Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Choosing Hamster Names

By Catya
Catya is a judge with the California Hamster Association. She shares her experiences in hamster ownership from a high school student's perspective.

Click image to enlarge
Trogdor the hamster
Trogdor is just as brave as (but much cuter than) the dragon he is named after.
merlin the hamster
Photos Courtesy Catya
Catya's brother Kevin named Merlin the Syrian hamster.

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I love hearing from you. Last time, someone asked if hamster care has gotten easier with time and practice. It certainly has – I’ve learned more efficient ways of doing the hamster chores, and it takes a lot less time. Of course, my parents are always willing to lend a hand, should I need their help. As to whether or not my hamsters are part of my chemistry homework – well, more on that later! (Don’t worry; they don’t even realize they’re part of my research.)

I’ve also had several comments now about hamster names. You’ve already heard some of my hamsters’ names – Boo, Tom, Gloria, Spoon, Toby and others. I always love to hear how other hamster owners come up with their pets’ names. There’s almost always a great story behind the choice. For instance, I’d love to hear why one of my readers has a female Syrian hamster named Hercules.

I have a hamster named Hercules, too. He’s a male Roborovski hamster and part of a family with names drawn from Greek and Roman mythology. I breed the Roborovski hamsters a little, and I use themes to help think of names. Themes are also an easy way to remember the family tree – Zeus, Athena, Apollo and Hercules are part of one family, while Mazy, Horton and the other Dr. Seuss-themed names are part of another.

Christmas-themed names are popular for hamsters that were bought or born near Christmas. I know that’s the case with Gloria, our Syrian hamster, and I’d bet it’s also the case for Raeanna’s hamster named Tinsel. I’ve also bred a few litters of Syrian hamsters, including one that was born the day before Christmas Eve. We picked seasonal names for all of the pups, names like Holly, Jolly, Cindy Lou Who, Nicolas and Frosty. (Perhaps I’ll tell you more about Frosty in a future blog; he was very unique!)  

Speaking of unique, my brothers have always come up with interesting names for their hamsters. Spoon was Joe’s hamster, and the name was his idea. Strangely enough, the name fit Spoon’s personality perfectly. Kevin, who owns the Winter White dwarves, also has a knack for naming. His female hamsters have Disney princess names, and they wear them well – Jasmine, Belle, Ariel and Cinderella behave just like royalty. And Kevin’s hamster Trogdor, whose name came from an Internet cartoon, was brave and daring like his namesake, a dragon. 

I love finding the perfect name for a hamster, when the name and the personality of the hamster match – like Carol’s Roborovski hamster named Orville Redenbacher. I know how Robs can bounce around like popcorn! Or sometimes, a hamster’s name and attitude contrast – like a mighty name like Zeus, Worf or Harley belonging to a tiny timid Rob. Whether its name is unique and strange, a reference to a story or a movie, or a classic like Hammy, a hamster’s name is a special thing that tells a lot about a hamster as well as its owner.

I’d love to hear more hamster names. What is your favorite hamster name? Do you have a great story about your hamster’s name?

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Choosing Hamster Names

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Reader Comments
I liked it. My Roborovski is named Thunder because he is fast and does what he wants!
Sarah, Minot, ND
Posted: 9/17/2009 9:14:17 AM
How do you know when it's time to take your hamster to the doctor?
Jana, San Antonio, TX
Posted: 9/9/2008 2:06:37 PM
Those are all great names, but how do you tell them apart? How many hamsters are in your house. We have a pair of teddybear hamsters named Bill and Ted. Ted is a girl!
Fernando, Rock Island, IL
Posted: 9/4/2008 2:01:41 PM
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