This paper deals, from a Swedish point of view, with names for domestic animals that have been borrowed from other language areas and other cultures during the last two or three centuries. There are several different reasons for animals having or being given foreign names. These include imported animals being allowed to keep their original names; a desire to reflect an animal’s origin or descent; a wish to praise the animal (or enhance its status) by giving it a name from a high-status language; a taste for the exotic; and a concern to give an animal a unique name. Similarities and differences between the naming of different species of agricultural livestock and household pets are discussed, and an attempt is made to explain why certain of these naming practices have become common in today’s society.
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