If I had a dog…

I would name him “Anathama.” Then I could say to him “Anathema sit.”

And I’d want the funeral to be like this this scene from A Fish Called Wanda, complete with Anglican choristers singing “canis mortuus est.”


  1. Let’s not forget about the Anglican organist with the exceedingly ebullient dog named Ampney. When the dog would jump on visitors, the organist would yell DOWN AMPNEY.

    May I say this video is perhaps the oddest thing to ever appear on this blog…..

  2. . . . or the woman who named her dog “Even” after the Lazarus story: Even, the dog, came and licked his sores.

  3. …or the guy who named his big dog “culpa” so when asked he could say that he is “mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”.

    …I know, I know, not funny.

  4. Well, for Classical dog names that aren’t puns, Argos is difficult to beat. To mix usage punningly, if he loves to swim (as most dogs do), he becomes an Argonaut.

    Book 17 of The Odyssey:

    As [Ulysses, returned home, and Eumaeus] were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Ulysses had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Ulysses standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Ulysses saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said: “Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?” “This hound,” answered Eumaeus, “belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Ulysses left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master’s hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.” As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master.

  5. My brother once had a black Labrador-Dachshund mix, that looked much like a Lab with his legs cut off at the knees, with the long dachshund nose on his face. This puppy was all black, save for a patch of white around his neck.

    The white got my brother to thinking. Said my brother, “I was thinking of calling him ‘Bishop’. That way I could say ‘bad Bishop’ and ‘down Bishop’ and ‘no Bishop.'”

    After much laughter, he ended up going with Tuxedo for the name instead. I later shared this story with my bishop, who laughed even harder than my brother had.

  6. I always thought that Ampney would be a good dog name – with Down Ampney in mind. Perhaps Ampney and Anathema could be a matched pair.

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