On March 26, a little Soay sheep was born in the garden of ENS de Lyon. Now it has to be named. What name are you going to vote for?
A letter per year...
Why do animals born in 2020 have to have a first name that begins with the letter R?
It all began at the end of the 1920s, when the Central Society responsible for keeping the herd book of the canine species set up a first lettering system to enable anyone to know the year of birth of an animal according to its name, whatever its breed or species.
All dogs born in the same year must therefore bear a name whose first letter is the one chosen for the current year: A in 1928, B in 1929, etc. This simple and practical system has one drawback: many owners do not want to be obliged to name their animal with the letters K, Q, W, X, Y or Z, which offer too few possibilities. In 1952, for example, one in four dogs was named Zorro.
After a few modifications, a 20-year cycle is currently used with the possibility of using all the letters of the alphabet. K, Q, W, X, Y and Z are only offered as alternatives to the letter preceding them: K for J; Q for P; W, X, Y and Z for V.
This nomenclature is now used for many animals (calves, goats, lambs, sheep, cats, etc.). Horses, on the other hand, are on a different 22-year cycle.