Archaic and old-fashioned names for pets

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Archaic and old-fashioned names for pets

Post by Graven » July 14th, 2013, 9:35 am

Well, I like to name my pets. I doubt I will ever think of names for all of them, and frankly some aren't interesting enough to warrant an interesting name, but it's an ongoing project. I named a few of them after the old-fashioned name for that animal (if there was one and I knew it), and then I started to try putting a short list together, which people may or may not find useful for naming ideas.

I believe the origin of most of these names is old English, but some have been derived from Gaelic and other languages. Some are or were used in poetry, and some are taken from the works of Tolkein, who was a linguist and lover of old words. A few I knew beforehand, but most I yoinked from various sites, so apologies if any are wrong.

Paddock - frog or toad
Malkin - cat or hare (also Graymalkin or grimalkin)
Cony - rabbit
Partan - crab
Halcyon - kingfisher
Philomel - nightingale
Piet - magpie
Erskine (urchin) - hedgehog
Camelopard - giraffe (they used to think it was a cross between leopard and camel)
Attercop - spider
Eft - lizard or newt
Emmet - ant
Brock / Bauson - badger
Tod - fox
Oliphant - elephant
Flittermouse - bat
Dumbledore - bumblebee
Capel / caple - horse
Adderbolt - dragonfly
Mereswine - dolphin
Clock-a-clay - Ladybird (Ladybug in the US I believe)

If anyone else is remotely interested, and can think of any additions for the list (or correct me on any I've got wrong) that would be great.

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Re: Archaic and old-fashioned names for pets

Post by Dragonwizard » July 14th, 2013, 11:51 am

Interesting, out of all those the only two I had heard before where Oliphant and Cony.
"Even when you are winning soundly, you must always give your opponent a way to retreat with honor. If you don't, then he has no reason to surrender. He will fight until the bitter end, and you will pay a larger price for victory."

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Re: Archaic and old-fashioned names for pets

Post by Gromagrim » July 15th, 2013, 8:11 am

Todd is my surname, so I know all about foxes :p

There are many names in Old English which differ slightly from the names we use today.

Also note the change in naming of domestic animals after the Norman conquest of England, when many animals gained two names, (Anglo-Saxon/Franco-Norman) one becoming the word for the animal, one for the meat, e.g. Cow/Beef, Swine/Pork, Sheep/Mutton.

Welsh is also a fascinating language (for native British species) and is likely the most true to original Briton names for animals (along with Cornish)

Bear - Arth
Cow - Buwch
Deep - Ceirw
Fox - Llwnog
Goat - Gafr
Horse - Ceffyl
Pig - Mochyn
Rabbit - Cwningen
Sheep - Dafad
Squirrel - Gwiwer
Wolf - Blaidd
Hedgehog - Draenog
Hare - Ysgyfarnog
Otter - Dyfrgi
Mouse - Llygoden

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