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Pet's Homage Name

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It's a simple way to provide characterization: if you're highly educated and/or sophisticated you give a similar name to your pet. A popular scientist to name cats after is Erwin Schrödinger, best known for his Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment. Popular enough to be a Stock Animal Name.

It doesn't have to be a scientist naming the cat for another scientist. If you're an expert in a given field, you give an appropriate name to the pet. A musician may name the dog after a famous composer, a literature professor name the cat for an ancient king, a physicist name the ferret "Proton", etc. You're just too damn intelligent to own a dog named Rover or a parrot named Polly.

Often a Sub-Trope of Named After Somebody Famous, when using famous, historic names. Could also overlap with Formally-Named Pet, should some egghead name the dog Professor Einstein.

See also We Named the Monkey "Jack", when the homage is to a personal friend/relative/acquaintance.

Not to be confused with Tribute to Fido, which is when a name is a homage to a pet.


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  • When Liz Lemon of 30 Rock is threatening to give up looking for love and succumb to being a Crazy Cat Lady:
    Liz: I have adopted this cat, named her Emily Dickinson
    Writers: [Collective Groan]
  • In The Big Bang Theory, after a breakup with not-his-girlfriend Amy Farrah Fowler, theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper gets a cat that he names Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and takes him everywhere. Soon Sheldon becomes a Crazy Cat Gentleman and gets an entire Manhattan Project of cats — Fermi, Feynman, Teller, Frisch, and Odd Name Out Zazzles, because that cat is so zazzy.
  • B.J. and the Bear is about Billie Joe "B.J." Mc Kay, a professional freelance itinerant trucker who travels the country's highways in a red and white Kenworth K-100 Aerodyne with his pet chimpanzee Bear (named after Bear Bryant, the famed football coach for the University of Alabama).
  • On Blackish, Dre's sister Rhonda and her wife Sharon have a cat called 'Kitty Lang'.
  • Clarissa Explains It All has an episode where Ferguson, her Insufferable Genius brother, finds a lost cat that he names William F. Buckley.
    • Likewise, Clarissa herself has a pet alligator named "Elvis".
  • An episode of Columbo, the victim was a talented musician who had named her bird Chopin.
  • Downton Abbey: All three dogs—Pharaoh, Isis & Tiaa—belonging to the Crawley family have names that are references to Ancient Egypt, and were likely chosen in tribute to the Earl of Carnarvon (real life owner of Highclere Castle AKA the Abbey) who financed Howard Carter's expedition.
  • Due South: Canadian Mountie Benton Fraser named his wolf Deifenbecker, after former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbecker.
  • In Glee, The Dalton Academy Warblers each receive a canary after making the choir. The one Kurt is given is named Pavarotti, after the famed singer.
  • In Hardball, tween-Alpha Bitch Tiffany owns a pair of cavoodles named Ricky and Martin.
  • In The InBESTigators, science geek Ezra has a pet goldfish named Neil Armstrong.
  • Jonathan Creek: A minor character whose fascination with Classical Greek mythology plays a minor role in solving the mystery of the week owns a goldfish called Tiresias.
  • In Modern Family, it's mentioned that part of Mitchell's Transparent Closet as a child was naming his pet bird Fly-za Minelli and his pet snake Zsa Zsa Gaboa.
  • In My Place, Mohammed is into cricket and describes himself as 'a mad keen bowler'; he named his goldfish after Shane Warne and talks to it as if it were the actual cricket player.
  • Sliders: In the first episode, Quinn- the inventor/discoverer of Sliding- mentions his cat named Schrödinger.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Capt. Jonathan Archer's pet beagle is named Porthos as he was from a litter of four puppies all named after the heroes from The Three Musketeers (Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan).
  • Stargate SG-1 had Samantha Carter, the team The Smart Guy, owning a cat named Schrödinger, which she gave to Narim early on.
  • In Starsky & Hutch, Huggy Bear names one of his racing mice Cheesebiscuit.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "I Dream of Genie", George P. Hanley's dog Attila is named after Attila the Hun.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Little Boy Lost", the photojournalist Carol Shelton's cat is named Ansel after Ansel Adams.
  • The West Wing: Mathematics professor Talmidge Cregg has a cat named Nicodemus.
  • The X-Files had Scully, whose background is in hard science like medicine and physics, owning a dog named Queequeg, a reference to one of the Characters in Moby-Dick. (Her family has Navy connections, and she and her father shared a fondness for that novel.)
  • Zoey 101: In "Defending Dustin", Chase and Michael adopt a dog that they name "Elvis".

  • In Ed Reardon's Week, Reardon is a witty, down on his luck writer, whose Intelligence Equals Isolation. The only friend he has is the cat, named after Edward Elgar.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: One round of "Limerick" unfolded thusly:
    Humphrey Lyttelton: "My hamster is called Otis Redding..."
    Graeme Garden: "My goldfish is Joan Armatrading..."
    Tim Brooke-Taylor: "My dogs are The Platters..."
    Barry Cryer: "Not that that matters..."
    Willie Rushton: "No, we're all up to here with the wedding."

  • Maplelea Girls: The Maplelea Girls are series of 18" dolls meant to teach about Canadian geography, history, and culture; the story goes that a group of seven girls who met on holidays now share their everyday experiences and the differences between their provinces and their lives. In a suitably patriotic fashion, some of the pets available have names like Laurier and Diefenbaker, named for important Canadian prime ministers.

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  • Sam, a time traveler in The Bright Sessions, has a cat named Darwin which she obtained after a trip to the Galapagos where she saw the real deal.

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