Are there equivalents to Spot and Rover in other languages? I’ve never seen an actual dog named either, but for some reason they’re considered the “generic” dog names in cartoons and such. Do other countries and languages have similar concepts?
In Dutch it’s “Fikkie”.
You forgot Fido (in English).
Has anyone ever encountered a real dog with that name? I sure haven’t.
Rex is another traditional dog name in English; it means “king” in Latin. Speaking of which, there’s a nice list of Latin names in Ovid, with a few more attested elsewhere: list here.
In Welsh, Mot and Pero are common. I don’t know what either means, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Pero was related to Spanish perro “dog.”
The English (American, at least) doggie name I’ve encountered or heard of most often is Bandit. And I’ve encountered several doggies named China. (Go figure.)
The generic default name for a pet parrot is Polly. Who has ever encountered that? Is there an corresponding parrot name in Dutch, or elsewhere?
A better Latin list, with references.
More common Welsh ones: Carlo (“Charlie”) and Smot (“Spot”).
The most famous Fido (“Faithful”) was an Italian street dog that became famous in the 1940s and 1950s for going to meet his late master’s bus every day for 14 years after he died. The name has declined in popularity, but I think most people still recognize “Fido” as a generic name for a dog. (I dunno, it seems to me the dog was just a slow learner.;))
Spanish: Nerón (Nero)
The generic name for a dog in Irish is Bran (which rhymes, or or less, with on). In Gaelic mythology, Bran and Seolan were a pair of hunting dogs owned by the hero Fionn Mac Cumhaill. Why Bran became the generic name while Seolan is all but forgotten I have no idea.
In some parts of India - Moti (pearl) and Sheroo (tiger like) and Tommy are popular.
That one is most often found on stupid tiny dogs or dogs whose owner is stupid (and possibly tiny).
Perro is a popular non-name for found dogs. You don’t want to give him a name, so you just call him dog, and then he knows it’s him you’re talking to aaaaaaandd… well, it’s his name now! I know some hunters who don’t name their dogs at all, they’re all perro except when they’re perra.
Laika was popular for a while; females only, of course. Bobby was popular for male dogs for a while; many English nicknames sound like “dog names” to Spanish ears (sorry).
And there are websites dedicated to helping people pick a name for their dog. I liked Arrancapinos (uproots-pine-trees, which I think would be fitting for say, a Chihuahua), but seriously, Gaudí? Who the heck names their dog Gaudí?
What’s your point? The OP says that he has not actually encountered either of his examples, Spot or Rover either. I think I may have once actually seen a real dog called Rover (and maybe met one or two called* Rex*), but never a Fido or a Spot. It doesn’t matter. They are all well known as traditional, “default” dog names in English, and commonly used for fictional dogs (especially in cartoons, as the OP says, and anything written for children), even if they rarely, these days, get used in real life (probably because most adults consider them too clichéd).
This article, by the way, links to a list in another Wikipedia article:
Unless you intend to spend your Sunday weeping incessantly, don’t read it.
Same in Swedish.
(I mean: “Fido.” Not “Same.”)
German: Fido and Bello (“the beautiful one”).
I’ve known a few people with pet Iguanas named “Iggy”. They’ve all thought the name original and genius level.
In German Struppi was given as an archetypal dog name.
Anecdote: My father was a small animal vet for forty years, and never encountered a dog named either Fido or Rover.
It’s strange how naturally that happens. When I don’t know a dog, I just call him perro. Yeah, even when speaking English. Unless I know it’s a girl dog, then it’s perrita (because, well, in Mexican Spanish it’s not polite to use perra).
Right now Bailey is a very common name for dogs.