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Q: Common animal names ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Common animal names
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: byrd-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 25 Dec 2002 14:12 PST
Expires: 24 Jan 2003 14:12 PST
Question ID: 133333
I was having a conversation with some friends and we started talking
about dog names because one of us is getting a puppy. Well, someone
brought up the name "fido", which is known to be a "dog" name and has
been for some time. What I would like like to know is where that name
origionally came from and how it got associated so commonly with dogs.
Subject: Re: Common animal names
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 25 Dec 2002 15:37 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Byrd, 

Max Cryer has a very popular radio program on the origin of words and
in the following excerpt he discusses when  and why people started
calling their dogs Fido.

“Although you don’t often hear Fido as a name for someone’s actual
dog, the name crops up frequently as a “general” name, referring to
any dog.  This came about as an early example of “celebrity
identification” because Abraham Lincoln had a dog he called Fido. Even
in the days before mass media, television and women’s magazine covers,
people were still keen to know all about famous people — and in
America, nobody is more famous than the President. Even in 1863, most
of the US population knew their President’s dog was called Fido and
the name rapidly went into general use to indicate not just his dog,
but any dog.
Lincoln’s choice of Fido for his dog’s name was perfectly logical.
Fido is the Latin for faithful, which when dealing with any pet dog is
entirely appropriate.

According to pet name finder - meanings and origins, the name Fido is
a popular dog name derived from the Latin for faithful.,,,00.html

Behind the Name Website gives the etymology and history of first
names. Here is the result for Fido:

FIDO   m   English
Means "I am faithful" in Latin.
This name is commonly given to dogs.

Additional information that may interest you:

At the zillion dog names website, your friend is sure to find a name
for his puppy. They have single names, double names, triple names,
official names, matching names and names by country of origin.

Search Criteria:
origin of name Fido
Fido first used

I hope you find this helpful.

Best Regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by byrd-ga on 25 Dec 2002 19:39 PST
Thank you so much for your terrific answer!  My youngest son is home
on leave from the Army for Christmas and I allowed him to use my
account to ask his question about "Fido."  He's thrilled with your
answer and so am I - we both learned something and had a great time
checking out the links you provided.  It's been fun being on the
'other side' of the question!  Thanks again!


Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 25 Dec 2002 19:49 PST
Hi Byrd,
I am glad that you and your son liked my answer. I really enjoyed doing it.
Merry Christmas!
Best Regards,
byrd-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you very much, a lot of things which are found out to be
associated with famous people and/or well known people quite
frequently get used as "general" terms. It doesnt surprise me that
"fido" is one of them. Great job I would have never thought to
research in that area.

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