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Old 24 June 2013, 08:20 PM
Aud 1 Aud 1 is offline
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Default Medieval pet names

Just a fun little research project

People in the Middle Ages did keep pets dogs, cats, birds, monkeys and many other kinds of animals. Although they often had particular duties i.e. hunting or catching rats there are many accounts that showed affection and love between these pets and their owners.

Scattered in various texts and remains from the Middle Ages, one can find that people gave names to their pets.
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Old 24 June 2013, 08:47 PM
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Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
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Fascinating article. This is not from a text, but in Gloucestershire there is a magnificent Saxon church at Deerhurst. This is possibly the finest Anglo-Saxon Church (parts date from about 850) in England and it features several inscribed brasses. One dating from about 1380, shows a man and his wife. At the feet of the wife is a dog - which is very common - but inscribed below the dog is the name Terri. Touchingly the dog is looking up lovingly at his (her?) mistress.

In Pevsner's book on Gloucestershire (The Vale and Forest of Dean volume) he says that this is the only brass in England where the pet dog is so honoured. Strangely we don't know the lady's name - except that she was the wife of Sir John Cassey. It is possibly the earliest known name for a dog in mediaeval Europe. (I know the article mentions the story of Stephen de Bourbon, but this sounds more of a legend.)
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Old 24 June 2013, 11:37 PM
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Luka_the_Pooka Luka_the_Pooka is offline
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That was pretty cool! I love this subject.

Here is a list of ancient Egyptian names for dogs and cats, according to The Animal World of the Pharaohs and a few other books I have:

Nearly 80 names have been deciphered on inscriptions identifying pet dog mummies, such as Menyupu ("He is a Shepherd"), "Breath of Life to Senbi," Pehtes ("Blacky,") "Swift as an Arrow," Ankhu ("Living One"), "Reliable," Neb ("The Lordly One"), Behkai ("Antelope,") "She is Beloved," Hekenu ("Exultation"), "North-wind," Abutiyuw ("Pointed Ears,") Tegra ("Kettle-black"), "Brave One," Aya ("Woofer"), "Anat-in-Vigor," Tep-Nefer ("Beautiful Face"), "The Watchful One," Abaqer ("Mighty Hound"), and even "Useless." Some dogs were given numbers as names (such as "The Fifth" and "The Sixth"), on par with the Roman names of Quintus and Sextus, possibly denoting their position in a litter.
A few of the names of pet cats have been deciphered from inscriptions found on their coffins, such as Ta-Miit ("Lady Cat," or "Miss Kitty"), "Graceful One," Tai Miuwette ("The Little Mewer"), Tamyt ("The Pleasant One"), and Nedjemet ("Sweety.")
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Old 25 June 2013, 12:15 AM
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Beejtronic Beejtronic is offline
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Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
One dating from about 1380, shows a man and his wife. At the feet of the wife is a dog - which is very common - but inscribed below the dog is the name Terri. Touchingly the dog is looking up lovingly at his (her?) mistress.
I recently took a trip to Greece, and in the Keramikos of Athens (as well as in the Archaeological Museum), there are many ornate stone tombstones dating from ancient times that feature a tableau of the deceased, often with a beloved pet at their feet. It was very touching.
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Old 25 June 2013, 12:34 AM
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Dropbear Dropbear is offline
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Which makes me think of this:
I've heard tell that Sir Gerald Nabardo has a pet prawn called Simon and you wouldn't call him a looney; furthermore, Dawn Pailthorpe, the lady show-jumper, had a clam, called Stafford, after the late Chancellor, Allan Bullock has two pikes, both called Chris, and Marcel Proust had an haddock! So, if you're calling the author of 'A la recherche du temps perdu' a looney, I shall have to ask you to step outside!
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