Friday, July 25, 2008

You Want to Name the Cat WHAT?

The new kitten, needed a name.

King of the Hittites?

I got a new kitten and now he needed a name. I like to give my cats royal names, as suits their demeanor. Most of my prior cats had classical names, like Alexander the Great. Now I wanted to get names from a bit further afield.

Among my many historical interests is the Hittites. They were one of the Great Empires of the ancient world. They managed to fight the mighty Egyptians to a stalemate in Syria, they marched on the Babylonian Empire and sacked Babylon, and so on. They were big, once.

Also, they had one of the most egalitarian outlooks of any of the ancient empires, spoke an early Indo-European language I found interesting to study, and were in an area which is modern-day Turkey before the period of the classical "Greeks" who lived there. Fun stuff for a history buff.

So I thought I'd name my new kitten for a Hittite king. I thought I'd call him Supiluliamas, maybe? I mentioned it to my wife, and you can imagine the look I got.

OK, there's no good short form for that one, anyway. People would look at me funny if I was calling my cat "Soup". How about Muwatallis? My wife gave me another look down the nose.

Fine, Muwa wouldn't be a good nickname, anyway.


I might as well have said "rubber baby buggy bumpers" three times fast.


She didn't give me a sour look over that name. Then she tried to say it. The syllables wouldn't come out in the right order. We tried and tried.

OK, maybe not.

Not Arnuwandas. I don't want a cat with "Arnie" for a nickname. So I didn't even bring that one up.

Tudhaliyas? My wife couldn't say that one, either. And having 'Tude as a nickname may be appropriate for a cat, but I wasn't sure I liked it.

King Telepinus was a jerk, and that name would sound dirty, anyway.

Mursilis sounds just like "merciless." Easy to say, but who'd know it was a Hittite king name rather than a name better suited for a pit bull?

We tried Hattusilis again. I coached my wife for several days. It never came out right. OK, still not a good idea. If my wife can't manage it how well would the family and the vet do?

So...he wasn't going to be named after a Hittite king. None of the other names we hadn't tried really did it for me.

So we went with the eminently more pronouncable "Phillip of Macedon." Heck, some people even know who that was!

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