Common dog name origins

Max. Spot. Rover. Fido. Have you ever wondered where all those popular dog names came from? Here’s a brief look into the history of a few names.

Max is probably one of the most popular dog names seen throughout history. The name Max originally comes from the Latin meaning of Maximillus and Maximus, which means “the greatest.” The Gaelic meaning of Max means “son of the wise leader.” The popularity for Max as a dog name probably originated with the Roman Emperor Maximilian, though the first known Maximilian was born by a 3rd-century saint. Max most likely appealed to owners because they know that their dog is “the greatest,” and they only want the best name for their great pet.

Another popular pet dog name is Spot. This name derives from the southern Italian name Spoto. Spoto comes from the Greco-Calabrian word codespoto, which means “head of a household.” The Greek meaning comes from the words oikos, meaning “house” and despotēs, meaning “master.” Some people say their dog is the head of the house, so Spot just may be a fitting name. Also when considering Spot, remember that some people prefer giving their pets a name that describes their physical appearance; some common examples other than Spot are Blacky, Fluffy, Tiger, Chocolate and Snowball.

The next name on the list is Fido. Fido comes from the Latin word fidelis, which means “faithful,” or “of the faith.” There are, however, many varying names that are derived from the word fidelis. Some of these additional forms include: Fidelia, Fidellio, Fidel, Fidella, and Fidelity. The Catalan, Galician, and Spanish name Fidel all derive from the same meaning as listed above. This pet name originated from the Latin form and was simply shortened into what we know today as “Fido.” Fido is a well-chosen pet name because it accurately describes the faithfulness dogs display toward their owners, because they have proved to be extremely faithful companions throughout the years. What better name can you give a pet than one that honors their finest qualities?

The final name on the list is Rover. Though there aren’t too many Rover’s today, it is still a nostalgic dog name that has stuck around throughout many eras. The name Rover originally came from the North German word Röver, which was a derogatory nickname for the Middle Low German word robber. The English meaning of this word basically meant a person who constructed or repaired roofs, or simply put, a roofer. The verb rove may also have a hand in Rover as a dog name; a rover can be translated to mean one who wanders. When the German and English meanings later combined, Rover transformed into a general nickname for an unscrupulous character. Dogs can be mischievous little rascals who like to wander around outside, so this is an apt pet name as well.

If you are wondering what to name your new pet, consider these classic names of old origins. It never hurts to find out what’s in a name!