Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Naming Names

It may be a wee bit early but I think we should start coming up with a naming convention for this year's lambs and kids. For those of you new to the blog, we use naming conventions for a bunch of reasons. It makes it super-easy to figure out how old an animal that was born on the farm is but mostly it's just easier than coming up with a million names on the spot during birthing season. 

Two years ago we named our babies after candy and varieties of cheese. Last year the shareholders voted to name the kids (baby goats) after herbs and spices. We have, up till now, named our ewes (female sheep) after islands and our rams after presidents of the United States, but we have so many sheep now that we are going to name the new lambs the same way we name the kids from now on.

With so many readers I'm sure we can come up with a really good naming conventions this year. Post your suggestions here. We'll winnow the list down to five or six and then let everybody vote.

Here's what you need to know:
The category needs to be something with lots of naming possibilities. Candy was great cause there are umpteen jillion kinds. Think broad. Characters from fiction? Good. Characters from Dickens?Fine.  Characters from Salinger novels? Not so much. 

Be creative. Chinese food dishes. The counties of Ireland. Just be sure there are names suitable for males and females.

We can do two different conventions for the goats and the sheep as long as they kind of go together, i.e. goats are herbs and sheep are spices. 

This is one of the most direct ways in which you get to help us on the farm so have fun with it! I can't wait to see what ya'll come up with.


Meg said...

colors, but fun names, like aubergine, chartruse, etc.

missfire said...

What about the states? Virginia, Dakota, Carolina . . .

Or lakes? Erie, superior, Nasser, Geneva . . .

Anonymous said...

Classical composers and popular musicians? There could be names that range from Chopin, Mozart and Vivaldi (maybe for the goats) to Dylan, Joplin, and Hendrix (maybe for the sheep).

Jan said...

Tree species, like ash, willow, oak, apple...

World cities, such as Washington, Geneva, Paris...

Gems and minerals? Not sure there would be enough boy names, but you could have pearl, onyx, ruby...

muffinista said...

characters from shakespeare plays - some suggestions: osric, horatio, ophelia, gertrude (from hamlet); portia, nerissa, salarino, lorenzo (from merchant of venice).

there's a list of all the characters by play at http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/characters.htm

beth02116 said...

How about artists/painters? Michelangelo, Lichtenstein, Monet, Manet, Picasso, etc...


Manise said...

Or flowers (sheep) and fruit (goats)....

Cleome, Quince, Iris, Pansy, Hosta, Elderberry, Blueberry, Thimbleberry (maybe leave out -berry and keep the prefixes),Mango, Persimmon, Rose, Daylily (shorten to Lily), Cherry, Clematis, Peony. How about ice-cream flavors! Now that would be fun......

Jenny said...


Daddy Warbucks
Miss Hannigan
Mr. Bundles
Lily St Regis (named after the hotel)
Eleanor Roosevelt
Bert Healy
Boylan Sisters (if you have twins or triplets :)
Mrs. Pugh
Mrs. Greer

That's all from IMDB though. If you have more, you could add in famous orphans.

Nancy said...

How about celestial bodies, planets, stars, asteroids, etc.

Heidi said...

How about wines? Or teas? (Apparently these are the beverages on my mind at 8:30am!)

Katom Burke said...

i was going to suggest Crayola Crayons but someone already said colors. i will throw out my idea of "Red Sox" players from last year again. They could even be past players i.e Ted Williams, Jerry Rice, Yaz in addition to current favorites, commercial cereals? ie Cheerio, Fruit Loop, Kix, Chex, Frosted Flake, Mini Wheat?

Linda said...

Last names of famous old movie actors for goats, and current movie actors for sheep? Hepburn, Grant, Crawford, Colbert, Fontaine, Stewart, Hayworth, Davis, Bergman, Bogart, Bacall, DeHavilland, Flynn, Heston, etc?

Pitt, Jolie, Aniston, Diaz, Sandler, Bale, Blanchett, Carrey, Streep, Duvall, Hoffman, DeNiro, Witherspoon, Wilson, etc?

