In the world of folklore, few characters hold as much acclaim as that of Robin Hood. If you need any further proof, consider that he and the legends that surround him first emerged during the 14th century and have been extended, altered and re-written literally hundreds of times throughout history. And while the spellings and stories may have changed to suit their writers and audiences, one thing has remained steadfast: that Robin Hood was one of the first and best kinds of ethical outlaws. With his legends came other characters complete with names that not only echo through time, but make for perfect dog-naming options.
Robin Hood Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
In the vast world of Robin Hood, there are seemingly as many characters as there are versions of the story. The original tales and poems are highly debated to be works of fiction, while others claim Robin Hood and some of his Merry Men became default names and identities for outlaws who did not want to be named, their adventures a sprawling conglomerate of both true and fictional events all rolled up into an overlapping mass of narrative.
But regardless of which version or versions you subscribe to or enjoy, the entire Robin Hood universe is full of interesting characters from those that have been around since the beginning, such as the likes of Little John, Will Scarlet and Maid Marian, to those who are entirely new such as numerous characters from the Disney and Men in Tights iterations.
Surprisingly enough, despite the frequent use of animals as companions and utilities at the time, dogs are only occasionally mentioned throughout the entirety of the stories. At one point, during one of the first meetings of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck, Tuck calls for a mass of dogs as backup to defend himself when Robin and the Merry Men mistakenly take arms against him, but it’s one of few occasions where canines are referenced. Most others are reduced to mentioning them in a passing line or two but rarely feature them outright.
However, one version of Robin Hood did introduce a dog (and a few wolves and foxes to boot) and although he’s not a main character, he’s certainly endearing nonetheless: Disney’s Otto.
While Otto is not the heroic swashbuckling type like his animal companions, he is a pretty accurate representation of a true dog-like personality, at least that of a thankful rescue. In the movie he plays only a small part as Nottingham’s blacksmith, but he is portrayed as kind, generous and appreciative. When Friar Tuck gives him money from Robin Hood, he is eternally grateful, much like the behaviors of dogs after being given help or even better, a forever home. While most of the rest of his later appearances are largely non-speaking cameos, he sets up the story and characters, exemplifying the types of people/animals Robin Hood preferred to help. As an animal we often hold so close, he’s the perfect pick for the role, tugging at the heartstrings of viewers when things don’t go his way and rejoicing when things finally do, much like we do with our own canine companions.
Robin Hood Inspired Dog Name Considerations
When trying to come up with the perfect Robin Hood inspired name, it’s best to first compile a list of your dog’s most defining traits from their looks to their habits, quirks and overall personality. The second step will be defining which era or version of Robin Hood you liked the best, from the historic folklore of the Middle Ages to the ultra-modern iterations released just this year, as this will determine your name options. We stuck to the original but don’t be afraid to make a list of your own as well.
Depending on which Robin Hood line of stories you go with, you’ll have plenty of options to explore. For instance, if you like the Disney version best, you can draw comparisons to each character’s animal traits (like Robin the fox’s cunning or Alan-a-Dale’s musical ability). If you like the comedic version, like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, you can always play off new characters like Ahchoo and Asneeze (especially if they happen to do either a lot).
There are a ton of different versions and ideas to base your names on so pick your favorite, do some research, re-examine the material and see what jumps off the page or screen.