More on naming ferrets

by Dr June McNicholas

A while ago I did a piece on how people selected names for ferrets ranging from the sweetly sensible to the positively potty. Here are some more of your offerings.

Where ferrets come from, or where they are found, still remains a popular way of choosing a name. A pair of youngsters found thrown into a river became Flotsam and Jetsam, and the hob found in a bottle bank became Tetley in honour of the brewery, whilst another found behind a pub became Ruddles (They should perhaps be grateful they were not jills and ended up being called Chardonnay or Shiraz). Accrington has produced yet another Stanley; with Exmoor bringing forth both a Lorna and a Doone. We await news of the ferrets found in Handsworth, Kneesdon and Biggleswade, and our hearts surely bleed for ferrets found in Balls Green and Bonkle.

Still, maybe their owners will select another way of naming them. Plants and flowers have always been a safe bet, and spring has given us the usual flowering of kits called Poppy, Fern, Rosie, and the like. However, some caution is needed. Names like Scabious and Pimpernel are not suited to abbreviation.

We chose Rowan as a name for one hob but couldn’t think of a name for his cage-mate until inspiration came from the unlikely source of the kitchen kettle –Russell Hobs!

Sometimes names come en masse. Our editor has virtually the whole crew of the Starship Enterprise plus a goodly chunk of the cast from Lord of the Rings running around her ferret room. The children’s programme ‘Trumpton’ (or was it Camberwick Green?) generated several litters of kits called Hugh, Pugh, Barney, Magrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub. Fine if they stay together, but you can bet after the rehoming you’ll be left with a Grub. Explain that when registering him at the vets. And you can push a good idea for mass naming a little too far. We tried it with a litter found near a coal mine. It seemed to go well with naming them Jet, Coke, and so forth. ‘Lignite’ seemed a little far fetched but we did give up when the poor little chap at the end would have been blessed with the name of Nutty Slack.

OK, so what about actions and behaviour? Not a bad choice. It gives names like Bouncer and Pogo for playful pets, and Fleet and Flash for racing ferrets. Some owners go further. Zephyr, Cosworth, Mistral and names associated with fast cars. All well and good, but remember Nova means ‘won’t go’ in Italian, and call your racing hob Lada, and he’ll go into a monumental sulk in the starting box.

It’s a fascinating subject, naming ferrets, and it makes the taking of show entries highly entertaining, revealing the sense of fun and fancy amongst so many ferrety people and often their other interests. No prizes for guessing the other hobby of the owner of Riley, Morgan and Alvis; or Rommel or Monty. And I own up to revealing something of my profession in the choices for our working pairs – Sam ‘n’ Ella, and Rue and Bella. But some are frankly puzzling – and the prize must go to ‘The Right Horrible Lady Darcy Fox-Bolter’. There IS a story behind it, but you’ll have to ask Jeff!

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