It turns out there’s a very good reason why we sometimes mistakenly call our kids and partners by our pet’s names. And rather than being awkward, the reason we do it is actually completely adorable…
Brain researcher Samantha Deffler has discovered that the common mistake (called ‘misnaming’) comes from the fact we ‘store’ the names of loved ones in particular part of our brain referred to as a ‘folder’. So when we go to call out to a family member we subconsciously scan through the folder looking for the right name. If the names start with the same letter or sound similar we’re more likely to grab the wrong name from this brain folder and announce our amusing mistake to the world.
But here’s the kicker. We only keep our most loved family members in this folder. So if a pet’s name comes out when you meant to mutter a human’s name, it means you subconsciously see your pets as little people; and most definitely as much loved members of the family.
I’m not going to lie, this news comes as a relief. Growing up, both my parents would often call me Claude; the name of our gigantic poodle. And while we were fully of energy and short on obedience, the similarities ended there!