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Городская научно-практическая конференция

«Время твоих возможностей»

Pets’ names

in the Russian and English languages


Кондрашова Екатерина

ученица 6 «а» класса


Моршанск 2015



  1. Pets’ names and their classification:

    1. Pets’ names…………………………………………

    2. Classification of pets’ names………………………

    3. English pets’ names………………………………..

  2. The analysis of pets’ names of Morshansk.

    1. Cats’ names………………………………………..

    2. Dogs’ names……………………………………….




In modern world when people of different countries have opportunity to communicate with each other, it is necessary to know all peculiarities of the language, that we want to communicate and the proper names too.

The proper names attract a lot of attention when we study a foreign language.

They reflect national culture features.

We have recently learnt a topic “Animals. Pets.” at our English lesson at school. I was interested in it because I am a great animals’ lover.

I decided to research the common traits of pets’ names in Russian and English. The analysis of pets’ names can help us to learn some new English words and show cultural peculiarities of English language.

In British and Russian cultures pets’ names have some distinctions which connect with history, traditions, geographical conditions .

Actuality of my research is undebatable.

Now when we have possibility to communicate with foreigners, see their life style, we can compare different spheres of life and learn better each other on the base of this comparison. Pets’ names have not been learnt well.

I think the research on this topic can tell us a lot of people’s life, their attitude towards animals, the note of animals and pets in men’s life.

Most of the city inhabits try to come nearer the nature now. They keep pets in their flats choosing names for them carefully. What influences on their chose? I would like to get an answer for this question.

That’s why this topic is actual.

The aim of the research is to discover traditional pets’ names of the UK and compare them with Russian ones giving pets’ names of Morshansk.


  • To analyze literature on the topic

  • To classify original pets’ names

  • To learn similarities and differences of pets’ names in English and Russian

  • To collect materials for the analysis using the survey

Object of the study is zoonomia (зоонимика).

Subject of the study are English and Russian pets’ names.


Russian and English pets’ names have differences connecting with national culture peculiarities.

  1. Pets’ names and their classification.

1.1.What are zoonomes (зоонимы).

Animals and pets always surrounded people. Animals are people’s friends and their protectors. That’s why the man gave them names. How did they appear? What did they reflect? How did they change?

Zoonomia gives answers for all these questions. Zoonomia learns zoonoms.

A zoonom is:

1) a proper name of an animal or pet (Мурка, Мухтар)

2) a nominal name meaning a pet, an animal (a dog, a cat)

Not each animal has the name. Pets and domestic animals have names.

Also, animals keeping in zoos and circuses, mystic animals like famous Nessy living in the Loch-Ness lake can have names.

Animals’ names appeared many centuries ago.

We can meet some names in ancient Greek myths.

For example:

Cerberus is a three headed dog guarding the enter to the underground kingdom has figurative meaning “ hateful, fierce guarder”.

Pegasus is a name of a winged Zeus’s horse.

There are some differences in animals’ names of different peoples.

There are country and town animals’ names.

    1. Classifications of pets’ names.

There are a lot of pets’ names in the world. There are traditional names and new, exceptional ones.

Traditional names often become nominal. They are used for designation of any animal of this kind.

For example Zhuchka from the fairytale “ Pampkin “ is a nominal name for a dog.

The host of a pet can choose any name for his dog or cat. The pet can have a traditional name, a human name, it can be called by any word not only the noun but the adjective or the verb too.

For example: Верный, Хватай.

There are not pets’ names classification in scientific works.

But we have tried to divide pets’ names into some groups. Let’s learn some groups of pets’ names in the Russian language.

  1. The most numerous group in Russian is zoonoms coinciding with human names.

In Russia hosts usually choose:

  • Borrowed names ( Jack, Richard )

  • Rare, out of date names ( like Филя, Кузя, Маруська )

It’s unusual to give human names to pets in Russian. Ancient pets’ names don’t break this taboo. If hosts choose a human name for a pet, it has diminutive suffixes

( Борька, Васька )

  • Names of famous historical persons (Цезарь, Байрон )

  • Names of literacy characters ( Бегемот, Багира, Акела )

  • Names from modern culture (Масяня is a character from a popular computer cartoon , Чубайс is a surname of a famous politician)

  1. Descriptive” nicknames are wide-spread in Russian and in English too.

The nickname can describe the color, the traits of appearance ( spots, parts of body), behavior, health, physical characteristics, history of pet’s birth ( place of birth, time of birth).

(Черныш, Рыжик , Каштанка , Шарик, Ушастик, Весельчак, Шустрик).

  1. Names which show valuable attitude of the host to his pet. In Russian these names coincide with names of precious stones (Diamond, Agate). Names like Красавчик, Дружок belong to this group too.

