Jewish Young Adults of today have a tendency to put their mark on numerous aspects of their day to day life, whether it is through their language, their behavior at the dinner table, or their vocations. JYAs also have a tendency to extend the influence of their uniqueness into other fields as well, notably concerning their choice of pet names.
Anecdotal evidence has frequently pointed to the JYA’s need to be regularly reminded of their JYAness, and therefore giving pets Jewy names gives the JYA needed support when they are not surrounded by other JYAs.
There are three main categories for JYA pet names, each according to the specific characteristics of their pet. First, there are pseudo Yiddish monikers. One JYA, “Chad”, nicknamed his exceptionally virile Mastiff “Shtupper”. Another JYA, “Jill”, owns an particularly petulant Pekingese named “Shpilkes”.
Secondly, there are Hebraic names which are common to JYAs, both in Israel and in the States. Popular names include “Motek” and “Doobie”. Frequently hebrophile JYAs will turn to culinary inspiration for their nomenclature. One JYA has given his cat the name “Shwarma”, only because the names “Hummus” and “Tahina” were already bestowed on his twin Pearl Gourami.
Lastly, JYAs will frequently turn toward more historic roots for their pet names, resorting to more biblical origins. “Delilah” is a best-seller among female JYAs, particularly cat owners, and similarly male JYAs with a penchant for canines will use “Samson”. Other, more peripheral characters from the Pentateuch, like Jethro, become retro-chic when reborn in animal form. One JYA famously renamed her 20 year old Box Turtle “Methuselah” after the character in Genesis who reached the age of 969.
In general, if you are a Non JYA who is questioning the Judaic status of a friend, a safe assessment can be made by asking the name of their pet. Odds are very strong that if the pet has a name of vague Yiddish, Hebraic, or Biblical origins, your friend is probably a JYA.