Named after the French word for “butterfly”, the Papillon is an ancient dog breed with a colorful history recorded as far back as seven centuries ago. In fact, the breed was often seen in paintings by Old Masters that have been around since the 16th century. The name is a reference to the Papillon’s upright ears, which is reminiscent of the outspread wings of a butterfly. Another variety of the breed with dropping ears is the Phalene, the French word for moth. The Papillon is an energetic and outgoing dog that needs constant stimulation and exercise. Despite its size, the breed has a big-dog personality and a keen sense of awareness, making it a great watchdog. Its trainability, playfulness and guard dog instincts make it the perfect family pet and companion.
Papillon Dog Names in Pop Culture
Historically, Papillons were popular among the French royalty and nobility. One of the earliest well-known personalities to own a Papillon was Louis XIV’s wife, Marie Antoinette. Although she had numerous dogs, her favorite was a Papillon named Coco, who was as famous as her during her initial “glory” days as she is said to bring Coco with her everywhere. It was even said that Marie Antoinette was holding Coco on her way to the Place de la Concorde, where she was eventually executed via guillotine. Amazingly, Coco lived up to 22 years and was buried in the garden of Hotel de Seignelay, just a short distance away from Marie Antoinette’s execution site.
In recent pop culture, Papillons are less popular compared to other dog breeds. Despite this, they can be seen in a handful of big screen features. One of the most memorable appearances of a Papillon was in the 2006 Adam Sandler film entitled Click. The film, which also stars Kate Beckinsale, revolves around the story of Michael Newman, an architect who has very little time for his family. After receiving a magical remote, he is able to skip through some uninteresting events in his life.
In the beginning, the remote does wonders for Newman as it lets him fast forward the arguments and other issues he is avoiding. It also lets him rewind to past events in his life. But as the film progresses, he finds out that there are many disadvantages to having the remote and that he is missing out on the good, significant events of his and his family’s lives.
In the movie, there are several main dog characters. The most prominent one is a Golden Retriever named Sundance, who is the family dog and a running gag in the film thanks to its enthusiasm for humping the toy duck. A Papillon, named Peanut, soon joins the family as the new pet, who is also revealed to have the same affinity for the toy duck. Peanut and the rest of the dogs in the film served as comedic relief for an otherwise dramatic movie.
The Papillon also has a co-starring role in the 2009 film The Bracelet of Bordeaux. The plot is about two newly acquainted girls, named Helen and Marie, who befriend each other after Marie’s Poodle was stolen by a bully named Dirk. After Helen confronted Dirk, he also steals Marie’s dog, a Papillon named Rufus. Teaming up, the two girls come into possession of the magical “Bracelet of Bordeaux”, although they must learn to use it properly.
These big-budget Hollywood films helped boost the Papillon’s exposure in mainstream media and made them more recognized in the United States.
Papillon Dog Name Considerations
One of the most exciting parts of having a new dog is picking out a name for it. Oftentimes, dog owners try to keep it short and simple by choosing a name that doesn’t exceed two syllables. This makes sense because dogs normally only grasp the first one or two syllables of a word. If you do not want to settle for the common dog names, you can also use your pup’s attributes as a source of inspiration. Papillons are characterized by their lively personality, petite frame, their butterfly-shaped ears and a long layer of coat that comes in a variety of colors, such as white, sable and a combination of colors like black and white and fawn and white, to name a few. With these qualities in consideration, you can surely rack up some ideas for a name for your new dog. For instance, if you have a white female Papillon, you can name her “Lily”, after the flower. Or, if you have a male Papillon who won’t stay still, you can name him “Dash”.
Aside from the dog’s qualities, you can also use their background as an inspiration for a name. While the Papillon’s history is remains a mystery, the breed came into recognition thanks to Louis XIV of France, who bought multiple dogs for French royalty. During his reign, the Papillon became a popular breed in Europe. Hence, a French name, or any other references to French culture, would be a good fit for your Papillon.
Community Dog's With Papillon Names
We wanted a name that would fit her upbeat personality. Daisy was the perfect choice.