6 April 2018 | Uncategorised

Naming kids, dogs and characters

Mr 14 missed a maths test a couple of weeks ago because he had an appointment to see an occupational therapist for his fractured finger. The receptionist joked with him and suggested he should ask for a dog if he scored 95% for his maths test when he eventually sits for it after the school holidays.

As we don’t have a dog, Miss 11 and Mr 8 are keen for him to do well – as in 95% well. As this type of result would be a wonderful achievement, my husband and I are also keen for him to do well – as in 95% well.

Miss 11 has already created a spreadsheet with a list of dogs, their characteristics and suitability for families. The kids were eager to name this dog – as yet unearned – but my husband and I shook our heads.

‘We already have a name for a dog,’ we told them. ‘We decided on the name Griffin for a dog even before we decided on names for you!’

Griffin, a mythical creature with the wings of an eagle and the body of a lion, comes from a series of books written and illustrated by Nick Bantock.

Mr 8 suggested that we could have called Mr 14 Griffin, since we liked the name so much. Footy commentators would have had a field day – and Griffin is in the ruck. He’s used the wings of an eagle to soar above the opposition but it’s the fierceness of his lion nature that scares the opposition away. What a winning combination! What a mark! What a goal!

Mr 14’s name contains the first name of his maternal grandfather as his second name, and the second name of his paternal grandfather as his first name.

I edited a baby names book when I was pregnant with Miss 11 – the most tedious project I have ever worked on! But it gave us her name.

And Mr 8’s name just seemed the most beautiful, appropriate name for him, and he also has my husband’s second name.

Both my sons would have had Rose as a second name, had they been girls. Sometimes I laugh with them and call them my Rose boys.

My protagonist in my first book is called Freya – she’s a little frayed around the edges. Her name just came to me, and it was exactly right.

I’m trying to think of a name for the antagonist – the baddie – in my second book. I’ve tried several names and none of them have stuck. He’s a conservative, narrow-minded man in his fifties who works for the local council. I’d welcome any suggestions, please! Give me the name of your most dreaded school teacher or your meanest sport coach or the miserly neighbour who growled at you when your balls went over the fence into his backyard.

At the moment, Griffin’s very existence depends upon Mr 14’s willingness to study Pythagorus’ theory. Cross your fingers for us!

Ovarian cancer day


Terri Dixon

Well good luck with the maths test, a lot of pressure to perform. Any wriggle room? Surely anything in the 90s is good enough.

I was lucky not to have any bad tempered men in my life as a child so googled most popular boys names from 1968. I had to skip the top ones and came up with Eric, Keith, Ronald, Kenneth, Larry, George, Roger, Russell, Bruce and Wayne. Apologies to all kind and caring men by these names.


April 6, 2018 at 7:34 am

Felicity Perry

Simon, Geoffrey, Brian – and also apologies to any real people (other than those on whom these suggestions are based).
Jemima is currently studying a very sweet book in which the protagonist and main character is also called “Griffin”. I had never heard of it before reading that book!

April 6, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Karen Comer

    You’ll have to tell me one day why you suggested Simon, Geoffrey and Brian, Felicity! Is Jemima’s book from the Glenda Millard Kingdom of silk series? There’s a fabulous Griffin in those books!

    April 6, 2018 at 6:17 pm


Good luck with the maths test and the dog 😂😂

Names for that character could be Bob, Mick or Wayne cx

April 6, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Karen Comer

    Thanks, Caroline – I’ll be asking you for dog advice! Wayne would make an excellent antagonist’s name.

    April 6, 2018 at 6:15 pm

David Dixon

In keeping with the prospect of all the chaos the dog is likely to cause, I’m thinking Kevin or Sheeds for a male animal and Polly (short for politicians) for a female.

April 6, 2018 at 11:20 am


We are due to welcome baby 3 in June and naming is always a tricky yet wonderful job! We had a grumpy Gordon neighbour and it seemed to fit quite well. Good luck!!

April 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm


I like Les – it’s my father’s name and he wasn’t a bad tempered, nasty man but he did have a fiery streak! I just think Les is a name that isn’t used enough these days!

April 6, 2018 at 6:52 pm


I didn’t have any awful male teachers but my brother had a hated one named Eric. Our dog is Rosie – our first dog was called Rileyso we wanted something reminiscent of that. I’d suggest Eddie Woo’s video on Pythagoras on YouTube may help that dog dream become a reality!

April 6, 2018 at 6:57 pm


Fingers crossed for the maths test – for all of you.

Ian or Greg immediately comes to mind, but I’m sure the ones I am thinking of wouldn’t be reading here!

April 6, 2018 at 8:19 pm

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