Les enjeux de la nomination animale dans la société française contemporaine

Colette MÉCHIN

fr Anthropozoologica 39 (1) - Pages 133-141

Published on 30 July 2004

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animal domestications: social and symbolic dimensions. Homage to Jacques Cauvin

Names of animals in contemporary French society

TraditionalIy domestic animals were named according to their colour or character. In contemporary society, the names of pets are more and more often chosen from the corpus of human forenames. This article examines this linguistic change, which is the sign of a deep modification in our relationship to animals, which have become fully fledged partners of human beings, and then looks at how we consider forenames. The almost unlimited opening of the corpus of forenames allowed by French law ("as long as they are not contrary to the interest of the child": law of January 8, 1993) and the need for freedom from the old constraints, when forenames were taken from preceding generations, have resulted in a situation of contiguity (and thus confusion) of two types of name which were until now distinct : animals' names and children's names.


Naming, domestic animal, child, parents, onomastics, identity.

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