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In Fashion: Names


by ladyariel32

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Hey there, fashion slaves! My name is Nadashikoh (but you can call me Ashi or Nadih), a Faerie Aisha with a mission. What’s that mission, you ask? Why, to make everyone in Neopia into fashionable citizens, of course! Not interested in fashion? Well, shame on you because you should be! I’ll tell you why…

Over the years, fashion has gained a bad name because it is considered frivolous. Neopians insist that being fashionable doesn’t have anything to do with living a real life in Neopia. As the Yurble Janitor at the Altador Hall of Heroes so eloquently put it, “YARGH! Do you think I care whether my clothes are green or blue? Doesn’t help me clean up this stupid place, does it?” And, let’s not forget Punchbag Bob’s memorable words, “Whoever heard of a fashionable punchbag? Punchbags are for punching. I don’t need fancy clothes for getting beaten up.”

But what Neopians, both ordinary and famous, don’t understand is that fashion isn’t just about looking good and wearing the right clothes. It’s all about making yourself feel good because other Neopians accept you. Whether we refuse to admit it or not, we are all slaves of fashion. And, more importantly, we crave others’ approval. If you don’t look a particular way or act the “right” way, you won’t be accepted as a normal pet. And, believe me, if you’re branded weird, you will live your life in misery. You might think I’m being overly harsh but I’m telling the truth. No sugarcoating from me, folks.

This is why I’ve made enhancing every Neopian’s fashion sense my business. Over the weeks, I will be teaching you all that I know about fashion. Hopefully, by the end of this article series, you will be ready to join me in making Neopia a fashionable place!

This Week’s Lesson: A fashionable name will go a long way.

This week’s lesson goes out to all the pet owners out there. The first (and most important) gift you give to your pet is a name. Believe it or not, your pet’s name helps in determining his or her future. In fact, your pet’s personality can even grow from either complying with or dissenting the implications of the name you gave him or her (don’t get what I mean? I’ll be explaining more as I go on).

You might be thinking that with 175,129,281 (and counting) pets out there all with unique names, it’s pretty difficult to come up with a decent name that hasn’t already been taken. Well, all I can say is, for the sake of your pets, think long and hard before deciding on a name.

SECTION I: CURRENT TRENDS

I conducted a survey at the Help Chat to find out what names owners have given to their pets. I was surprised (but very happy) when I found out that a lot of people actually gave their pets beautiful names. Kudos, Neopians! It looks like you are well on your way to becoming fashion-aware. Here’s my own take on what’s hot and what’s not along with the results from the survey.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have collected all the names of all the pets in Neopia. The results I got are based on only 100 random names (merely a miniscule portion of Neopia’s ever-growing population) from volunteers at the Help Chat and some from the guild I belong to.

What’s Hot

Capitals are in. When I say capital letters, I don’t mean naming your pet YanNaGIBa or ALON. I mean beginning your pet’s name with a capital letter. This makes names come across stronger. Don’t believe me? Well, I can’t very well introduce myself as nadashikoh the Faerie Aisha in an article, can I? That’s just not proper! Get it? Proper? Because proper nouns are -- Never mind.

Result from Survey: 9/10 pets have names beginning with a capital letter.

Made-up names rock! Yup. “Meaning, schmeaning…” is the attitude of owners nowadays because meaningless names are in. But, just because they don’t mean anything in any language known to Neopetkind, doesn’t mean they can’t be striking names. Check out the “About Creative Naming” section for ideas!

Result from Survey: 6/10 pets have made-up names.

Names beginning with the letter ‘M’ are so hot, they’re scalding! The letter ‘M’ steals the scene with Martythezebra, Moonlightevil, Milophus, Marilene, Maraquix, MisaePyralis, Misanthem, and MurphyFrench (and a whole lot more) all crowding in for some recognition! It seems that many Neopians these days are getting the urge to name their pets with something “M-ish”. Hmm…there must be something about ‘M’… (‘S’ and ‘K’ names are also popular trying to edge over ‘M’s 14% with 11% and 8% respectively)

Three-syllable names sound good. What’s the deal about three-syllable names? Well, they’re not too long but they’re not too short, either. Names such as Xanodi, Euristi, Hallickin, and Kokono have a nice ring to them, don’t they?

