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From Bon Appétit, a new article ruminates on naming your dog after food and why it’s gotten so popular in 2023.

Shouting Gnocci at the Dog Park

According to writer and editor Ali Francis, “ drool-worthy food names have been on the rise—and I, personally, am obsessed with this trend.” A few examples include “Gnocchi, Tequila, [and] Pickles.” Although not among the most popular dog names, Francis is keen to notice the trend gaining steam.

Fascinatingly, a 2022 Rover survey showed that food names are becoming more popular with dog parents. Specifically, names like Sashimi went up 785% (!), and Pastrami and Yerba both grew 485% in 2022. However, Hotpot emerged as the winner with a staggering 1,085%. Among some of the other less common names were Calzone (435%), Morel (135%), Paneer (85%), and Cauliflower (85%).

Why Is Naming Your Dog After Food So Popular Now?

Interestingly, Francis says she has a theory for the food-name trend. Apparently, Francis believes “existentially-distressed millennials (like me)” are replacing typical milestones for baseless infatuations with pets and food. Ostensibly, naming your dog after a favorite food “is sort of like a double-dopamine hit,” says Francis.

Francis cites an Atlantic article by writer Amanda Mull. Here, she explains that we might name our dogs after food because of one phenomenon: “cute aggression”. Amazingly, our brains naturally engage in “bizarre, intense displays toward tiny, helpless beings”. For Mull specifically, this biological instinct has had long-lasting benefits. Through the pandemic, her beloved Chihuahua Midge has become “a perfect balm for purgatorial anxieties”. 

Ultimately, finding the right name for your dog is a personal decision. Maybe you’ll go with a name like Beef, Queso, or perhaps something more traditional. But what matters is how it affects you and your dog’s relationship. Most importantly, a dog’s name should never be anything demeaning or offensive. Or, unnecessarily difficult to pronounce. And above anything, it should be a name you’re excited to say many times a day.

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