Jan said...

Wines for the sheep (Beaujolais, Shiraz, Cabernet...) and liqueurs for the goats (Cointreau, Chartreuse, Amaretto, Cassis...)

Grandmatutu said...

Hey Susan, I think you ought to name them after counties in Texas--Parker, Dallas, Collin, Harris . . . there are a gazillion of them. You're from Texas--I can't think of anything more appropriate. Whatever you decide on will be perfect, I'm sure--I just think Texas counties would be a super easy place to start.

Julie said...

Astronomical star names:

mythological names:

names from Tolkein (the back of the Silmarillion has a fantastic dictionary so you can make up your own)

Susan in Maryland said...

I like all the ideas. I'd like to add types of cookies..snickerdoodle, sandie, oreo, etc.

Joan said...


since, of course, they all are precious gems

eochu said...

I think it's funny that rippedandfrogged suggests the goats should be Classical composers and the sheep should be rock stars. Our goats are WAYYYY more likely to wear denim and leather and go morally astray than the sheep are!

I'm saving all my naming convention ideas for when I have my own farm (someday...) and I have to tell you all, that this shareholders-name-the-sheep thing is actually amazing to me. Maybe I'm just a control freak or something, but I would have a hard time giving up picking the animal's names!

Julie Roads said...


Heather (muppetfeet on Ravelry) said...

"Butterfly" in various languages for the goats. (ie.Mariposa, Papillon, Farfalla, Schmetterling)

"Cloud" in various languages for the sheep. (ie. Oblak, Pilvi, Moln).

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

Fictional Detectives for the goats (because if it is there to be found, a goat will find it) and Mystery Writers for the sheep (because theya re so learned and literary). I think there should be enough of each genger in each catagory for a very fruitful year! Has there been any news yet on the other name games (Boook and Chapel)?

chester said...

What about fruits and vegetables? We once had a dog named Rhubarb,and it was a great name (and a great dog).

Jean said...

... elements from the Periodic Table ... Stephen King characters ... saints ... royalty around the world or perhaps just in the British Isles ... Oscar winners ...

Kristine in VA said...

How about Scottish clans, such as Stewart, Shaw, Cameron, Fletcher, Fleming, Campbell, Trotter, MacDuff, Wallace.... It is a long list!
Good luck

A Guy said...

Hmmm... the other suggestions have been so great so far (although I must admit I have not read every one.)

How about Rock band members,

Ringo, Paul, John, George, Mick, Eddie, Joan, you get the idea.

Also comedian names: Dangerfield, Seinfeld, Wilson, Foxx, etc..

Turtle said...

K, haven't read the other suggestions yet but:

Nuts :(peanut philburt hazelnut pignoliacashew) etc

or knitting stiches:(bad one, lol)

or colors:
or trees: willow, oak, elm, maple, gardenia,

Amber said...

I definitely endorse elements, I've got a co worker with two cats named Thorium and Molybdenum.

Michelle Pierce said...

I agree, how about the names of teas such as jasmine, darjeerling, etc.

Or after comedians: Jerry, Paula, etc.

Or after mountain ranges.

Writer Bug said...

Wow! I love all these ideas... Maybe you can do something that plays off the idea that these animals are going to be raised in NY (I believe these are the first to be named since the move, right?) So you could do a NY theme like Broadway, Ellis (for Ellis Island), Liberty (Keeping with the Statue of Liberty), Albany, Apple (Big Apple), etc. And/or you could do counties/towns in New York.

Anonymous said...

Muppets/ Characters from Dr. Seuss/ Nursery rhyme characters

pyr8kat said...

I like the Shakespeare characters idea. Plenty of names for both girls and boys. Split comedies and tragedies between the sheep and goats? I don't know, just an idea!

reversed said...

characters from hindu mythology.

Ganesh for the headbutters
Lakshmi for the silkiest coat
Hanuman for the fightiest
and so on...

KnittingBlueContent said...

Also in the New York theme:

Seinfeld characters!


Christie said...

