya!

  22. A.R.Malik Says:

    Usha in between chander and ravi....hilarious! But Usha, we love ya anyway, boring name notwithstanding.

    Caesar's a good name for a dog? Mine was called Brutus.

    Julie sounds like a golden-hearted hooker from a B-grade Hindi flick.

    Kaju and badaam?????

  23. My dogs' names come nowhere near Sabhapathy Iyer, I thought he must have been a judge or something! LOL

    julie naayi had me in splits.

    My dog that passed away was called Dingo, he was a cross between a Lab and a Golden Retreiver. The current Lab (at my Mom's house) is Trinity in her certificates, named so by my husband who was impressed with Matrix. But my Mom for whom she was bought, calls her Dingy in remembrance of Dingo. My son confused with Dingy and Trinity calls her Tinty... :-)

  24. My dogs' names come nowhere near Sabhapathy Iyer, I thought he must have been a judge or something! LOL

    julie naayi had me in splits.

    My dog that passed away was called Dingo, he was a cross between a Lab and a Golden Retreiver. The current Lab (at my Mom's house) is Trinity in her certificates, named so by my husband who was impressed with Matrix. But my Mom for whom she was bought, calls her Dingy in remembrance of Dingo. My son confused with Dingy and Trinity calls her Tinty... :-)

  25. Anonymous Says:

    I would name the pug Dado!


  26. I had a dog called Bink- from the poem by Rudyard Kipling...

    Boots, my parents dog-now mum has a Doberman called Honey,another called Rusty. There was a Terry and a Rusty and a dog called Kitty