How P+R Got Their Names

Inspired by Taza’s post this morning, I wanted to share a little about how Posie and Rupert’s names came to be. I have been obsessed with names since I was a little girl, and I was always trying on different names and begging to be called something else like Danielle or Henrietta. Luckily, I’ve come round to being perfectly happy with Johanna Rose! These days, I have a huge and ever-growing list on Nameberry – I seriously have enough for twenty kids, so it will be a bittersweet task pruning it down for the much smaller number of children and pets that I do end up having in my life.

Anyway, Posie and Rupert.

Obviously, we got Posie first. I didn’t actually know that we were getting a puppy until the weekend that we got her, and I was so enchanted by her that at first I couldn’t think of anything to name her. As we sat in the car with her minutes after receiving her, we ran through a bunch of names but nothing seemed to suit her. She was Miso (because of her colour – like white miso paste) for about five minutes, and I also suggested Claudia and Gretel and Cinderella and Pixel. She was spunky and independent, even in those first moments, so I knew she needed something unique. She seemed like a Rosie, but I suddenly remembered the Noel Streatfeild books about the ballet sisters and had a vague memory that one of the sisters was called Posie (actually Posey).

So Posie it was! I liked the fact that we both have floral names, and that it lends itself very easily to a Chinese name – Xiaohua (literally ‘little flower’). I also liked that Posie is traditionally a nickname for Josephine, which is a nickname that I am often called. And Josephine was an Empress of France – we didn’t know it at the time, but Posie has definitely grown into her role as queen of the household.

Nathan wasn’t immediately sold on her name. Posie has him wrapped around her paw nowadays, but at the time I know he had some reservations about having such a dainty little white fluffy dog with such a cute name. But it suits her so perfectly now – I can’t imagine her being called anything else. It’s unusual and a bit sassy, but so classic and conjures up images of a perfect little cottage garden full of fairies. Posie is a relatively rare name these days, but it is always exciting when I encounter people called Posie/Posey/Poesy in the wild.

Rupert actually came with his name when we adopted him, but it ended up being perfect and it’s what I would have chosen for him anyway. It means ‘bright fame’, and was the name of a historical King of Germany as well as a cartoon character. When we had been searching for a second dog, we’d debated names for our future dog (I can’t remember what any of them were now), thinking we’d have to change their name. But when we got Rupert, his name suited him so perfectly that we dropped the idea and never revisited it. I love that his name is warm and soft, classic and cute.

Together, the dogs sound like an adorable old couple in an English country nursing home. We have toyed with the idea of them having middle names, but can’t agree or decide on anything, so I guess they are just Posie and Rupert. If we ever get another dog, we will continue the theme of cute, unusual but old fashioned names for our animals.

As for future human names, I will never tell until it’s written on a birth certificate – seen way too many people with way too many opinions about this kind of thing, so it’s better to lock everybody out of the decision-making process until it’s already said and done, and there’s nothing they can do about it. But it’s going to be agonizing to decide one day. Though I suppose that whatever I don’t use, I always have the opportunity to use all these gorgeous names on characters in my writing. Or I can get chickens. And then more chickens, and more, and more. 🙂

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