Top 10 Most Popular Dog Names

by | Apr 26, 2021 | Pet Adoption, Pet Training

Dogs are man’s best friend, and that means naming them is a serious matter. You need to do your research, because names you think are hilarious might not be what a dog will want to live with. There are some popular trends that we’ve noticed in the data about what to name your pup, so read on for our Top 10 Most Popular Dog Names and find your new best friend’s perfect name!

This list will help you choose the perfect name for your new pup. Whether you want to honor a family member or favorite celebrity, or give your dog an interesting moniker, this list has it all.

1) Bella

Meaning “beautiful,” Bella is the number one most popular dog name in America! It’s also been used in movies like Twilight and The Social Network as well as TV shows like House M.D. and Burn Notice.

The name Bella is derived from the Italian word “bello” meaning “beautiful”. The name was first used in Italy and came over to America with Italians of the turn of the 20th century.

Maggie is a variation of Bella.

2) Max

“Justice” is the meaning behind this powerful dog name. The name Max was also used in the TV series Mad Men and the film Good Will Hunting. Max is a short and sweet name for your dog, and is also the name of one of the most popular dog characters in literature. The adorable cartoon character from Where the Wild Things Are is another famous Max, but there are plenty of other characteristics to be inspired by. The most common characteristic Maxxies are known for is being kind of a goofball — there’s a little bit of Max in all dogs!

3) Jake

Meaning “supplanter,” Jake has been a favorite dog name since the early 20th century! This trendy name is also commonly used for male humans, so be sure you choose the right gender before you get a pup with this moniker. The Jake character from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is also a strong inspiration for dog names.

Jake is a name of Hebrew origin, and it means supplanter. The name comes from the Hebrew word Jakob which means “he shall extend his arm.” This reference is all about God stretching out his arm to provide strength for Jacob.

4) Lucy

A Latin name meaning “light,” Lucy has been one of America’s most popular dog names since 1920! It was also used as a character in Friends as well as in Norah Jones’ hit song of the same title.

It has been in use for centuries. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian saint Lucy was also known as “Lucy of Syracuse” or “the patron saint of eyesight.” Lucy has been popular as a name for girls in the U.S. since about 1880, and began to be used for boys in the late 20th century.

5) Maggie

This classic name is actually an abbreviation of Margaretta, which means “pearl.” Although it had a short spike in popularity in the 1920s, Maggie has been a top dog name for decades! It was also used as a character name for the book Where the Red Fern Grows.

Maggie has been in use since the mid-19th century. It is a nickname for Margaret. As previously said Margaret in turn comes from the Greek margarites meaning ”pearl” or “something engraven,” from which we also get the word agate. In Roman times it was thought that infants born with a caul over their face would live to be very old and valuable; so valuable that they would become like a pearl.

6) Molly

This girl-next-door moniker was originally used as a nickname for Mary, which means “bitter.” It experienced a spike in popularity after Jake and Molly left their TV home on The Beverly Hillbillies and began starring in their own series! (1965-1971).

Molly has been in use since the 16th century. It is believed to be a diminutive of Mary (Mariam) or another variation used in Ireland and Scotland. It was sometimes used as an Irish form of the name Maud or Matilda.

7) Lady

This fancier name is actually a title, which makes it seem more unique. Lady was used as a character name in the movie Lady and the Tramp, but was also used to describe dogs like Snoopy’s girlfriend! This name is great for a girl or boy pup who you don’t want to call “boy” or “girl” their whole life.

Lady is a word of Germanic origin and is used in English-speaking countries. It entered England with the Normans after 1066, when it was used to refer to a nobleman’s wife or mistress. The term is etymologically related to “lad” but its use for “woman” was considered old-fashioned and archaistic by the end of the 19th century.

8) Buddy

This classic name on our most popular dog list was the number one male nickname as recently as 2010! Buddy has been used for humans since the 1920s, but it was changed to nickname status in 1967 when somebody thought it would be easier for people to keep up with nicknames than surnames. You can definitely use this upbeat name for your new pup! The best part of this name: It only takes two syllables!

The origins of Buddy are disputed, but the name often appears in the form of Badger in the U.K. and Australia. This name was officially decided to be a diminutive (part of a family name) in 1975.

9) Rover

This Italian dog name means “thief,” but it’s also a British and Irish term for “friend.” It was used as a character name in The Rover, an episode of the classic TV show Doctor Who! It’s a formal or dignified name that will make your pup feel like a movie star.

Rover is an English family name used since the Middle Ages. It may have derived from “rouvère” (literally “robber”) or some other Old French word. The name Rover was first used as a given name when it was attached to the main character of John Gay‘s 1727 play, The Beggar’s Opera (which was later turned into the better-known work by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill). The name was originally thought to be a stage name, and that is also the original meaning of the nickname.

10) Lucky

This is yet another popular Italian moniker that means “blessed.” The name Lucky was seen in the tv series Lucky Dog as well as Napoleon Dynamite and many other films. This name is perfect for your pup if you feel like he’s always bringing you home nice things (like pine cones and sticks)! Lucky is a family name used since the 1900s and was approved as a first name in 1976.

Lucky is an English nickname of the French surname Lecouvrier, which itself means “dog” in Old French. It was used as a given name since the 19th century and was officially made a first name in 1975.

When Should I Not Use a Nickname for My Dog?

In some cases, it is better to avoid a nickname for your dog, and if you do choose to come up with one anyway, consider using only two or three words. Surnames are generally used as ‘last names’ which indicate familial relations between individuals in their respective families. Therefore, you should not try to give your dog a nickname that sounds like his or her last name. (and even if you did know his or her full name, which it is likely that you don’t). As much as possible, try and avoid using any long words phonetically with your pup. Of course, a lot of such nicknames are funny and cute, but it is really very likely that this will cause the dog to feel uncomfortable if he or she does not know how to respond.

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