Charley or Charlie?

running dogThere are a few names out there that can be a little confusing when it comes to your pup’s gender. Certain ones like Sam are shortened names for Sammy or Samantha. But there are a few that aren’t short for anything, and are pronounced just the same for both male and female designation.

Charlie just happens to be one of these names. At times, this can be a slight annoyance (though funny at first) when introducing your pup and your friend says, “Oh Charlie, what a pretty girl,” and your pup happens to be male.

A pet name on its own

The name Charlie wasn’t always a double gender name. In fact, it originally started out as a pet name for others. The name Charlie was originally derived from the names Charles (male) and Charlotte (female). Charlie was a pet name for Charlene or Charlotte, but now stands as its own independent name with its own meaning.

The sourcing was from Old German, but is popularly used in English speaking countries of the world and basically means “free man.” Of course in the case of our pups, it likely refers to “free dog.” A free spirited pup would definitely find themselves earning the rights to such a name, and often enjoy adventure and exploring the world at their own leisure.

Popularity for this name has increased in the past ten years, and Charlie is ranked in the top one hundred dog names (for both genders). Though in the US, Charlie is a preferred name for female dogs, but there are still quite a few male pups out there with this name.

Charlie’s different names

Charlie is often enough a versatile enough name to have several different spellings and even shortened pet names of its own. The fact is that because Charlie is unisex, these pet variations help to inform others upon puppy introductions to help avoid confusion.

Other forms of the female spelling of Charlie are Charlee and Charli, both of which are simply pronounced the same way. As for the males, the variants Charley, Chaz, Chip, and Chuck are used quite often and have found their way into pop culture entertainment.

Charlie made famous

The name Charlie has been around long enough to become a famous name dubbed by actors, entertainment characters, and even scientists throughout history. Many of us may remember Charlie Brown (aka Chuck) from the classic Charles Shultz comic strip Peanuts featuring the famously creative and insightful dog named Snoopy.

Other famous persons and entertainers dubbing this name are Charlie Sheen, The Charlie Daniels Band, Charles Darwin, and Charlie Chaplin. Of course, every dog owner has likely seen or at least heard of the old movie “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” in which the main character’s name is Charlie, a free spirited pup who strives to be his own dog.

Whether male or female, the name Charlie is the perfect name for anyone’s beloved pup. And while they may not be free to roam the neighborhood on their own, they are free to take our hearts and love anytime they wish.

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