How to Name Your Pet
You’ve just got your Darigan Paint Brush and the perfect background. You run to the ‘Create A Neopet’ page screaming excitedly, select your species and... Disaster strikes. “The name Fang is taken. Click here for a list of available names.” You click, and on your screen flashes an incomprehensible jumble of letters and numbers with about twenty underscores in. *groan* There is no way you are going to name your dream pet ‘a_s__king__6s7_a’. So what do you do? Read on, that’s what!
When naming a pet, you want to make a pronounceable and unique name. If you want to trade your pets in future, underscores and numbers are a big no-no and the name must have a capital letter at the beginning (be capitalised). This means that you shouldn’t be making a pet’s name like: ‘xx_tiptoe_loves__aishas_xx’ for example, firstly because it is embarrassing to you and secondly because no one else really cares what pet species you like. You wouldn’t name your dog this, so why should your neopet have any less value? You also shouldn’t put numbers in names because your neopets might feel as if you don’t love them and they are just a possession, or *shock* that they are just pixels on a screen(!).
If you look around the Pound Boards, you can see that a lot of people like to have pet names which are ‘real names’ or ‘real words’(?). This is fair enough; you can see why somebody might want their Cloud JubJub to be named Cloudy or their Darigan Aisha to be known as Crookshanks (... my inner Harry Potter is escaping), but when it gets to fighting for a pet called ‘Table’, it all seems to get a bit ridiculous. A pet is not a piece of furniture with a flat top supported on legs, I’ll have you know. And also, can you imagine how silly you’d feel standing in the park shouting, “Come here, Table! Where are you? Oh, Table, you naughty boy,” so unless trawling through the dictionary for hours is your style, or you particularly like pets named after furniture, it’s much much easier to make a name up.
Before you groan at the daunting task of using imagination *gasp*, there are several steps you can take first which make starting off a bit easier.
1. Decide what gender you want your pet to be.
This helps to give you a good idea of what you want your name to sound like. For example, a male pet name will often end in hard sounds such as ‘de’ or ‘ek’ while a female name often ends with ‘a’ or ‘elle’. Personally I find males much harder to name (so I will be making a female name), but you should be able to easily change a name’s gender by switching a few letters around. You can make unisex names (maybe for a lab pet) by using endings that work for both such as ‘el’ and ‘dle’.
2. Decide what species of pet you would like and what colour it will be.
If you do this, you can sometimes base a name on what the painted pet looks like. Look at the colour or clothing that the pet may be wearing. ‘Gem’ would be a good base for a Royal pet, ‘violet’ for a purple pet –the possibilities are endless (a thesaurus can be helpful at this point). If you haven’t decided what colour your pet is going to be, another option is to choose a characteristic you would like your pet to have; for example, valiance or courage. A good example of inspiration from colour is a Tyrannian Usul. Tyrannian Usuls have bones on their heads and a bone instead of a bow so the word ‘bone’ could be a starting point for your pet name. Mixing this with a few female name endings and I have created: Bonney, Bonette and Bonelle. However, these names are all taken, so proceed to the next step to making an untaken name.
3. Choose some other words to go into your pet name
These words can be completely random words you like the sound of, they can be part of your pet's theme, or some common words found around Neopia – the codestone names and names of places are good for this. You can also choose your pet’s species name, and some real life names to muddle in too. I have chosen the word 'eve', because I think it sounds pretty.
4.Now mix up all the parts you have made so far
Take little parts of all the words you have made up so far and compose them into your name. This may take some time, but the end result will be good and interesting. If you feel you need to change some words, go ahead; nobody will know. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t work the first time; keep adjusting the name until you find something you like.
5. Finalise the name
Fiddle around with your name until you find something that is not taken. This might be changing a letter to double letters (be careful with this, because some letters do not work doubled up, especially vowels), or adding a silent ‘h’ after an ‘a’. Check that the name is how you want it for all eternity (since you will never EVER be going near the pound, will you?), and create your pet.
I will show you how I created a pet name using the components I collected throughout this article:
I liked Bonelle best out of the options I thought of in 2. So this is what I started with..
I added Eve to Bonelle to make Evebonnelle or Bonelleve ..
But I didn’t like the double ‘l’ in the middle of Bonelleve, so I took it out and added an ‘n’ to make Bonneve ..
I liked the sound of Bonneve, so I checked if it was available, and it was. I now have a unique name for a pet.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to make a nice name for a neopet. In fact, the best names often just pop into my head fully formed when I am thinking about something completely unrelated, such as how pretty the leaves look in Autumn and how I hungry I am. Leaves, meal. Hey! Liamiel, a cool name for my neopet! So just experiment with names and find the best method of naming for you.
Here are some quick tips to finish:
- Don't go for a really common name base such as 'Fluffy', as this will make naming tricky.
- Do experiment with different letter combinations. You can make unusual letter orders sound however you like and create a beautiful unique name by doing this.
- Do steal your favourite bits from other pet names to make your own; just think of it as another source of inspiration. :)
- Don't get stressed out about naming a pet; just try again tomorrow if it's difficult today.
- Most of all: Have fun naming!
I hope my guide helps those who find finding the perfect name difficult. Please don’t neomail me begging for names, try it yourself and you may learn that naming is the best part of getting a new neopet! Good luck!