Result from Survey: 4/10 pets have three-syllable names.

What’s Not

Names with numbers are out. Although you may feel numbers make your pets’ names unique, sometimes, they just make them look messy. Granted, one to three numbers aren’t really that much of a nuisance but giving a pet a name made out of pure numbers is sheer malice! If you were thinking of doing just that, do your pet a favor. Don’t. Also, nicknames are a good way of getting around those numbers. Check out the “What’s in a Nickname?” section for some suggestions.

Result from Survey: 1/10 pets have names with numbers.

Underscores are not the new ‘black’. In other words, underscores are okay as long as you don’t go gaga over them and use one too many!

Result from Survey: 1/10 pets have names with underscores.

Say no to O (and X, too). I don’t mean you should stop using O in your pets’ names. But, do refrain from making names such as “o0Ashi0o,” “xxxFlooffehxxx,” or “0x0Bubbah0x0.” If you really, really want to use a certain name and it’s already been taken, I suggest checking out the “Gender Confusion” section for ideas.

Result from Survey: 1/10 pets have names with O and X.

One-syllable and six-syllable (and higher) names are getting old. It’s not that one-syllable names are horrible. It’s just that people can’t think of creative enough names that have only one syllable (since most have already been taken). If you’re determined to give your pet a short name, skip to the “About Creative Naming” section for insights. As for six-syllable names, they get tedious, you know? I mean, do you really want your pet to be named Mihkadoribasagh (although MihkaelaLily isn’t a bad name, at all).

Results from Survey: 1/10 pets have one-syllable names; 1/10 pets have six-syllable names.

What’s On Its Way Back In

Two-syllable and four-syllable names are hot and cold. Two-syllable names are quite short but they’re easy to remember and there are still a lot of name variations available. Four-syllable names like Andollana, Silent_Lurker_, and Coombayaya are pleasant to the ear although pets with names like these tend to use nicknames in everyday life.

Results from Survey: 2/10 pets have two-syllable names; 2/10 pets have four-syllable names.

SECTION II: WHAT’S IN A NICKNAME?

If you find yourself regretting the name you’ve given your pet (and wish you could take it back), don’t fret too much about it because you can always think of a much more appropriate nickname (or second name, if you prefer the term). This is especially necessary if you adopted a blue Lupe named 1234567890_695782301 from the pound and have no idea what to call the poor pet.

If you’re the type of owner who encourages independence, let your pet figure out a nickname for himself or herself. On the other hand, some pets (especially adopted ones) feel very special when you yourself give him or her a nickname. In my family, for example, our adopted brother Chistomise officially became part of the gang when Belle, our owner, christened him Chi.

Ideal nicknames range from one to two syllables. They should be easy to remember and pleasant to the ear. Some pets can even get nicknames because of certain habits they have or their love for things. Take my elder brother Yannagiba. My siblings and I call him Butty every now and then because of how he loves Chip Butty Pizza (gross!). He loves it when we call him that. That’s another thing to consider here, pets and owners. Don’t give someone a nickname that will hurt his or her feelings. Just because my brother enjoys being nicknamed after Gross Food, doesn’t mean your pet (or your brother) does.

Going back to 1234567890_695782301, though. He used to be a very shy Lupe when he first came to Matt’s home because he was embarrassed about his name. After much friendly coaxing from Matt’s two other pets, the Lupe finally admitted that he sort of liked the name Juan. “It sounds kind of like One which is probably why I like it,” he admitted. Matt applauded his choice and made him feel like a part of the family. And, so 1234567890_695782301, of his own free will, became known as Juan. He is now a Christmas Lupe who loves working hard at the Faerieland Employment Agency as well as playing Frisbee with his siblings.

