You’ve Got A Friend in Milo

Milo DogEveryone has a tale about their dog’s name. The meaning, the source, and the story behind it always make for a great conversation, especially if you are introducing the furry companion to new friends. Amongst the almost countless names in the world, one of them seems to have its own tale of sorts. Perhaps it’s because it’s been around for so long or maybe because it has a few variations that entangle different cultures around the world.


The name Milo is not uncommon in English speaking countries, although it didn’t necessarily start out that way. Pronounced “My-lo”, the vowel enunciation “Mee-lo” is just as common, depending on your geographical location. In fact, the French have an adaption for the name, Milon, which sounds different, but still holds the same meaning.

The original source of the name is believed to be from German ancestry, the rough translation meaning “mild.” The reference isn’t to any hot sauce you might find at the grocery store though, and is more aligned with the mild-mannered and peaceful sort, like Superman’s Clark Kent character. The latter is most likely, since the derivative of the name is sourced from Slavic roots: “Mil” meaning “grace and favor” as well as “Milu,” meaning “merciful.” Basically, this is a name for those who find strength in grace, and is a perfect name for a faithful, well-mannered, furry companion.

Of course, as time passed, the name became popular throughout much of Europe. During the middle ages, the Latin variation of the name was “Miles” and was quite popular, though the translation was more in line with a reference to “soldier” at the time.

Milo of Croton

The name Milo was also a popular name for the Greeks as well. In fact, one of ancient Greece’s most famous athletes, Milo of Croton, was a wrestler during the latter part of the 6th century B.C. Over the course of his life, he became a six time Olympic victor and bested numerous other worthy adversaries throughout Greece.

Like other tales of ancient Greece, Milo of Croton’s history is surrounded by stories of strength and power, and was even noted in some tales to have carried around a bull on his shoulders. Now, that’s one tough pup. On a related note, the Greek term for “apple” is Milo, so one might go so far as to say, “This little rascal is the Milo of my eye.”

For many animal lovers, there is an old movie that does spark a memory or two. The Adventures of Milo and Otis was a tale of a Pug puppy (Otis) and an orange kitten (Milo) who explore the world together and inevitably live happily ever after as friends. For many young children, this was a tale of how people, despite their differences, can grow into the best of friends.

The name Milo has been around for centuries, and while it might be pronounced a little different from time to time, the mild-mannered attitude and strength it represents are ideal for any canine that graces you with their compassionate and boundless companionship.

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