I think you should name them using shareholder names. Put every shareholder's name in a hat (or two hats, one with girl names and one with boy names) and every time you have a birth, pick a name out of the hat. I can't think of a better way to honor your shareholders.


Backyard said...

All of these ideas are GREAT. I have one to add to the mix... in your blog you mentioned creating a victory garden and how much you enjoyed pouring over the names of the vegetable varieties... so, there's the answer!!! e.g., Lemon Boy. Early Girl. Moneymaker. Black Krim. Costouto Fiorentino. German Queen. Martin's Giant. I think it would be FUN. Good luck choosing among all of the aforementioned awesome options.

Rebecca Gordon said...

All these ideas are great. The nerdy part of me loves the names of elements. Before I read that suggestion, I was thinking of sub-atomic particles: charmed quark, lepton, Higgs Boson, muon and so forth.

Or old car models: Edsel, Corvair, Galaxy, Fairlane, Imperial, Impala - especially good for the goats who, as we've learned, have a tendency to travel when the option is available.

Parisa said...

No new/better ideas but really like the idea of naming the babies after your shareholders, and also states (for lambs) and state capitals (for kids).

Tracy at woollies.wordpress.com said...

You could name them after delicious Tex-Mex dishes: Enchilada, Taco, Chalupa, Chimichanga, Migas, Quesadilla.... Oh, but wait, we wouldn't want them to think they're food... Maybe go for the vegetarian dishes?

Jenna S said...

Being a Scott I have to chime in for the Scottish Clan names!
Also suggest characters from Jane Austen's books.
How about Joss Whedon characters - Buffy, Angel, Serenity, Dr. Horrible etc. The thought of a lamb named Spike makes me laugh!

Tinadp said...

I love the idea of fruits and vegetables, someone alredy beat me to it. Another thought is countries and cities.

anne said...

I love the states, the NY theme and the Scottish clans. Also what about women writers?

Di said...

I like the shareholder suggestion too. If I recall, it was suggested last year.

Grace said...

As a huge Joss Whedon fun, I'd have to second that. Go Buffy!

Other ideas:

How about names/types of bugs? Don't know why but I think that would be really funny...

Knitting/Crochet/fiber related terms as names.

Names of rivers and lakes

Music instruments

Shoe names, ie: birks, dansko, doc marten etc.

Chris said...

I'd like to second trees.

Or succulents, if you want some really exotic stuff.

Crista said...

Gods and goddesses or maybe famous characters in mysteries such as Zeus, Aphrodite, etc.

Like Miss Marple, Lord Wimsey, Sam Spade. Sherlock, etc.

A Crafty Lawyer said...

How about towns in Massachusetts, in honor of your Martha's Vineyard beginning? And a lot of them are actually pretty good names:

Concord and Lexington
(I guess Adams and Lincoln don't work, because of the presidential overlap!)

or you could stick with towns on Cape Cod and the Islands.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking Shakespeare characters but like Writer Bug's idea of NY places.

What about playwrights and musicals? Playwrights for the sheep (APHRA behn, WILLiam Shakespeare) and musical scorers?

Names of mushroom varieties? Here my little hedgehog, come to mama.

The sheep could have single-syllable bowling league names (bev, sam, al, dar) and the goats could have three-syllable names (julian, sebastian, catherine)

m0nk3y mark said...

even thought I'm not a big fan(of the music), classical composers, sounds like so much fun. And being a biochemist, I wanted to throw micro-organisms, but realized; Anthrax, Coli, Bacillus, Coccus, are crappy names

katygirl said...

How about names of cereals? Trix, Cheerio, Count Chocula!

Or pastries? Napoleon, Kringle, Croissant, etc.

Anonymous said...

Fairy Tale characters....There's lots to choose from there. Or a Disney movie character names.


Or try:
Little Bo
The 7 Dwarfs
Santa's Reindeer

The Knifty Knitter said...

I think it wold be funny to name them after different breeds of cats and dogs.

Cats: Persian, Tabby, Manx, Siamese

Dogs: Rottweiler, Terrier, Pekingese, Poodle

Susan said...

