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I recall in an old interview (from the 70s), Eric Clapton said that his dog's name was “Jeep.” I have remembered this all these decades because it seemed like such an odd name to me.

But now I am reading Dr. Dolittle, and find that his dog was named “Jip.”

I assume that "Jip" and "Jeep" may be pronounced the same way and, in fact, the interviewer may have spelled the name of Clapton's dog "Jeep" when the proper spelling of the pet pooch was actually "Jip."

If so, then Hugh Lofting's book (Dr. Dolittle) may indeed be where Clapton got the name.

Does anybody know "the rest of the story"?

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    Why do you think Jeep and Jip are pronounced the same way? Do you think beet and bit are pronounced the same way? – Peter Shor Apr 15 '18 at 1:07
  • In most languages "i" is like a long "e" in English. – B. Clay Shannon Apr 15 '18 at 22:12
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    Dr. Dolittle was written by Hugh Lofting, who was a native speaker of English, and it was written for English readers. He knew perfectly well that if he spelled the name Jip, it would be pronounced /dʒɪp/. Why would he have spelled it that way if he wanted it to be pronounced /dʒiːp/? – Peter Shor Apr 15 '18 at 22:39
  • Meta post about this question. – Rand al'Thor Apr 22 '18 at 7:49
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On his autobiography, Clapton mentions his dog Jeep only once. Recalling the spring of 1976, when after a year of touring across the world he returned to his country estate Hurtwood, he writes:

"When we had a copule of dogs living there - Jeep, a weimaraner, my first dog since childhood, and Sunshine, a golden retriever - we would let them crap in the house because we were too stoned to clear it up."

(Clapton: The Autobiography, pg. 169)

So the interviewer (or multiple other sources, including George Harrison song "I remember Jeep") didn't misspell Clapton's dog name.

I don't know of any source that reveals the origin of Clapton's dog name, but you can be pretty certain that it was not named after Dr. Dolittle's dog Jip, as the spelling and pronounciation are different.

  • I don't understand the relevance of the first half of this answer. OK, Jeep is mentioned in his autobiography, but how does that address whether or not he was named after Jip? The only part of this that really addresses the question is the last sentence, and - although admittedly it's hard to prove a negative - that doesn't seem like very convincing evidence to me. – Rand al'Thor Apr 18 '18 at 17:21
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    @Randal'Thor, The OP thought that it's possible that Clapton's dog name was misspelled. The first part of the answer proves it wrong, and thus allow us to have a high degree of certainty that the name is not originated in Dolittle's dog name - which is what interests the OP. It's indeed hard to prove a negative, but having a high degree of certainty is not to be underestimated as an answer. – HeyJude Apr 18 '18 at 17:38

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