March 6-12 is Celebrate Your Name Week!
Today I’ll tell you how Muppet got his name.
Muppet was 4 months old when we brought him home in August 2004. He was a fluffy white ball of shaggy fur that looked a little crazy and wild like Einstein or Doc Brown from Back to the Future. Back to the Future is my absolute favorite movie of all time so we considered naming him Doc. It didn’t take me long to change my mind. Despite his wild white hair he still had a “baby face” and the name Doc just seemed too old for him.
Sticking with the BTTF theme we thought we’d try “Marty” which was definitely more youthful. My husband spent an entire day taking care of the puppy and calling him Marty. All day long I thought about how he almost didn’t look real (the dog, not my husband). He looked like a stuffed animal or a puppet. In fact, he looked like a Muppet. He looked as if Jim Henson had created him and he had a fun, sweet personality that made you believe he could start talking to you at any moment. I’ve always been a big fan of The Muppets and the name seemed to fit him perfectly. When Cool Daddy came home with the puppy that day I said, “His name is Muppet.” “I’ve been calling him Marty all day!” he said, but he agreed with me. It would already be embarrassing enough to have a giant 6’3 man walking a tiny white dog that would look like a living cotton ball on a string…why not name him Muppet too?! (At least I didn’t want to name him “Smooches”.) And that was that. We got him registered with the official name of Muppet Puppet (plus our last name). People mishear us when we say his name (do we lack annunciation?!) and often think his name is Muffin, Muffet, or Moppet. Umm, no. He’s acquired many nicknames over the years including Mr. Muppet, Muppety-Mupp, Muppy Puppy, Bubba, Bubbaloo, and Mupp. Quite often we just call him “buddy”.
When we got Muppet we were told that he was a full bred Maltese (he had “papers” and everything) but as his fur grew in it didn’t look like Maltese fur. It was long and white like it should be, but it was fluffier, not as silky, and it just wouldn’t lay down…if puffed up and out. Grooming him became an impossible task and we started getting him shaved. Now his signature “Muppet” fur that inspired his name is all gone. I can still see the Muppet in him, in his eyes and in the way he cocks his head to one side.
While writing about how my Muppet got his name I was curious to find out how The Muppets got their name. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say:
The word “Muppet” itself first appeared in 1956, and was said by Henson to have been created by combining the words “Marionette” and “puppet”. However, Henson was also known to have stated that it was just something he liked the sound of, and he made up the “marionette/puppet” story while talking to a journalist because it sounded plausible.
More information about the word’s origin can be found here.
Here are some dog Muppets I found on muppet.wikia.com
Rufus, Dermot, Foo Foo, Muppy, Barkley, Dog and Foo Foo.
How did you choose your pet’s name?
Tell me your story in the comments!
Other “Celebrate Your Name Week” Posts:
+How Muppet got his name
+How Adaline got her name
+The meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it wrong