  2. Sound-imitating (звукообразовательные).

This group isn’t large.

These names imitate animals’ sounds or they are based on the phonetic game (they think, that pets’ names must content sound-complexes).

Animals are called by means of these sounds (Макс, Бакс).

This classification is approximate. There are a lot of names which can’t be concerned to any group. It is difficult to learn their origin.

For example, what means the dog’s name Fox? Maybe it is a color (red like a fox), a trait of character (cunning like a fox) or the name of any character.

    1. Pets’ names in the English language.

Pets’ cult reins in the UK. A lot of special magazines and newspapers about animals are published. Clubs of animals’ lovers are created. There are a lot of organizations for animals’ protection. The most popular one is RSPCA (King society for animals’ protection).

There is a pet in every British house.

Dogs take the first place (more than 6 million), cats take the second place (about 3 million), parrots take the third place (3 million) and so on. Pets of different kinds have often traditional names. The most wide-spread names among our four-footed friends are Puss, Kitty, Tom, Tib for cats. The most popular parrot’s name is Polly.

As a rule pedigree puppies’ names connect with names of their parents.

Dogs Duster (Пылевик) and Mop(Швабра) have puppies called Bucket (Ведро), Scrubber( Скребок), Polish(Лоск ), Sponge( Губка), Flannel( Фланелька ), Brush(Щётка ), Broom( Веник ), Soap( Мыло).

Names of the famous people, countries, cities, foreign words, numerals mustn’t be used in dog’s names.

Dog’s name can consist of not more than 24 letters. However, in real life dogs’ names are shorter and consist of only two syllables:

Promise( Обещание ), Pancake( Блин), Polestar( Путеводная звезда ), Planet(Планета),Passion( Страсть ), Picnic(Пикник ).

Sometimes we can meet three syllable names: Manager( Хозяин ), Merryman (Весельчак ).

It’s obviously that a short name is more comfortable. It allows to get the execution of orders very quickly.

Given classification can be used for pets’ names in Britain.

Among pets’ names we often meet proper names (Max, Charlie, Tom, Jones).

Wide-spread names come from words meaning the size, color, and other features of an pet’s appearance. For example, pets’ names like Tiny(Крошка ), White(Белянка ), Redhead( Красноголова), Sandy ( Песчаник), Amber(Янтарь ), Rusty( Ржавый ),Blackie(Чёрненький ), Brownie(Карий ) say about the color of animals. Some names reflect the character of an animal: Patience( Терпение ), Lady( Госпожа ), Joy( Радость).

The most wide-spread names:

Cats’ names: Molly, Felix, Sylvester, Honey (мёд), Lucky (Счастливчик), Twinkle ( Огонёк ).

Parrots’ names: Polly, Jimmy, George, Jackie, Joe, Toby.

Rabbits’ names: Percy, Harry, Snowy (Белоснежка ), Queen (Королева ).

Fish’s names: Fred, Charlie, Spark ( Искра ), Goldy ( Золотце ), Flash

( Вспышка ), Pinky (Розовый ).

Hamsters’ names: Jeremy, Peter, Paul, Tina, Honey (Сладкий), Squeaker (Пискун), Sandy (Песчаник).

Tortoises’ names: Terry, Fred, Tommy, Cupid (Купидон), Herby (Травник), Luck (Удача), Tiny (Кроха), Rocky (Крепыш ).

Thus, British people give different names to their pets. Russian and British names can be concerned to the definite groups. The most numerous group in Russian and Britain is one, that coincides with people’s names.

  1. The analysis of pets’ names of our town.

2.1. Cats’ names

Pets are an integral part of the Russians’ life. Town inhabitants and Country ones have pets. We live in the town. Town inhabitants are financial independent on the animals but a pet living in a town flat often becomes a member of the family. Town pets are cats, dogs, parrots, fish, and hamsters. We have researched in our work names of the most wide-spread kinds of pets: cats and dogs. We have surveyed some students of our school and have learnt the correlation of cats and dogs, the most popular names of these pets. I have surveyed 100 students having dogs and cats. I have learnt that 107 pets ( only cats and dogs) live in 100 families( 65 cats, 42 dogs).

Special terms for dogs’ names and cats’ names (kynonims and felinonims) have appeared In the last zoological researches and works. We have analyzed cats’ names with we have got by means of the survey. 65 cats have 45 names. There are 12 repeated names from them.

The most popular name is Mursik. 5 cats are called by this name.

The second place takes the name Khvostik. 4 cats have this name.

Names Barsik, Vasya and Timoshka have 9 cats.

14 cats are called Masyanya, Persik, Murka, Mus’ka, Pushok, Snegeok, Chernysh.

Thus, a half of the cats has repeated names. Names meeting only once are Dusya, Yasha, Sonya, Sphans, Busya.