Shareholder Peggy Kane emailed me this suggestion- she was having trouble getting the comments to work- and it is such a good idea I have to post here for ya'll to read.

"How about Fonts? Fonts are very trendy these days.


Sandra Cohrs said...

I like the font names and that pays homage to the old typewriter as well as the computer keyboard. Being a cat lover the breed names are precious. How about the birds and the bees! You could name the sheep after bird species and the goats after different bees(or maybe other types of cross pollinators).How about Greek and Roman gods and goddesses (Greek for goats, Roman for the sheep?)

Damon said...

I propose naming them after characters from The Simpsons.

Here's a full list

So many great possibilities:

Kang, Kodos, Disco Stu, Hans Moleman, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Duffman, Itchy, Scratchy, and Santa's Little Helper...just to name a few.

(I hope it's ok that I posted here, I am the husband of a shareholder)

Susan said...

of course it's okay Damon! All readers are welcome.

|chee-uh| said...

Some ideas:
Cartoon Characters
Soft Drinks
Songs/Hits/Bands of the 80s
Types of Dances
Famous Olympians

|chee-uh| said...

Oh yeah, in honor of gardening:
Types of tomatoes - there's only a million varieties I think
Types of pasta

Evan & Rachel said...

Harry Potter Characters...

Anonymous said...

Couldn't slog through all the suggestions, though those I saw were great. And I don't know what has been suggested in past years. But here are a few:

How about kids book/juvenile fiction characters (curious george, madeline, ferdinand, maisy, courderoy, ramona, heidi etc.)

Or disney characters? There's a never-ending supply)(micky,cruella,pongo,ariel,lady, tramp,)

Clearly, two suggestions from a stay at home mom...

Susanne said...

Living with two boys 7 and 9 it came to me that Star Wars' Characters would be fun.

Or names of Cookies/Pastries.

Lilea said...

how about fancy desserts....mousse,ganache,brulee,parfait,

I was on to the tree theme too..balsalm,pine,hemlock,aspen,cherry,apple,peach,olive,there are so many.......

Michele said...

My two ideas are:

Spinning wheels: e.g. Ashford, Kiwi, Saxony, Lendrum, etc.

Politicians: Lincoln, Kennedy, Nixon, Spiro Agnew (I just like his name:)), Obama, etc.

kandace said...

I love all these ideas! I would add Ben and Jerry Ice cream flavors, or any ice cream flavors:)

red squirrel knits! said...

what fun!!!

Hmm...so many possibilities. Gemstones might be fun. Aquamarine, Topaz, Ruby, Diamond...

I like the colors idea, in the first post. Lots of great color names out there. Fruits was the other thing that came to mind...Fig, Plum, Apple, Tangerine, Lemon, Blueberry...etc.

red squirrel knits! said...

ok i guess all my ideas were already mentioned....i should probably read the posts BEFORE I comment!!

I do have to give a second shout for Muppets. soooo fun.

I also love the shareholders-in-a-hat idea. Probably lots of options out there!

My only other idea was to use names from places on Martha's Vineyard and New York State. I have a relative who's daughter names all her pets after places on Cape Cod because that's where they live. and yeah, they have a lot of pets:)

ule913 said...

I was going to suggest States but I see that it has already been suggested several times.

How about naming them after different yarns? Sundara, Cascade, Yartini, Sweet Georgia, Noro, Malabrigo, Smooshy, Rowan, Zara, etc. (And the funniest: Brown Sheep!!!!!!!) You could use the names of the yarn companies for the males and the names of the different kinds of yarns for the females!!!

zeebi said...

Love the tomato variety and the Mass. towns idea too. We do have a lot of great names here.

My suggestion is stuff from a desk drawer/junk drawer: tape, scissors, stapler, glue stick, elmers, white-out, paperclip, ballpoint, etc. Then you could do stuff in your bathroom cabinet for the other species (toothpaste, q-tip, mouthwash...) for the cabinets and drawers theme, or font names for the office theme.

Or, to run with the Muppets theme, you could do Muppets and Fraggles. My sister in law would have a little fit of joy if there were Fraggle names.

