We set Word Hound on Fido’s trail and found some surprises.
Fido (Latin, gender masculine) for
I am faithful. Abraham Lincoln’s dog was named Fido.
Though Lincoln appeared to be a rough back-woods type without much book-learning, he was, in fact, highly literate and fully qualified to give his dog a Latin name. After the election of 1860, Lincoln left Fido in the care of friends in Springfield when he moved to the White House. It is said that Fido died shortly after Lincoln was assassinated.
Though there are other names reserved for dogs, none is quite as generic as Fido. We searched but could find no ancestry for Bowser or Bosco. Rover (a wanderer), Rex (the king) Spot, Patch, Whitey and Red (presumably in reference to coat attributes) were all yesteryear’s traditional names but seem a bit dull and unoriginal now.
Max leads the hit parade of current dog names in the US, England and Australia followed by Sam, Jack, Jake, Jessie, Molly, Chloe and Lucy. Names you may recognize from popular culture include Toto, Tige, Bullseye, Nipper, Asta, Lassie, Daisy —and more recently, Gromit, Dogbert, Barkley, Marmaduke, Snoopy, Benji, Clifford and Blue.
There are many dozens more at the website at http://www.jimwegryn.
The Word Hound welcomes comments and questions from readers.