Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Xenophon Gives Advice About Naming Your Dog

Cynegeticus is a treatise written in 400 BC by the ancient Greek philosopher and military leader Xenophon. The title is usually translated as "On Hunting" or "Hunting with Dogs."

A free translated copy is available here (all hail the Internet!) translated by H. G. Dakyns and published in 1897.

Xenophon suggested that there was a science to choosing and naming a dog, and that the the best names are short, one or two syllables words that can be called easily, and which suggest the vitality and prowess of the dog.
They should have short names given them, which will be easy to call out. The following may serve as specimens: Psyche, Pluck, Buckler, Spigot, Lance, Lurcher, Watch, Keeper, Brigade, Fencer, Butcher, Blazer, Prowess, Craftsman, Forester, Counsellor, Spoiler, Hurry, Fury, Growler, Riot, Bloomer, Rome, Blossom, Hebe, Hilary, Jolity, Gazer, Eyebright, Much, Force, Trooper, Bustle, Bubbler, Rockdove, Stubborn, Yelp, Killer, Pele-mele, Strongboy, Sky, Sunbeam, Bodkin, Wistful, Gnome, Tracks, Dash. 
The young hounds may be taken out to the chase at the age of eight months if bitches, or if males at the age of ten. They should not be let loose on the trail of a hare sitting, but should be kept attached by long leashes and allowed to follow on a line while scenting, with free scope to run along the trail.
Other dog names suggested by Xenophon:

  •  Psukhe = Soul 
  • Thumos = Spirit 
  • Porpax = The hasp of shield 
  • Sturax = Either the spike or the butt end of a spear 
  • Logkhe = Lance 
  • Lokhos = An ambush or a company of soliders
  • Phroura = Watch 
  • Phulax = Guard 
  • Taxis = An order, rank, or military post, a brigade 
  • Xiphon = Swordsman 
  • Phonax = Slaughterer 
  • Phlegon = Blazer 
  • Alke = Prowess or victory 
  • Teukhon = Craftsman 
  • Uleus = Woodsman 
  • Medas = Counselor 
  • Porthon = Spoiler 
  • Sperkhon = Hastener, Speedy or "Rocket"
  • Orge = Fury, Rage 
  • Bremon = Growler, Roarer 
  • Ubris = Hubris, Riot, Insolence 
  • Thallon = Blooming or “Gaudy” 
  • Rome = Strength, “Romeo” 
  • Antheus = Blossom 
  • Eba = Youth 
  • Getheus = Gladsome 
  • Khara = Joy 
  • Leusson = Gazer 
  • Augo = Daybeam 
  • Polus = Much 
  • Bia = Force 
  • Stikhon = Marching in rank and file 
  • Spoude = Much ado 
  • Bruas = Gusher 
  • Oinas = Vine, Rockdove 
  • Sterros = Ripped or “King of Sturdy” 
  • Krauge = Clamor. 
  • Kainon = Killer 
  • Turbas = Topsy-turvy
  • Sthenon = Strong man 
  • Aither = Ether 
  • Aktis = Ray of light 
  • Aikhme = Spear-point 
  • Nors = Clever (female version) 
  • Gnome = Maxim 
  • Stibon = Tracker 
  • Orme = Dash


Rick said...

I often give my dogs a name that describes them. Hence I have had a Shorty, Blackie, Rusty, Blue, Scruffy, Toothpick, Woolly Booger, and most recently Whitey.

Unknown said...

I like the Gnome- Maxim juxtaposition at least as far as JRTs. Gnome= "earth dweller" in ancient Greek and Maxim means "the greatest". Pretty much sums up the little dogs...