AND THE RESULTS ARE . . . It would seem that this question could be the basis of a very interesting paper for The Watsonian. There are echoes in both solutions below to indicate the presence of myth, folklore, religion, and supernatural belief. And, there may well be additional names that fit the specter of the Hound.
Dean Turnbloom “Stoker” sends this interesting and historically pertinent solution to the question:
Cusith or Cù-Sìth was a Hellhound, harbinger of death (Scotland, the Hebrides, Ireland). According to Scottish folklore, the Cù-Sìth is said to be the size of a young bull with the appearance of a wolf. Its fur is shaggy, and usually cited as being dark green though sometimes white. Its tail is described as being long and either coiled up or plaited (braided). Its paws are described as being the width of a man’s hand. The Cù-Sìth is thought to make its home in the clefts of rocks in the Highlands, and also to roam the moors and highlands. The Cù-Sìth was feared as a harbinger of death and would appear to bear away the soul of a person to the afterlife, similar to the manner of the Grim Reaper. In this role the Cù-Sìth holds in Scottish folklore a function similar to that of the Bean Sidhe, or banshee, in Irish folklore.
According to legend, the creature was capable of hunting silently, but would occasionally let out three terrifying bays, and only three, that could be heard for miles by those listening for it, even far out at sea. Those who hear the baying of the Cù-Sìth must reach safety by the third bark or be overcome with terror to the point of death.
Congratulations to Mr Turnbloom who resides in Santee, California.
Kenneth Siarkiewicz sends his analysis and suggests “Lucifer” as the hellhound’s name, a name that seems eminently logical, fitting and in keeping with the supernatural speculation of the story.
“Cooper” also suggests the name might be ‘Black Shuck” from one of the English folk-legends. This legend bears quite a close resemblance to the Hound. It is spectral and foreboding and deserves to be read in its full description on Wikipedia (follow the link) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Shuck
Congratulations to “Cooper” who resides, reads and thinks in Tucson, Arizona. Kenneth joined the Society in August and we appreciate his contribution in helping us to think about this unique question.
The hound in The Hound of the Baskervilles is not given a name in the text by Dr Watson. From the Canonical textual evidence and from inference, what is the likely name of the hound?
Submit answers to email@example.com by 12 Noon (Pacific) Friday. The answers will be judged and the results will be posted here by Saturday.
Have fun . . .