Leah said...

I think you should name the kids after flowers - reminds me of Bambi.
Daffodil, Zinnia, Rose, etc...

ule913 said...

Instead of naming them after shareholders, how about using some of their Ravelry ID's instead?

ule913 said...

I really need to stop thinking about this. Actually I'm not consciously thinking about it. these ideas are coming to me as I'm surfing the web and I post them before I can forget them.

How about naming them after knitwear designers? Zimmermann, Gaugh, Modesitt, Fasset etc?

Linda said...

I think colors too--maybe red for kids and blue for lambs? I can think of reds: carmine, crimson, alizarin, vermilion, scarlet, ruby, cerise, cardinal . . . and blues: cobalt, azure, aqua, navy, cerulean, indigo, royal, sky, etc., etc.

Sarah said...

What about picking a band and using the titles of songs for names:

example: U2 (our favorite in the McRell household)

Sweetest Thing
Mysterious Ways
Wild Honey
Streets (for Where the Streets have no name)

I think I would sing to the kids and lambs as I tended to them. What fun!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Hi all! Bewts from Ravelry, here. I like 1980's kid's cartoon show characters (Smurfs: Smurfette, Brainy, Papa, etc.; Jem and the Holograms, GI Joe, etc.) and Kids' cereals (Trix, Golden Grahams, Lucky Charms, etc.)

Of course, my preferred would be Muppet characters! Fozzie, kermit, Miss Piggy!

Ha! This is way too fun!

Danielle F. said...

How about rock star names (eddie van halen, joan jett, etc...) for the sheep and country star names (loretta lynn, george jones) for the sheep? I would love to hang out with a lamb named Mick Jagger.

AmIAKnitterYet said...

I thought I'd have something to contribute but i as I scrolled through the previous posts I realized a lot of my ideas were taken. Including: fancy color names, ice cream, NY cities, trees, etc.

Wait, how about types of sushi? ebi, unagi, toro, etc.

can't wait to see what we come up with.

Redheadharp said...

Love the fonts and musical instruments!

Also, how about national parks?
Mesa Verde
Mount Rainier

pyr8kat said...

I like the idea of Harry Potter characters. Adult names for the sheep: Hagrid, Dumbledore, Snape, etc.; and kid names for the goats (pun intended): Harry, Ron, Dudley, Hermione, etc. :-)

Cindy said...

I got these ideas from a book, those that have read it will recognize it. The names of song birds, like sparrow or finch. Or the names of gemstones, like opal or pearl.

Elana said...

You do know there's only 26 counties in Ireland, right (well, 32 if you count the ones in the North)? sez the Irish shareholder :-D

I like the Joss Whedon suggestion and the tea suggestion. As for names of towns on Cape Cod...I wouldn't want to be WoodsHole kid (even tho I was a Woods Hole kid, geddit? I was born there...geddit? never mind. /slinks off)

katygirl said...

Oh, I *love* the font idea and the national parks idea! And I admit that I too would like to hang out with a lamb named Mick Jagger!

Grandmatutu said...

The more I read recommendations of gemstones and minerals, the more I like it. I took geology last year and there are gobs of names . . . and some are really pretty! I still like Texas counties, but this would be right up there on my favorites list. Good idea.

Anonymous said...

Biblical names for the wise sheep:
Saul, Samuel, Jacob, Esau, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc. And Rebekka, Esther, Mary, Mirium, Ruth, Anna, etc. Then the goats could be named for mythological persons: Loki, Freya, Thor, etc.

Also hot chili peppers: King, Kelly , Gypsy Goldie, Goat (yes there really is a pepper named Goat's Head)
Safi, Queen, Slim Jim, Tobago, Zinka, Thai, Mango, the list goes on. These for the goats, and the sheep could have flower names.

Rebecca said...

What about types of grasses?

Zoysia Grass
Bermuda Grass
Velvet Bentgrass
Blue Grass
Cheek Grass
Rye Grass
Buffalo Grass
etc., etc., etc...