According the Merriam Webster Dictionary, thingamajig is the name given to any object for which the namer “either does not know or cannot remember” the name. In other words, a thingamajig is what you call a doohickey when you forget what that infernal whatchamahoosit is called. How many names do you know for a whatsit? Test yourself against this list of than 60 different synonyms for a thingumaboobee.
January 5-8th, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA
The American Name Society invites proposals for a panel under the theme of “Names and Multilingualism.” Multilingual and multicultural communities have been developed since the ancient world. The linguistic and cultural contacts within these communities have attracted the interest of a broad range of disciplines, where in some cases different strands have emerged. Personal as well as place names (i.e. anthroponymy and toponymy, respectively) mirror the interactions and the subsequent changes in those communities, thus modern scholarship often emphasizes their significance.
We encourage submissions pertaining to this topic from diverse perspectives, drawing evidence from literature, material culture, oral tradition, etc. of any period or area. Papers may deal with any aspect of naming, e.g., personal names, place names, corporate or trade names, name theory, etc. Submissions for interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome.
Proposal submission process:
- Proposals should include a title and abstract up to 350 words.
- Proposals should be sent via email attachment (PDF format) to Andreas Gavrielatos [firstname.lastname@example.org] with “MLA proposal” in the subject line. Please, include the Title, Name of Speaker, Affiliation and email address in the body of the email and NOT in the abstract.
- Proposals must be received by 5pm GMT on 13 March 2016. Proposers will be notified of results soon thereafter, following blind review of proposals.
- Panelists must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present.
- For questions, please contact Andreas Gavrielatos at the email address above.
More information about ANS and MLA conferences in available on the Conferences page of this website.
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. This week’s column explores Penelope.
From the 8th to the 9th of February 2016, a conference on Babylonian Names and Name-Giving will be held at the University of Leuven. The research question to be addressed at this event is “What do names tell us about social realities?” Talks examining Babylonia’s onomastic store using sociological frameworks such as Social Network Analysis are the scientific focus of this interdisciplinary event. The conference program is available online.
The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for the 2017 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America. Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome.
The deadline for receipt of abstracts is June 30, 2016.
To submit a proposal, complete the 2017 Author Information Sheet. Please email this completed form to Dr. I. M. Nick [email@example.com]. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2017” in the subject line of your email.
Presenters who may need additional time to secure international payments and travel visas to the United States are urged to submit their proposal as soon as possible.
All proposals will be subjected to blind review.
Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2016.
All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and need to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America.
Please feel free to contact Dr. I. M. Nick should you have any questions or concerns.
We look forward to receiving your submission!
In November 2015, miners of the Karowe Mine in Batswana made a record-breaking discovery: a 1,111 carat diamond. To celebrate the historic find, the Botswana government and Lucara Diamonds, the corporate owner of the Karowe Mine, agreed to run a special name contest for the precious gemstone. As Kitso Mokaila, the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, explained in an interview with the Batswana newspaper The Voice, this competition gives the people an opportunity to come up with a name that is truly meaningful to the country. Lucara Diamond Chief Executive Officer William Lamb announced that the winner of the onomastic competition will be awarded P25 000. By comparison, the diamond itself is expected to bring in more than 20 million US Dollars.
Music mogul and budding fashion-designer Kanye West recently decreed that “Waves” would be the official name of his seventh studio album. The announcement immediately produced a palpable seismographic reaction in the American music scene among both pro-West and anti-West followers. Although Kanye has proclaimed that this work will not simply be the album of the year but the album of a lifetime, so far, what has captured the most media attention is the fact that this is the third name change for the long-awaited LP that was originally named So Help Me God and Swish.
In 1763, as a part of a perfidious plan to annihilate Native American communities, colonial commander Jeffery Amherst suggested that the military consider distributing small pox infested blankets to finally “extirpate this execrable race”. Two centuries later, General Amherst or “Lord Jeff” as many students and staff of Amherst College (named after the town of Amherst) had come to call their unofficial mascot, has made history again. In a statement released this month, the trustees of the New England college announced that the institution will no longer be using the name of the ignominious leader in any official capacity.