Many moons ago, and by many moons I mean approximately 114 years, humans began giving their dogs — GASP! — human names. Yesteryear’s Princes, Rovers, and Fidos blossomed into Bellas, Sophies, and Baileys, and soon it was all, “You named your kid after the dog?” and not the other way around.
Well, it turns out it has been a long road to get here. According to Kathleen Walker-Meikle’s book Medieval Pets, Europeans in the 16th century were much more creative with their pets names (perhaps because, due to religious faith and family obligation, they couldn’t be as creative with their human offspring.) Case in point: Nosewise, Zaphyro, Zalbot, and our personal favorites, Mopsus and Mopsulus.
It wasn’t until the early 20th century that we notice a major change in our pet naming habits. Thanks to Stanley Brandes, who published a comprehensive anthropological study on the pet cemeteries of the United States in 2009, we know that Americans have increasingly been personifying their pets, first by giving them gender specific names (Mrs. Wiggles, anyone?) and then more acceptable human names (“Sit, Stanley!”)
Today, nearly all of the most popular dog names would also be pretty chill names to give your kids, as shown in this incredible infographic from Fatherly below. But I confess–I’m still partial to Mopsulus.