1. Operation Pet Names

    Just like people, house pets are given names, which are called zoonyms. Together, we can collect zoonyms from all over the world and compile the first ever pet name classification.

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    Operation Pet Names

    There is a saying that your pet says a lot about you.

    But did you ever think that your pet’s name says something about you as well?

    What do we call our pets?*

    Choosing names for our beloved pets is often not an easy task. Whereas some people, without much ado, will call their cat, Kitty, others will spend weeks contemplating on the one and only appropriate name.

    One distinguishing characteristic of pet names, however, is that they are chosen by their owners. Thus, a pet name can reveal interesting things about us.

    A fascinating and young scientific field of onomastics** studies pet’s names, or zoonyms.*** It explores how various aspects of our lives, including our personal preferences and idiosyncrasies, our family history, and our economical circumstances, can be reflected in the names of our pets.

    The history of zoonyms has not yet been researched in-depth, and with this project all of us can make a significant contribution to it. Our collaborative investigation will help to compile the very first international classification of zoonyms.

    Additionally, our work will create a valid zoonym map that will show not only the various names of pets, but also how they are distributed worldwide. We also can compare traditional and new tendencies in the field of naming house pets.

    *In this study, pets are all domesticated animals that we name and keep for companionship.

    ** onomastics – the study of the origin and history of proper names.

    *** zoonym – the scientific term for the name of an individual animal, particularly a pet.

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