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What's in a Name?

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

"This is a great spot you've got here"

Naming the farm

When we got over the shock of buying a farm (we aren't planners, so it just sort of happened), we started thinking about what we should name it. I mean, a farm need a name, right?

I'd seen names that were last names or maybe combinations of names, so I played around with our names, trying to find something that rolled off the tongue the right way. I didn't want a name that even I stumbled over. Nothing really worked though, I guess we just don't have those kinds of names.

So we started thinking about the farm, maybe the name could describe the farm, like Green Acres or Rolling Meadows. When we first came to look at the farm, before we even bought it, we noticed how secluded and peaceful it was. The house and barn are half of a kilometre from the road and their aren't many other houses nearby, so it is quiet and, in the summer, a sea of green. The many song birds that spend the summer here also add to the peaceful feeling.

If you grab a thesaurus (or use an online one) and search peaceful, serenity comes up. (That word also has meaning for sci-fi tv show fans) We thought it had possibility. But how to avoid the retirement home/cemetery vibe?

A previous owner of the farm trained harness racing horses and the track he made to train horses on connects to the driveway that runs almost the length of the property to form a loop. Also, there's the previously mentioned half kilometre trek in.

And just like that the farm was named: Serenity Lane.

Animal Naming Conventions

If you've ever named a pet, then you know how hard it can be to come up with a "good" name. Good can mean a lot of different things, but to me it meant being able to call that name into the backyard on a quiet Sunday afternoon...or at the dog park and not be embarrassed!

Many of the animals on our farm came with names because they were rehomed. But for some, we had to come up with names or rename them if we thought that they didn't already know their names and we wouldn't remember them.

The goats came without names, which is a sign of how they were cared for at their previous home. How do you name 2 black goats who look the same? The only difference was their eye colour, so that was our starting point.

The next hurdle? Paul has a terrible memory! (He will freely admit it, I'm waiting for the day he can't remember my name!) So I decided that names the we give should be meaningful and attached to their physical description in some way.

Blossom the goat has blue eyes and Bronwyn has brown eyes! It turned out both goats were pregnant and both had one girl, so the naming process started all over again. This time, the association was going to be with their mother's name. Blossom's baby had to be a flower (Daisy), and Bronwyn's baby had to have an old fashion name, like Nora.

Having success with the goats, we decided to tackle the four horses who were already living at the farm when we bought it. By this time, Snowman and Cowboy's names had stuck, which was too bad, because our farrier calls Snowman 'Casper', and I'm all for a good cultural reference!! The girl's name's were not as memorable. Even I couldn't remember which one was Lady and which one was Bella, so we decided to rename them. A new name remembered is better than a name we can't remember!

Horses are sometimes described by their colour as well as their breed, it can get pretty complicated, I think. Paints look like they have been painted, but if it looks like the paint has been flicked on in little spots, then that could be an appaloosa...or maybe not.

Luckily, Chelsea's colour is chestnut and Chelsea the chestnut is pretty memorable. That just left our dark thoroughbred. Dark, like nighttime, so she became Luna. For a while, she went through a phase where Luna might have been short for Lunatic! I'm happy to report that she turned a corner on that front and has become a sweet girl!

On a sanctuary, animals need names and the sky is the limit. I have done my share of pet name list scrolling, looking for that perfect name! We currently have almost 50 animals, so the names need to be memorable and tied to that animal so that we can keep them straight! Its easier to have a conversation about an animal by name rather than having to describe them.

The Next Naming Challenge

We have 9 ducklings who are currently unnamed! I've heard too many stories of folks naming animals that end up being misgendered!

Also, as you may have guessed by now, I want to find 9 names that can be a group, so that you can tell I'm talking about a duck just by the name, like 9 flowers, or maybe 9 colour not Orange, the duck! Sienna, Magenta, Rose...hang on, let me get my Crayola 96 pack out (it's got the built in sharpener!) and read some of the creative names they come up with. Is Indigo a good duck name?


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