Suggested dog names from the 17th century.

DrunkardMerryboyYounker. Some 17th-Century Names for Dogs.

DrunkardMerryboyYounker. Some 17th-Century Names for Dogs.

The Vault
Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights
Jan. 25 2016 12:12 PM

Drunkard, Merryboy, Younker. Some 17th-Century Names for Dogs.

Ofthedogingeneral
From The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents, Edward Topsell, 1658.

Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, historian John Reeks shared this amusing list of 17th-century hunting dog names on Twitter. The list, he said over email, came from a 1686 book by Nicholas Cox, The Gentleman's Recreation in Four Parts, which is available digitally via Early English Books Online.

Nicholas Cox may have written this compendium of hunting, hawking, fowling, and fishing lore for the benefit of aristocratic friends, Reeks told me. An earlier edition of the book, published in 1674, contains a preface dedicating the work to unnamed "Gentlemen" who might find the work useful. 

While the list of names below is amusing, the table of contents of this book is also an interesting read. The section on "Hunters' Terms" includes a subheading for "Terms for [beasts'] Noise at Rutting Time" and one for "Proper Terms for the Noises of Hounds." "A Short Account of some Particular Beasts that are not Hunted In England, but in Forrain Countries" offers advice on "Terms to be used in Boar-Hunting" and "The Nature and Properties of a Bear, and after what manner Hunted." And a short section on "Dogs Diseases" names remedies for "the Dumb Madness," "the Falling Madness," and "the Lank Madness." 

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This list of dogs' names was added to the book's second edition in 1677 and retained in this 1686 republication. Cox headed his list with a suggestion that "such young Gentlemen as in time may keep a Kennel" might retain it as a resource. 

Cox's "Catalogue of some general Names of Hounds and Beagles": 

Banger

Beauty

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Blue-man

Blue-cap

Boman

Bonny

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Bouncer.

Captain

Capper

Chanter

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Countess

Cryer

Caesar.

Dido

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Driver

Drunkard

Drummer

Damosel

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Darling

Dutchess

Dancer

Daphne.

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Fancy

Fidler

Flippant

Flurry

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Fuddle.

Gallant

Gawdy.

Hector.

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Juggler

Jewel

Jocky

Jenny

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Joler

Jollyboy

Jupiter

Juno.

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Keeper

Kilbuck.

Lively

Lovely

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Lady

Lilly

Lillups.

Madam

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Maulkin

Merryboy

Mopsie

Motley

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Musick.

Nancy

Nacter.

Plunder

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Pleasant

Pluto.

Rockwood

Ringwood

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Rover

Ranter

Ratler

Ruler

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Ranger

Royal

Rapper

Rusfler.

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Spanker

Singwel

Sweetlips

Soundwel

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Stately.

Troler

Thunder

Thisbe

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Truman

Truelove

Tickler

Tattler

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Tulip

Truelips

Touchstone

Traveller

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Tracer

Touler

Tunewel

Tidings

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Trouncer

Trusty

Truescent

Tryer.

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Venus

Vulcan

Violet.

Wanton

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Wonder

Winder

Whipster.

Yerker

Younker.