SECTION III: GENDER CONFUSION

Note: All names in this section are currently untaken at the time of writing so feel free to use them if you want.

Although we pets try to be discreet about experiences like this, know this: we don’t like getting mistaken for the opposite gender. Oh, I can tell you about several embarrassing experiences my friends have had (but not today)…

When a pet first meets another pet, well, he has his assumptions. For example, if I’d been told that we were going to have a new classmate named Cookkieh at Neoschool, I would automatically assume the pet is female because I consider “Cookie” to be a feminine name. And, if I were to meet a blue Shoyru named Brilgg, I would assume he’s male before he even opens his mouth (and I'd cringe if I found he is actually a she).

Now, pets don’t mean to be cruel. Situations like this embarrass both the offender and the offended. What’s the best way to avoid such happenings? Make sure you don’t give your female pets macho sounding names and your male pets feminine names. The suggestions below are all either very feminine or very masculine (although there are exceptions). If you don’t really want to name your pet something along this lines, just move on to the “Not for you?” part of this section.

Female

Way 1: Give your pet a royal title. If you’re unsure if the name you’re thinking of sounds feminine enough, affix a royal title such as “Lady” or “Countess” before the actual name. And, although I scorn the use of underscores, using one after the title makes the name look neater. This is also pretty useful if the name you want for your pet is already taken. Just add “Baroness” and voila, you’ll have a greater chance of getting the name for your brand new pet!

Examples: LadyKeil or Lady_Keil, LadyBryn or Lady_Bryn, DuchessTyne or Duchess_Tyne, Duchess_Lee

Way 2: Name your pet after something that’s considered feminine. Fruits, flowers, (most) gemstones, and candy are all things that are associated with femininity so you can’t go wrong here. Of course, some of the more common names have already been taken by now so think of something unique. Browse through Neopets items for inspiration OR mix and match names from different categories!

Examples: Gemmybeans and Wintermelonsweet (Neopian candy), Autumnblush and Goldenfernsprout (Neopian flowers), Jipplepear (Brightvale Fruit), Camilla_Lily

Way 3: Use girly adjectives. When you think of girls, what traits do you think of (besides sugar, spice, and everything nice)? Sweet, pretty, and lovely are some of the adjectives I’ve come up with. Virtues like comfort, hope, love, etc. are also considered feminine so use them as well. Mix and match adjectives with virtues or just add something to the one you’ve come up with.

Examples: SweetComfort, FelicityFortune, Modestchild

Way 4: Go the old-fashioned way. Owners hardly pick “real” names (such as Amanda, Christine, etc.) for the pets for a simple reason: they’ve all been taken. The solution? Combine a few girls’ names that you like or come up with variations. Don’t pick a name that’s too common, though, because I guarantee that all possible variations for certain names have already gone the way of the Dodo thing.

Examples: CaitlinEve, SabinahKelly, MarcyLynne

Male

Way 1: Give your pet a royal title. Not sure if the name you picked sounds manly enough? Then, take the easy way out and use a royal title like “Prince” or “Count”. You can also add a royal title to your pet’s name just for the heck of it. Like I said before, if someone already has the name you want for your pet, adding a royal title before it increases your chances of getting it for your new pet!

Examples: PrinceLynn or Prince_Lynn, Count_Ira, CountBryan or Count_Bryan

Way 2: Name your pet after something that’s considered boyish or manly. Weapons and battling are mainly considered “boy stuff” so if you want your pet to have a manly name, go check out some Neopian weapons and perhaps, you might see a name that tickles your fancy.

Examples: EtherealSword (Haunted Weapon), EtherealSabre, LevatatoRay and Florbixx (Space Battle Weapons), LifeMedallion

Way 3: Use manly adjectives. Brave, courageous, swift and valiant are some of the adjectives that come to mind. I’m not saying that girls can’t be any of those adjectives but admit it, if you met someone named “OfaBraveHeart,” would you think the pet’s male or female? Use one such adjective as the start of your pet’s name then add your own unique twists.

