Monday, 4 May 2009

Some words about the names - name explanation Part 1

Foreign names
There is an obvious tendency in the dog-world to choose names which derive from foreign cultures or fantasy novels/films. This pertains especially for those breeds that summon the image of a more natural, primordial kind of dog. I would dare a guess that certainly at least 25% of names you can find in the pedigrees of f.e. Huskies and also Saarlooswolfdogs are of native American origin (including inuit). The same applies to lots of Kennel names.
Even if we can understand why these names are popular - after all the indian tribes have an image of the "noble savages" who live in harmony with nature and all it's inhabitants.
The attitude these native people stand for is something that is lacking in our modern western world.
However, there was a time when also our european ancestors kept up values that showed a similar respect to nature. Even if lots of this very old heritage is lost in the shadows of the past, there are still some cultural witnesses that recall the spirit of ancient Europe. One of these witnesses is language, thus names as a part of it.

Nordic names
We do not generally oppose the choice of dog-names from distant parts of the world, it is simply a question of feelings.
For us it was a quite natural thing to choose names for the dogs which remind of their regional origin - as the very first litter of Saarlooswolfdogs in Sweden, it was therefore clear that they would get scandinavian names. Furthermore we are very interested and involved in the preservation of the ancient native germanic culture, which had it's last big appearnace on the scene of history just here, up in the north of Europe.

Now let's look at the first name of our Alfa (for those who may have wondered - this is not a misspelling - it is simply the swedish form of the greek alpha) litter:

Howling Northwind Arn Götolf (Alfa 1):

Arn derives from Old Norse ari- = 'eagle' or Old High German aro = 'eagle'
There was a very popular swedish film/book series about a man called Arn, which was filmed in this area of Sweden, only a few miles away from our house. Lots of the plot also takes place in this area which bears the historical name Skaraborg. It also seems to us like a nice calling name for a dog, even if it of course is up to his future owner to decide if he wants to use it as such.

Götolf includes the 2 elements gautr (Old norse) and ulfr (Old norse) and means "the wolf from Götaland" - which is another clear hint to the place of his birth, as we live in the part of Sweden which is known as Götaland.

Tomorrow I will continue with the explanation of the next name: Audgrim Roffe.

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