Rad 90s Dog Names: Pogs, Polly Pocket and More!

Chances are if you had a dog in the 90s, it’s dead.

But if you’re a 90s kid – someone whose main childhood years took place from 1990 – 1999 – you’re also now old enough to adopt a dog of your very own. Silver lining!

I’ve entertained the idea of getting a second dog – an idea that I’ve shelved for now because my 11-year-old puppy needs some pricey surgery. However, I got far enough to start mulling over dog names. I don’t think you can really name a dog before you meet it, but maybe you have a new dog and you can just tell that it’s a 90s dog. But not an actual dog from the 90s. Which, again, are mostly dead. If your new pup is giving you total pre-Y2K vibes, get a load of some of the 90s dog names I’ve brainstormed.

Lisa Frank

Because a great dog deserves to be named after a great dog artist. I actually had a dream that I had a dog named Lisa Frank which was the catalyst for this post. I may use this if any of my short-list dog name faves don’t fit my next dog.

DJ Tanner

Other Tanner family options that work are Becky Katsopolis, Kimmy Gibbler and Uncle Joey, which will always lead into a fun convo about how Joey wasn’t even really an uncle.

Comet would still be good, too.

Space Jam

For this reference to really *work* and make people think of the preeminent sports/animation/celebrity vehicle right away, you can’t name your dog after a Space Jam CHARACTER. You have to name it Space Jam.

Bela

Bella is one of the most popular dog names out there, but in this case your dog is named for famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi.

You could probably name your dog after Kerri Strugg as well.

Kerrigan

After Nancy. Also if you have two dogs, and ones a good girl and one’s full of mischief? Nancy and Tonya.

Spinderella

Please? Someone please?

Hallie and Annie

Only if you have two dogs, otherwise the reference is lost.

Pogs

I happen to think that it works better with the “s” on the end, but do what you wanna. Pogs the pug would be especially wonderful.

This is a great name for a dog that you think is really cool-looking but you don’t actually know what to do with.

Cory Matthews

Is your dog the lovable boy next door? With tousled brown curls?

The Rachel

You can technically name your dog just Rachel, but you have to use the article before it for this to be a top-shelf 90s reference. 

Mavis Beacon

Mavis is a great dog name AND Mavis Beacon is a great fictional typist. Obviously if you get a pet pig you’ll name it Mavis Bacon.

McCallister

Have to leave your dog Home Alone? And he always gets into unlikely, messy mischief?

Also you could call a boy dog Mac for short and a girl dog Callie so this is just perfect for any dog ever.

Polly Pocket

If your dog is tiny and compact, maybe you should name her after our favorite 90s choking hazard, Polly Pocket. I’ve already talked about how Molly is an overdone dog name, but for some reason Polly doesn’t get much play and I think it’s a lot more unexpected and cute.

Furby

Your dog already has fur, so right away this fits. It’s especially apt if you end up with a dog who doesn’t shut up.

Macarena

Macarena isn’t just an annoying pop song and an even worse dance craze – it’s also a girl’s name. Heyyy, Macarena!

Dunkaroo

If you were jealous of the kids whose moms bought Dunkaroos, imagine how jealous people will be of your dog named Dunkaroo. This has no basis as a dog name other than that it’s fun to say and also sounds kind of dog-ish?

__ Spice

You can name your dog after a Spice Girl, but I think the spice name has to match your dog’s personality. Like if your dog is intimidating, Scary Spice, and if small and fluffy, Baby Spice.

Carmen Sandiego

How dope was Carmen Sandiego? This would work great on a dog who was a runaway, is sneaky, or who is just very good with geography.

Zubaz

You can definitely call your dog Baz or Zubie for short, but if he’s stripe-y or sporty there’s no name like Zubaz.

Biggie Smalls

Too soon? It works equally well for a very big dog or a very small dog.

Pepper Ann or Doug Funnie

She’s like one in a million.

Or in the case of Doug, dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah.

Tamagotchi

I don’t like the sound of this as a dog name. But what I DO like is the idea of someone being like “I have to go home to feed my Tamagotchi.”

Wishbone

 

Last but not least: I can think of no better way to honor your dog than to name him or her after the greatest dog of the 1990s, Wishbone.

Children Were Gods And Bitches Got Dysentery: Oregon Trail, For Those Too Young To Remember

When was the last time you went to a magic lantern show? Or a melodrama? And liked it? Some forms of entertainment don’t hold up over time. Imagine a curly-mustached Victorian fop trying to convince you that no, seriously pantomimes are riveting. That’s how it feels explaining Oregon Trail to people who were too young to live it firsthand. But now that Oregon Trail is available to play online, there are going to be a lot of folks in the 23-and-under* crowd trying to understand the fuss – so I’ll make an effort.