Examples: ComesSwiftly, Thevaliantone, SwiftPawed

Way 4: Go the old-fashioned way. Believe it or not, there are “real” names out there that are still yours for the taking! Tweak a bit here; add a little something there and you’ll come up with something brand new. Do stay away from using Tom, Dick, or Harry as your base name, though. Those are a tad overused.

Examples: RomeoStarr, ZekeShaw, BlaineCahloun

Not for you?

Okay, so you don’t want your pet to be mistaken for a boy when she’s a girl (and the other way around) but what if you don’t really want to name her using any of the ways stated above? Well then, it’s time to get creative and invent a nonsense name! By nonsense, I mean that it doesn’t really mean anything in Neopian, English, or any other language (unless you create a name that’s actually real by mistake).

About Creative Naming

Here are a few things I’ve noticed about invented names. Note that I’m only pointing out what I’ve noticed. These aren’t generalizations or rules. Just stuff. If you’re stuck in a creative naming rut, check these out.

Concerning Vowels: If you’re having trouble making your invented name sound girly, add more vowels or at least, end your name with a vowel. Tholamin is a decidedly male-sounding name but “Tholamina” or “Tholamini” certainly sounds more feminine.

Concerning Consonants: To make a name sound more male, try adding strong-sounding consonant blends (like gr or br) to it and remove some vowels. Here’s an example.

Let’s start with the female name of “Eiilara.”

The name has too many vowels so let’s add a strong-sounding consonant blend at the beginning.

“Eiilara” + “Br” = Breiilara

“Breiilara” still sounds feminine so let’s remove some vowels.

“Breiilara” – “a” = Breiilar OR “Breiilara” – “a” – “i” = Breilar

Now, “Breilar” sounds like a nice, fashionable name for a blue Gelert, doesn’t it? You could even add a ‘g’ at the end to make it “Breilarg” or drop the ‘r’ and replace it with ‘g’ to be “Breilag”. If you’re really picky, you could even remove all the vowels except the ‘i’ to make it “Brilg.”

About Double Consonants: Double consonants are fun to use especially if you have a name you particularly like but someone’s already taken it. Thian, for example, is already taken, but “Thianne” isn’t.

The ‘h’ Phenomenon: The small letter ‘h’ works wonders, you know? For example, you really want the name “Bluebell” but someone already took it. Try “Bluebehl” instead. It sounds the same but it looks more stylish. Aram is gone, too, (and so is Ahram for that matter) so how about “Ahramh” instead?

A Note on Neutrality

If you ever make a pet and you’ve decided that he/she will be your lab pet, do give him/her a neutral name. That is, something that’s somewhat feminine but could be masculine, as well. Believe me, your lab pets will appreciate the thought a lot.

Other Hazards

Ever heard of MelvinVirgil’s story? Melvin was a charming, young blue Blumaroo. He was friendly. He loved sports. He enjoyed studying although he wasn’t particularly good in any subject. Since his name was a bit long for his tastes, he used Mel as a nickname in Neoschool. He became quite a popular figure in school because of his athletic prowess (for which he was grateful). One day, however, a classmate of his found out his whole name and word about it spread like wildfire throughout the school. Pets began to sneer at him and call him geek. Suddenly, the Math club wanted him to become a member and the soccer team wanted him to drop out. Melvin couldn’t believe all this could happen just because of his name. But, it did.

And, what about the case of Natalliah, Krystalline, and Gorrunda? I handed out pictures of three “girlfriends” of mine (a green Aisha named Natalliah, a blue Kacheek named Krystalline, and a yellow Kougra named Gorrunda – all mythical) at Neoschool and asked them to vote for the pet who they thought deserved to win my fake “Beauty Contest.” Natalliah and Krystalline were head-to-head with 81 votes and 76 votes respectively. What about Gorrunda? She got a grand total of 13 votes. Coincidence? You be the judge.

