Anastasia Martyniuk

Kamianets-Podilskiy Ivan Ohiienko National University

Scientific Supervisor: S.I. Nykytiuk



Zoonyms are an important layer of vocabulary in the English language. The sources of zoonyms origin and formation are determined here. British animal names can be attributed to certain group: multiple anthroponyms, single anthroponyms, names of places, trademarks, common names and others words and expressions characterized. Some aspects and patterns of studying the origin of animal names are researched in the article.

Keywords: zoonyms, animals, names, pets.

In the UK there is a real cult of animals. Dozens of special newspapers and magazines for “our little brothers” are published, clubs for lovers of different types of animals, societies for the protection of animals are created. A striking example is the RSPCA (Royal society for the protection of animals). It is estimated that almost every second home in Britain keeps pets. In the first place are dogs (more than 6 million), then cats (almost 5 million), parrots (3 million), rabbits (about a million), as well as horses and other pets [1, P. 102].

Animal names in the English language explored the following researchers:

  1. F. Artemova, O. A. Leonovich, V. F. Nagaitseva, L. A. Pechenina, as well as
  2. D . Aleshina investigated the origin of the vocabulary of calling animals.

The purpose of the article is to determine the sources of animal names (zoonyms) origin and their formation.

First of all, it is necessary to determine the sources of zoonyms origin and their formation. So among the sources can be identified:

  1. a) multiple anthroponyms: in the English language the derivatives are widely used (i.e. abbreviated forms — Mag, Sam, Ben, and diminutive forms with the suffix -in or -ie — Molly, Nicky, Maggie);
  2. b) single anthroponyms are the names of famous figures of today and the past, as well as characters of myths, literary works, movies and TV shows. For example: Nixon (the name of the former President of the USA), Nefertiti (the name of the Queen of ancient Egypt), Genghis Khan (the name of the Mongol Khan-conqueror), Capone (the name of the gangster), Athena, Venus (the names of the ancient goddesses), Romeo, Capulet (literary names), Gomez and Morticia (the names of the characters of the TV series “Family Adams”, which served as the basis for the pair nicknames of two animals); among the nicknames you can find such proper names: Max, Charlie, Tom, Jones.
  3. c) names of places, for example: Egypt, Nile, Alaska;
  4. d) trademarks, products and product names: Hershey, Cadbury (chocolate brand), Havana (cigar name), Capuccino (coffee recipe), Bugle Boy (branded clothing);
  5. e) common names and others characterize words and expressions. They are usually used to emphasize some external feature of the animal or Association with it, for example: Jasmine, Danger, Ferocious, Sweetie Pie, Honey, Tiny. Names: Spotsie, Blackberry Patch, Spot, Smoky, Darky, White, Redhead, Sandy, Amber, Rusty, Blackie, Brownie talk about the color of the animal, Socks – about the special color of the limbs. Frequent nicknames that reflect the character traits of the animal: Patience, Lady, Joy.

By choosing names for newborn puppies purebred, English dog lovers often are guided by the following rules: nicknames puppies should be linked with the names of their parents thematically. Since dogs Duster and Mop, puppies called Bucket, Scrubber, Polish, Sponge, Flannel, Brush, Broom, Soap. It is also customary to the  of a dog with the same letter as the name of his father or mother. For example, the Spaniel Solo has the puppies called Secombe, Sykes, Santana, Songster, Satchmo, etc. The dog’s name may consist of no more than twenty-four letters, but in practice, these names are much shorter and include often two of syllables. The next names were listed as Royal hunting hounds of Artillery club: Tracey, Playboy, Pancy, Fancy, Promise, Pancake, Polestar, Mercy, Practice, Famous, Planet, Passion, RSPs. Less common three-syllable names: Manager, Merryman. The short nickname is obviously more convenient because it allows you to achieve rapid implementation of service commands [2, P. 33].

A separate group can be identified names of livestock, which have long been rooted in the English language. It is divided into a number of semantic species. You can find among them the names of their own: Oliver (goose), Charles (lamb), Tom Jones (lamb), Othello (the black lamb), Betsy (hen), Molly, Polly, Dolly (calves); the names of specific items: Salt and Pepper, Penny and Twopence, Mustard and Cress (all nicknames of the lambs), Poppy (horse), Captain (cow), Crumpet (the cock); words denoting abstract concepts: Sanctity (cow), Boredom (wild boar), Magic (cow).

Summing up, let’s look at the names, which are the most widespread:

– for dogs: Penny, Trixie, Rusty, Tommy, Nettle, Lady, Judy, Duke, Prince, Snoopy, Rex, Tiger, Cindy, Caesar;

– for cats (except already named names): Molly, Felix, Sylvester, Honey, Lucky, Twinkle, Sherry, Mandy, Smokie, Brandy, Tom, Kitty, Sandy, Ginger, Sally;

– for parrots: Polly, Jimmy, George, Jackie, Joe, Toby;

– for rabbits: Percy, Harry, Snowy, Queen, Basher, Skipper, Cavalier;

– for Guinea pigs: Midge, Peter, Drooper, Bubble, Hamburger;

– for cows: Kitty, Pixie, Jewel, Dolly, Dainty, Samantha, Smokey;

– for fish: Fred, Charlie, Spark, Goldy, Flash, Pinky, Perky, Mouldy;

– for hamsters: Jeremy, Peter, Paul, Tina, Honey, Squeaker, Sandy;

– for turtles: Terry, Fred, Tommy, Cupid, Herby, Luck, Tiny, Rocky.

Thus, the British call Pets name as they like. British names can be attributed to certain group: multiple anthroponyms, single anthroponyms, names of places, trademarks, common names and others words and expressions characterized. The largest group is a group of names that coincide with the names of people.


  1. Артёмова А.Ф., Леонович О.А. Английские имена собственные и пополнение словарного состава: ИЯШ, 2005. № 1, С.102.
  2. Ногайцева В.Ф., Печенина Л.А. Животные и растения в английской речи: Английский язык. М.: Первое сентября, 2005. № 18, С.33-34.