An important part of hunter identity is in the companion pets we have. In the age of transmogrification and homogenised pet damage, a style-concious hunter will pick the pet based on more than buffs: unique skins, rare tames, colours that suit the current armor mog. However, it’s not enough to simply have a pet that looks good. It needs a name to go with it.
A frost mage will forever have a water elemental – identical, unnamed and expendable. A warlock might choose to summon a host of demons until he finds one whose name isn’t too hilarious when said out loud.
A hunter, on the other hand, will name the pet – name it, care for it and proudly show it off while idling in the Shrine. But where should new hunters start looking for names, when they receive their first companion?
Puns And Jokes
This is quite possibly the most common pet name theme and although I prefer to stay with the more “serious” names with my own pets, I haven’t been able to resist the temptation completely.
Examples include Ruta who has a raven called CAWCAWCAWCAW and a seagull known as Chipstealer – and there must be dozens, if not hundreds of seagulls named Steven. Another friend confessed to cracking up completely when he noticed that Braindeadly had a crane named Cranedeadly.
Sometimes these names go past jokes and straight into trolling territory.
[Loque'nahak], one of the ever-popular spirit beasts, draws it’s name from ancient Aztec culture. Tloque Nahuaque (“Lord of the Near and the Nigh”) was one of the epithets of Tezcatlipoca. The one in my orc hunter’s stable is called Yohual – modified from Yohualli Èecatl, another name for the same god.
You will find almost any pet family mentioned in some mythology from around the world. A spider could be named after the West African trickster god Ananse; an owl can be Minerva or the older etruscan variant Menrva. While many of the greek gods and monsters are well known and recognised, you can dig a bit deeper and find fitting names that aren’t quite as common. Instead of calling your corehound Cerberus, honor his brother Orthrus instead.
Finding names on roleplay servers usually means going through lists of names from a language which seems appropriate for the character’s race (not necessarily because of cultural similarities – sometimes the language simply sounds right). I’ve scoured the internet for native american name for a tauren, used a sanskrit dictionary for blood elves and swahili for trolls. The same resources can always be used for pet names too, with the added benefit that pet names will never be unavailable.
I must confess that my pets went without names for a very long time. At first I wasn’t sure which one I would want to keep for roleplaying and later on I learned that a raiding pet must always be the best for dps – at the time this meant wolf. Before 25-slot stables I avoided naming pets simply to not get attached to them.
Perhaps overly sentimental, as nothing could replace the wolf before pet buffs got a rework in Cataclysm, but it did make clearing the stables out feel less like abandoning old friends. As a remnant of this time, my favourite pet is officially named Bird. After a time of referring to it simply as [carrion] bird, the name stuck.
What do you use as inspiration when naming your companion? Is your stable full of cats named Cat or rares proudly showing off their original names from before the taming? Share your pet names in the comments!Tweet