I remember the joy and excitement I felt when I got my first goldfish as a child. We already had a tank of tropical fish, but this was my very own finny friend, won from a carnival game at a block party back when people still thought it was okay to use living creatures as prizes. Against all odds, my goldfish lived a long life in a little rectangular tank on our coffee table, joined by a pet store friend before too long. I named the first one Flipper (that sounded suitably aquatic to my 10-year-old ears), and the second one Aviana, a name a friend and I coined by joining our first names together. It sounded exotic to us, and the goldfish didn't seem to mind.
But those were the days before the Internet, before we could do endless research on the most popular goldfish names (Goldie, anyone?) or the most creative (Super-cali-fragilistic-expiali-goldfish). Here are some suggestions that may help you find the perfect name for your finny friend.
Names Based on Color or Pattern
Goldfish come in many different colors. Besides the stereotypical bright orange color, common goldfish also come in red, white, black, and yellow. Fancy goldfish have all these colors, but can add patterns such as dots, stripes, or even calico. Choose names based on your goldfish's color or pattern for an easy-to-remember, descriptive moniker.
- For standard orange goldfish, choose a name that brings to mind that lucky metal: Golda or Goldie for a female (if you know the sex), or Golden for a male. If you want a classier tank, name your fish the word for "gold" in another language! (The name Zahava means "golden" in Hebrew, and sounds fairly exotic; Aureus is the same in Latin.)
- For black goldfish, Blackie is a standard, but there are plenty of other great options. Raisin (or for a slightly larger fish, Prune) works for a wrinkly-looking fish, or Velvet for a smooth one. Night or Thunder bring darkness to mind, too. A chubby one could be Walrus or Seal.
- If your fish is red, take a cue from its hue: a coppery fish could be Penny, while a bright reddish-orange could be Blaze or Flame. Ruby, Garnet, or just plain Red are nice descriptive names as well.
- A white fish could be Frosty, Snowball, Marshmallow, or Pearl.
- A fancy oranda or pearlscale fish with a bright orange hood could be Carrot Top or Ginger.
- Give a mixed orange and white goldfish a name like Tiger or Tabby if striped, Creamsicle or Twinkie if the pattern is irregular.
Goldfish With Personality
Some goldfish don't seem to have much going on in their tiny little heads, but other fish manage to display flashes of personality. What's your goldfish got going on?
- For a curious fish: Nosy, Snoopy, or Hello
- For a shy fish: Ninja or Shadow
- For a very social fish: Party Time, Friendly, or Bubbles
- For a smart fish: Dr. Gold
- For a gluttonous fish: Jaws, Killer, Gator, or Greedy
- For the boss of the fishtank: The Goldfather, Big Fish, or Alpha
- For a really tiny-brained fish: Dory, after the blue tang in Finding Nemo.
Names for Pond Goldfish
If you're lucky enough to have a goldfish pond of your own, you certainly know the joy of sitting by the edge after a long day, watching your fish dart here and there, perhaps coming up to say hello if you sprinkle a little food on the water. Your pond goldfish are individuals, but they're like a family, too. Why not choose names that work together in groups?
- Name them after spices (according to color): Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Paprika, Cinnamon
- Name them after pop culture icons: The Goldfishians (e.g., Kim Goldfishian, Khloe Goldfishian, etc.)
- Name them after characters in a favorite book or movie: With their large family and red hair, the Weasleys from the Harry Potter books would make an ideal goldfish family.
Whatever names you choose, enjoy your fish, keep them happy, and take good care of them.
Get this beautifully photographed book to learn about collecting fancy goldfish, including goldfish health.