Renaming Philippines to ‘Maharlika’ needs congressional action

Changing the Philippines’ name would require a new law and the public’s approval in a referendum, Malacañang said on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, after President Duterte had revived a proposal to rename the Philippines to “Maharlika.”

Proposals to change the name of the Philippines have been around since the 1970s. “Maharlika” is the Filipinos’ “ancient heritage,” long before the arrival of Western colonizers. “Maha” is Sanskrit for “noble” or “great” while “likha” means “create,” thus, Maharlika means “nobly created,” according to the article. But some scholars are opposed to the name change, saying it would disregard Filipinos’ historical roots and national identity.

Lycian and Pisidian Place Names Databank

Toponyms of Pisidia and Lycia, or TPL is a searchable online database containing the metadata of Pisidian and Lycian place names attested in the Greco-Roman period (8th century BC, 3rd century BC). Pisidia and Lycia represent a region of ancient Asia Minor corresponding roughly to the modern-day province of Antalya in Turkey.


This project aims to give access to the references of Pisidian place names in literary sources and to provide a georeferenced map of places of Pisidia and ancient Lycia. This project results from Lauriane Locatelli‘s thesis “The toponymy and ethnonymy of ancient Pisidia” and Simone Podestà‘s thesis “Storia e storiografia della Licia”.

Call for papers: “Apellative and onoma”, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, September 27-29, 2019

The “Professor Nikolai Kovachev” Centre of Bulgarian Onomastics with St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo kindly invites you to participate in the next International Scientific Conference  on Onomastics in honour of Prof. Dr. Ludwig Selimski, marking his 80th anniversary “Apellative and onoma. Aspects of Scientific Research” which will take place on September 27th – 29th, 2019.


Working languages are English, German, French, Russian and all Slavic languages.
Applications for participation will be accepted till May 31th, 2019 to email:

The papers in full text should be handed over to organizers by the end of the 2019.

About Names: Long history has helped Abraham endure

@Associated Press

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his February 11th column, he looks at the history of the names Abraham.

Abraham was the Biblical patriarch of the Hebrews. He had one of history’s most famous name changes. In Genesis 17, God tells him: “No longer shall your name be Abram (“high father” or “exalted ancestor”) but your name shall be Abraham (“father of many”); for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.” The patriarch’s fame meant his name was used by Christians as well as Jews in medieval Europe. Families with surnames like Abraham and Abrams had medieval Christian ancestors called Abraham.

In 1880, when Social Security’s yearly baby name data started, Abraham ranked 163rd, Abe 234th and Abram 373rd. All fell off until 1902 when they rose again, partly because of eastern European Jewish immigration. Abraham also jumped from 162nd in 1910 to 124th in 1911, probably because of publicity about the building of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. After 1912, