Puns abound.
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The cat and dog winners from the 2022 Nationwide Wackiest Names Contest, a black French Bulldog and an orange tabby cat.
Credit: Courtesy of Nationwide

One has five words and a total of 35 letters. The other is named for a beloved Pixar character who finally nabbed his advanced degree. Together, they're 2021's wackiest pet names. 

Each year, insurance company Nationwide takes a gander through its registry of 1.1 million insured pets and celebrates some of the wonderful, wacky names pet parents came up with. Earlier this month, the company released this year's list of favorites, and by Tuesday, the voters had chosen the winners of its Nationwide's Wacky Pet Names contest.

I won't keep you in suspense: The dog winner is a French bulldog named Dr. Potato Head, while the winning cat is an orange tabby named Pickles McButterpants The Muffin Slayer.

Dr. Potato Head loves to cuddle and play with his toys when he's not, uh, practicing medicine. 

"I knew I wanted [the name] to be funny," Dalton Hamilton, pet parent to the good doctor told Nationwide when accepting the crown. "My girlfriend suggested Mr. Potato Head, and I said 'doctor' … because he has credentials, you know?"

As for the feline champion? His name was more of an evolution. 

"I had seen an ad for a cat named Pickles, and I thought it was an awesome name," his mom, Kelli Hoover, recounted to Nationwide. "So, when I got a new kitten, I knew he would be Pickles, but it didn't sound just right for him, so we added McButterpants to it."

Because of course.

"Then as we were eating muffins, he went crazy over them and wouldn't leave us alone," Hoover said. "That is how he got the title of the Muffin Slayer."

Looking over the rest of the finalists, the cat parents seemed more likely to favor puns, with names like Boba Pett, Ruth Bader Kitsburg, and Lady Cleocatra Meowington making the list. Dog parents, meanwhile, took a more absurdist bent, with names like Ghostopher P. Spookington, Porkfrog, Holly Picklebone Bonk, and a Great Dane named Redwoods Stinging Tenticles of the Sea RuhRoh. (He would really fit in at a dog show.)

Nationwide has held the contest since at least 2015, with past winners including Chinese crested Scarlett No Haira and a black cat named Edgar Allen Paw in 2020. DJ Skribbles And Bits and Jean Clawed Van Damme took home top honors in 2019. In addition to bragging rights, winners take home a custom canvas portrait, a one-year subscription to a monthly pet box, and a $100 gift card. So congratulations to all the champion pets and their humans. 

But for my money? Linda From Human Resources got robbed.