Saturday, October 1, 2011

What's in a name?

As much time as I took picking Hank out at Petco, we also tried to put a thoughtful amount of consideration into choosing his name.

We've had two fighting fish in the past, and I remember giving equal deliberation to their names, too.

The first was an ornery guy we decided to call Rocky. Now that I think about it, we may not have taken very long to arrive at that one. Kind of a cliche, I suppose, that we gave him a fighter's name, but it fit. He showed how tough he was—or thought he was, anyway—as he flared his fins and swam furiously back and forth in response to his own reflection on the tank wall. It was sad when he eventually got sick, faded away and lost the good fight forever.

We named our second fish Parker. He was red and blue, which reminded us of Spider-Man and his alter ego, Peter Parker. So Parker it was. Parker lived with us for at least a year, but then it came time for us to move from the East Coast to the West Coast and we had to find him a new home. I wish we could have taken him with us, but a cross-country move for a little fish wasn't feasible.

Now, the new guy. His bright blue coloration seemed an obvious clue to a potential moniker. Shades and hues are plentiful: Indigo, Midnight, Navy, Powder, Electric. But none of them fit.

We thought about jazz and musicians in that genre, but neither myself nor my hubby are versed in it or familiar with its icons. Any name we might draw from that scene seemed contrived.

At one point I even suggested variations on "blue" as a synonym for sadness, but that ended up being kind of a depressing direction to explore for possibilities.

The new guy temporarily remained nameless.

Later, the hubby asked if we could just call him Hanky because he resembles a blue handkerchief as he swims, fins swishing to and fro in the water.

That's what prompted me to suggest Hank. It sounds less cutesy and more rugged. He is a fighting fish, after all. And, as Hubby pointed out, there's a character from the X-Men comic named Hank (a.k.a. Beast) who also happens to be blue.

So there you have it. That's the official story behind the name.


  1. Now I'm curious to see what he looks like ... you have to post a photo sometime! :)

  2. Check out the post right before this one, Carrie, to see Hank's pic. Thanks for reading!