SECTION IV: HEADED FOR FAME

I’m sure that at least one time in your Neopian life you’ve considered naming a pet after a famous Neopian but alas, it seems as if someone already beat you to it!

Well, I consider your pets very lucky because, whew, pets named after famous Neopians are constantly under pressure. Imagine if you had a female green Kacheek named SlothCloneNo13. At two weeks of age, she has no idea who Sloth is and decides that she loves flowers and gardening. At one month, she enters Neoschool armed with happy facts about her wonderful hobby. To her surprise, in a matter of hours, pets are whispering her name in the corridors and calling her (other) hurtful names. Distressed, she asks you what the big deal is about her name and you sheepishly admit that whoops, you’re a Sloth fan so you decided to name her after the infamous villain (well, his clone, anyway).

And, consider Jeranthefourth’s situation. He is a happy-go-lucky blue Lupe until you, his wonderful owner, gives him an earnest talk telling him about (the original) Jeran’s heroics and why you named him after the valiant Lupe. Jeranthefourth now feels like he has a lot to live up to and thereafter, he might force himself into fitting a mold he doesn’t really belong to. After a while, Jeran decides that he will do everything in his power so that other pets will not think of him as Jeran the Hero but just Jeran, a different pet altogether. So, he starts doing all the things the real Jeran doesn’t do with catastrophic results!

Not all pets who are named after famous faces will react in this way, of course, because all pets are different. If you still want to name your pet after Psellia or the Monocerous, I won’t stop you. In fact, I’m giving you a short list of variations on famous Neopians’ names that haven’t been taken yet (but you better move fast because they might get taken this very second) if you’re really, really dead set to have your own Meuka. You can think up your own variations if you want. These are only starting points.

Faeries: Maelstrah (Maelstrah), Fuuhnah (Fuhnah), Pselliahsblessing (Psellia) Siyyanah (Siyana), Jhuydah (Jhuidah)

Villains: Slothcloneno13 (Sloth), Meukasminion (Meuka), LordRazul (Lord Razul)

Heroes: Jeranthefourth (Jeran), Jehrdanah (Jerdana), Kahylhah (Kayla)

More Famous Pets: UmmaBunga (Umma Bunga), Gorrunda and Gorundah (Gorunda), AntikiahLighten (Antikia Lighten), LadyPrenderghast (Mrs. Prenderghast), Pommanah (Pommana)

All done!

Can’t believe all the fuss I’m making over fashionable names? I don’t blame you. I have the tendency to overreact just a teensy weensy bit when I’m passionate about something. I hope I managed to sway a few minds, at least. And, I hope that this article will help you in future naming escapades!

See you next time in another edition of “In Fashion” when we tackle the intricacies of keeping yourself healthy!

Author’s Note: Although it may not seem like it, this article was written for the fun of it. :P I believe that all pets in Neopia are fashionable no matter what their names are. ^^ Feel free to use any of the naming methods and/or names I’ve provided if they happened to catch your fancy, though.

In behalf of my owner, Belle (ladyariel32), I would like to thank the following people who graciously allowed me to use their pets in this article: mrmalurgle (Martythezebra), sandralle (moonlightevil and Hallickin), ashling06 (milophus), divine_designs (Marilene), baby_shambles (Maraquix), thradrienia (MisaePyralis and MurphyFrench), moonrose77 (misanthem), lyshander (Xanodi), geedee111 (Euristi), nimras23 (Kokono), redlinepichu (andolianna), _snow_baby_bun_ (Silent_Lurker_), Jon (Coombayaya), and matjake44_3 (1234567890_695782301). Sorry I couldn’t use all of them – there were too many – but I did include the others in the survey. ^^

If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, just Neomail my owner and she’ll forward your message to me. Have any ideas for coming “In Fashion” articles? Your input is much appreciated. :)

 
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