Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dog Names vs. People Names

WNYC, the local public-radio affiliate, combed through data from 100,000 registered dogs in New York this week and provided some interesting stats.

In many parts of the city, including much of the Upper West Side, Lucy is the most popular dog's name. (Citywide, Bella was No. 1.)

Max, Lola, Molly and Princess also are common, as you can see from this interactive map.

Many of these names are catching on with babies as well, which makes me wonder if dog names are a leading indicator for human names.

It makes sense. Many couples get a dog as a trial baby before they're ready to be real parents, so perhaps they also test out their favorite names on canines. (I feel like I was hearing Milo on animals for years before it made it big with kids.)

I've already discussed how Lucy appears to be taking off as a baby name, especially here in New York. Did all those dogs help lay the groundwork?

Globally, the most common dog names among English-speaking people are Max and Molly, according to the Canine Corner columnist at Psychology Today. Check out the human-name charts for these monikers, courtesy of the Baby Name Wizard site.



It's the same story with the other dog names. Each of them is showing a recent uptick  and in some cases, a dramatic gain.




You would think there's some stigma to giving your child a common dog name. (Certainly a family wouldn't name their kid after their own pet, right?)

But it's clearly not too much of a deterrent.

Even Princess, a popular dog name in Harlem and Queens, has caught on for humans.


Atta girl, Princess.