PET CENTRAL - A recurring and frequently mentioned problem among Neopets users
is thinking up a good name for their pets. Personally, I've never found this
to be much of a problem, although it can be quite a challenge. After reading
through endless names with numbers, underscores, and other odd characters that
people have used to guarantee a unique name, I've decided to share my own system
for coming up with a good pet name.
First, let's define a "good" pet name. Good, in this case, means a pet name
that does not contain numbers or other "nonsense character" type additions.
It is also a name that is relatively easy to pronounce - or at least close enough
to be readable. (For instance, "zxweycvnz" is out.) The best types are those
that also have some meaning of their own.
Method One: mangled meanings
Think about your proposed pet's species, desired colour, and personality.
Come up with descriptive words and phrases. Now see if you can create a name
that combines parts of a couple of those words. For instance, let's say you
had a Nimmo who hates flies. (Hey, it's got to be unique, right?) He's going
to be blue. Rather than going for "blueflyhater54563", let's try coming up with
something a bit better. For instance, hate can easily be turned to phobia...
or -phobe. Fly? What about aerial, wings, glitter, splat, buzz... so what could
we try... splatterphobe! Enter that into the search button on the yellow sidebar
and see what happens... well what do you know?
Search Results -
ERROR : Sorry, nothing with the name 'splatterphobe' exists. Please
You got lucky! Usually, you can count on your first couple of ideas as being
taken. After all, there ARE a lot of pets out there. But even with that, these
are available as well: wingsic (sic = sick), aerophobe, nohifly, and flychoke.
So if you're creative, finding a name that's not taken isn't all that hard,
even with millions out there.
Method Two: common variations
Start with a common name, and keep trying variations on it until you come
up with one that is unoccupied. For instance:
Three tries before we found one available. That's about what you can expect.
Notice how I changed things. First, I tried adding a letter on the end, then
I changed a vowel. Next, I added a vowel and made another syllable for the name.
Then back towards our original name, and off in another direction - adding another
syllable, and changing a couple of letters. Although I'm using two or three
types of changes, a more methodical search can easily be made.
The simplest variation is to change a single letter. The results would look
something like this:
by a not yet born skeith)
And so on. It's obvious to see from this list that just changing ONE letter
from a common name might work, but it's not very fruitful. But what happens
when you change two?
Notice that I always used consonants! This is something that you need to remember
when you're doing this sort of changing around. Simply keep the consonant-vowel-consonant
(etc.) pattern the same, and it's relatively easy to come up with "reasonable"
Another trick is to add a syllable or two onto the end. Suggested syllables
-nin, -rit, -dar,
-dan, -rey, -wen, -tor, -can, -lon
Notice that all of these examples have the same consonant-vowel-consonant
pattern. Let's see how well this works out in practice. To give it a better
chance, let's use a relatively uncommon starter.
Wow! Clean sweep! You've got a nice set of possibilities here, and all you
had to do was to play mix and match with the ending syllable. This leads us
to the next method:
Method Three: pure nonsense
The results from the previous list of variations were achieved by using
an "ordinary" starter, and adding or changing to get an available name. But
there's nothing that says you have to start with something that "makes sense".
How about starting in the wild blue yonder with pure nonsense?
Remember our vowel-consonant patterns? They come in handy again. Let's say
we want an eight letter name. We'll give it a pattern of "cvccvvcc" ( c = consonant,
v= vowel) (Note: do not use more than two vowels or two consonants in a row
in these patterns!) Here are some results with that pattern:
(available, and no, "hertail" is NOT available)
Good results, but it can be a drag thinking up a name from just a vowel-consonant
pattern. Still, you can do it just once, then try single letter variations.
Changing a different letter each time could let you "word ladder" your way into
a number of interesting ideas!
What about other ways to speed up the process? Try using whole syllables rather
than just a consonant or a vowel. The hardest part is thinking up good syllables!
Let's try expanding on our previous list:
nin, rit, dar,
dan, rey, wen, tor, can, lon,
ata, ero, ili, uga,
ewo, ica, ehu, esa, ehi
dig, roc, wad, pol,
dex, bom, nif, red, sik
Note that the syllables in the second line are all "vowel consonant vowel"
and the third line is back to our "consonant vowel consonant". Now, to create
names from this list, we take one syllable from each line. By doing them in
order (I'm going to take them from the bottom and work up) we will get a nine
letter name with the pattern of "cvcvcvcvc". Let's see what the results look
I would continue, but I think the general trend is obvious. Sixty-eight million
names as I write this, and for some odd reason, no one has tried any of those
possibilities! Granted, the effort to think them up might seem formidable, but
it's not really as hard as you might think. I even wrote a utility that can
give me dozens of possible name ideas at the click of a button, but it can't
match what you the reader can do with your own efforts. It's a rich field that
is yours for the taking, so by all means, enjoy it.
Note One: availability is as of the time I wrote this, not at the time
of publication, and certainly not afterwards! It's quite possible that someone
saw a name they liked in this article and created the pet before you could get
to it. Sorry, but it IS first come, first served!
Note Two: the author of this article disclaims all moral and legal responsibility
for any physical or psychological harm caused to pets or their owners because
of names derived from any of these methods. Use of these methods is at your
own (and your pet's) risk!