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Great Names for Dogs or Cats From Shakespeare, Myths, and Other Sources


I am an English teacher who teaches at a state university. I also teach classes online.

If your dog is high energy, consider that when picking a name.

If your dog is high energy, consider that when picking a name.

Do You Have a New Pet?

Getting a new pet is so exciting. There is a lot that you need to do to prepare to bring a new pet into your home—and choosing a great name for your new pet is one of the most fun parts.

Some pets may already have a name that was given to them by the rescue group, humane society, or breeder. However, if you're not crazy about the name or want to personalize it, that's okay. Most pets, even adult pets, will adjust to a new name within a few weeks.

Here are some tips for choosing a name for your dog or cat.

Consider Mythology

If you are looking to move beyond the usual pet names such as Spot or Tiger, and you truly want to pick something unique, consider looking at the names in mythology.

You can match a personality with a name from Greek, Roman, or Norse mythology. Think about the characteristics of your specific pet, as well as the characteristics of your pet's breed, when you are looking for that perfect name.

Pet Names Inspired by Norse Mythology

NameWho They WerePet Characteristics to Go With Name


Trickster god

Pet that is playful or sneaky


God of battle and poetry

A Large muscular pet or one that is beautiful, like a poem


Goddess of poetry and runes and drinking buddy of Odin

A beautiful pet or one that came to you when they were older


Goddess of knowledge

Great for a particularly smart pet


God of sky, thunder and fertility

Great for a large pet or one who is loud


Son of Loki, known for turning into a wolf

Great for large dogs with wolf characteristics


Guardian of the bridge

Great for an animal that loves water or one that is a great protector

Loki might be a good name for a black cat.

Loki might be a good name for a black cat.

Pet Names Inspired by Greek and Roman Mythology

Greek NameRoman NameWho They WerePet Characteristics to Go With Name



Supreme god of all others

Great for a commanding pet or one that is naturally a leader



God of the sea

Use for a pet that loves water



Goddess of the hunt

Great for a hunting dog or a cat that loves to prowl around



Goddess of wisdom

Consider for an exceptionally intelligent pet



God of the underworld

Best for an all black pet or one that is mischevious



God of love (son of goddess of love)

Good for a very affectionate pet



Goddess of hearth and home

Good for a pet that is calm and loves to snuggle on the couch

Shakespeare can be another great source for fun cat or dog names.

Shakespeare can be another great source for fun cat or dog names.

Shakespeare: Another Great Source for Unique Pet Names

What's in a name?

We owe so much of our language, including many everyday expressions, to William Shakespeare. Many of his characters had unique habits, talents, and problems—and many of those same characters would also make great names for pets.

Here are some names to consider from the world of Shakespeare when you are choosing a name for your pet.

Shakespeare Names for Pets

NameCharacteristicsWhat kind of pet might fit the name


Leader of the Greeks, sometimes makes dumb choices

A pet that's a bit clumsy but friendly



A pet that follows others around


Friend of Romeo

Consider for a pet that is great friend, very friendly


Ghost in Macbeth

Great for an all white pet


Loyal companion

A breen that is loyal to its owner.


A clown

For a pet that's always making you laugh



Good for a regal pet



Great for a sneaky pet


A Lord

Great for a pet that thinks he's a king


She is ordered to kill but captured by pirates

Could be used for a pet that appears mean but is actually sweet.


Virtuous woman

For a very sweet female pet


A clown

Great for a funny pet


Defies his father

Good for a stubborn pet


A follower

Good for a pet that likes everyone


Doesn't speak

Consider for a quieter pet


Brave warrior

Would be good for a bold pet


Quick tempered

Possible for a pet that's grouchy or short tempered


Woman who disguises herself as a man

Good for a female pet that everyone thinks is a boy

Other Sources for Interesting Pet Names

A pet's name should reflect your personality and theirs.

Consider these ideas to help generate a great name for your pet:

  • Foreign countries
  • Favorite foods
  • Favorite books or characters
  • Hobbies
  • Sports and sports figures
  • TV shows
  • Movies

While there is nothing wrong with an ordinary name that is used often, if you are trying to avoid the most commonly used pet names then consider staying away from the following:

  • Max, Spot, Buddy, Bear, Ginger, Daisy, Tiger, Sammy, Roxie, Sasha, Pepper, Blackie, Brownie, Moose, Scout, Rosco, Lexi

How to Teach a Dog or Cat Its Name

Once you have picked that great new name for your pet, it's time to get them used to it.

  • Use the name consistently and clearly.
  • Associate their name with praise. When they respond to their name, pet them and give them a treat.

When you do these things, they will begin to associate their name with themselves. Even cats can learn and respond to their names.

Final Thoughts

Naming a pet can be fun—but it's also an important decision. Remember that you and your pet may have to live with that name for 15 years or more.

Be open to new names and pick something unique. It can be a great conversation starter when someone asks you why you chose a particular name for your pet. Most of all, pick a name that reflects who they are and how they enhance your life and your family.


Maricar M. Jolo from Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 11, 2013:

Good job!