The Life And Times Of ’80s and ’90s Kids

I call this costume ‘Annie Hall Of Green Gables.’

I’ve mentioned this before, but there was this weird trend in the early-mid 90s that nobody ever talks about. It’s not leggings or crop tops, which if anything are over-represented in 90s nostalgia. No, it was this thing where it was sort of normal for a child to be into the 1800s. A new version of Little Women came out, those American Girl books were everywhere, and moms watched Dr. Quinn. The Indian In The Cupboard was surprisingly popular. Craft books taught you how to make yarn dolls like Laura Ingalls. We were standing on the cusp of the digital age, playing with doll-sized butter churns.

In addition to old-timey pursuits like microwaving popcorn right on the cob just like they did in Colonial Williamsburg, us early millennials were the first generation to use computers as soon as we started school. Well, they were less like computers and more like giant graphing calculators. The screens were all-black with green or orange lettering and simple line graphics. A big part of every computer class was booting up your computer – not because it was exciting, but because it took ten minutes. Those of us who were lucky had Nintendo at home, and later, maybe a Sega system. Still, computer games were new and exciting and required “floppy disks.” There weren’t many choices, but kids and lazy substitute teachers alike loved Oregon Trail. Adults appreciated that it was educational – in that it provided a one-sided view of Manifest Destiny, I suppose. And kids loved it, because it represented a world …

Where Children Were Gods

I once read that youngest children are drawn to animals because they enjoy having someone that they could be the boss of. As a youngest child, I’d argue that we just liked being around living things that couldn’t pick on us, but I digress. Sometimes a kid does like being in charge of things. Every game of Oregon Trail was a tiny, horrifying example of what would happen if kids ruled the world – like a virtual Lord Of The Flies.

You would think that the goal of any game would be to win it. That discounts just how cruel and terrible children can be. Sometimes, you’d play just to see how disastrous you could make the lives of the characters. Here’s how:

  •  You were allowed to name the wagon party. That meant that the most common names in Oregon Trail character history were probably Poop, Butt, Jesus and (Sibling’s Name) Sucks.
  • You’d become a dreadful taskmaster, especially if the game handed you a low-income profession. The harshest sentence? Grueling pace and meager rations. That’s also the title of my future memoirs. And with that burden, it’s no wonder that…
  • Bitches got dysentery. And bitches who get dysentery get buried under a solitary rock along the roadside before we continue on our journey. Sorry, Butt.
  • “I tried to ford the river and my f***ing oxen died.” That was one of the biggest Facebook groups of the 2004-2006 era, and a universal experience during Oregon Trail’s heyday. When you got to the river you could hire a local to ferry it across, caulk the wagon, or sort of just hurl yourself headlong into the river. That’s how I remember it anyway. And I always found myself thinking, shouldn’t we have figured this out before we got to the damn river?
  • We killed the American Buffalo. When you’d go hunting, those slow-ass buffalo mosied across the screen, leaving you ample time to shoot them. You’d kill every buffalo that ambled by. Then, you’d be informed that you could only bring 100 pounds of meat into your wagon and had to leave all that buffalo carrion to fester in the prairie sun. We knew that would happen. We just wanted to hear the hollow thud when they died. Children are sick. Someone, please make a horror movie in which all of the events of the Westward Expansion – including the near-extinction of the buffalo – were under the control of 7-year-old Kimberly in Miss Smith’s computer class in 1992.

Ain’t No Party Like An Oregon Trail Party Cuz An Oregon Trail Party Proffers a Tombstone Generator When You Die From Pooping Too Much

On one hand, children were pioneer overlords in Oregon Trail – but on the other, the cruel hand of fate was always at play. It was like the game of Life, but instead of teaching children that you may fritter your life away in middle-management at a bank, it taught you that sometimes you do your best and thieves still steal all of your oxen in your sleep. Even if you played the game the “right way,” giving your settlers proper Oregon Trail names like Rebecca and Amos and setting a pace that would get you to Oregon before winter without killing you from exhaustion (before it was the trendiest cause of celebrity hospitalization), there were no guarantees that you’d arrive in the promised land. The dream of the 1850’s was alive in Portland – but would you be alive to see it? Here are some ways you could die:

  • Measles
  • Snakebite
  • Broken limbs
  • Drowning
  • Cholera
  • Exhaustion
  • Typhoid
  • Failing to save your progress at the end of a class period.

Godspeed, 90s kids. You have a 40-minute computer class ahead of you, and your teacher has laryngitis. During that time you may reach the promised land, and you may die from drinking river water. And even if you live, PoopfaceJesus may not. Oh, cruel world.

*This probably varies depending on how outdated your school’s computer game library was.While later versions of Oregon Trail came out on CD-ROM, I think that after the early-mid 90s, there were more games to chose from and Oregon Trail was no longer the only, um, ox on the prairie? So to speak.