So, I have tried to distribute these names into groups and lead their origin.

We have distributed 3 groups:

  1. Proper names (names like people have).

This is the most numerous group (19 names from 45).

Example: Dusya, Vasya, Sima, Yasha, Semyon, Lola, Marusya, Masyanya and so on.

We can see that there are no borrowing names among them.

  1. Names describing appearance or color.

This group is enough numerous. There are 13 names like Khvostik, Persik, Ryzhulya, Pushok, Snezhok, Konopushka, Busya.

  1. The less numerous group is one which describers the traits of the character ( only 5 names ). Sonya, Shustrik, Tigra, Myushka.

We have distinguished a group of the names which it’s difficult to classify. It consists of 8 names. Nmaes Murka and Mursik can be concerned to the sound-imitative group. It’s difficult to concern another names to any group, because we don’t know the history of their origin. I think, hosts liked the words, for example, Shpans and Tasik.

We have asked students of our school to name five the most famous cats’ names. The most popular names are Vaska, Murka, Sima. In general, the analysis has proved the popularity of cats’ names connecting with people’s names and cats’ appearance.

There are few borrowing names, names of the foreign origin, polysyllabic words, names with difficult pronunciation.

    1. Dogs’ names.

Dogs are on the second place among pets in Russian cities and in Morshansk too.

Only 42 families of 100, that have taken part in our survey, have dogs.

Have analyzed dogs’ names of our town we have come to the conclusion that they are different from cats’ names.

42 dogs have39 names. Names like Potap, Lapa and Richard are repeated. Hosts try to be more inventing choosing names for their dogs. They want to give a special, unusual name for their pets. They often use foreign words and names for example: Archi, Teddy, Bill, Lara, Perry, Black. Dogs are called foreign names because traditional names associate with a yard dog.

We have distributed dogs’ names to some groups:

1. 18 dogs have people’s names (Potap, Archi, Lana, Lolita)

2. 8 dogs have names, describing appearance ( Iscorka, Dgynyok, Pyanistik, Black, Lapa).

3. There are only 3 names, describing the character (Rada, Smilik, Pul’ka).

11 names can’t be distributed to any groups. For example: Shok, Alfa, Baykal, Dozor).

The most popular dogs’ names are Sharik, Tusik, Layka, Bobik.


The research of the proper names is important for understanding of people’s life style.

Pets’ names can tell us about traditions, culture, customs, language processes of people.

British society has rich traditions of breeding and keeping of pets. Zoonomic vocabulary is various too.

We have researched English pets’ names, their origin, development, functions. So, we have researched Russian pets’ names (names of our town).

We have done the analysis of Russian and English pets’ names which helped us to discover their common and different traits.

All tasks have done. We have learnt the similarities and differences of Russian and English pets’ names.

Traditional proper names are wide-spread in the both countries. So, it’s normal to get names reflecting some features of appearance and character of pets.

There are some differences. Pets’ names have come from abstract notions are popular in the UK.

But in Russian language we can seldom meet these kinds of pets’ names. It’s a peculiarity of Zoonomic vocabulary of the English language.

I am planning to follow learning pets’ names of some literacy works.

I think, the hypothesis has been proved. Russian and English pets’ names have differences and similarities, connecting with national culture features. The materials can be used by students and teachers at the English lessons.


  1. Артёмова А.Ф., Леонович О.А. Английские имена собственные и пополнение словарного состава.//ИЯШ – 2005, № 1 - С.102.

  2. Бондалетов В.Д. Русская ономастика: Учеб. пособие. — М.: Просвещение, 1983. — 224 с.

  3. Ногайцева В.Ф., Печенина Л.А. Животные и растения в английской речи.//Английский язык - М.:Первое сентября – 2005, № 18 - С.33-34.

  4. Ожегов С. И., Шведова Н. Ю. Толковый словарь русского языка: 80 000 слов и фразеологических выражений / Российская академия наук. Институт русского языка им. В. В. Виноградова. — 4-е изд., дополненное. — М.: Азбуковник, 1999. — 944 с.

  5. Пашкевич А.А. Особенности кличек животных как именных классов.//Известия РГПУ им. А.И. Герцена – 2006, № 19 - С. 60-64.

  6. Чебунин Л. Что в имени тебе моем? //Наука и жизнь – 2006, № 7

  7. Шекура Т.В. Способы номинации животных в ономастической системе русского и китайского языков.//Человек-язык-общество: Материалы международной научной конференции (6 октября 2006г.) – Хабаровск: Изд-во Тихоокеан. гос. ун-та, 2006. – С. 137-143.

  8. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/what-should-i-call-my-pet-top-ten-most-popular-dog-names-of-2012-8455046.html

  9. http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/top-10-trendiest-cat-and-dog-names

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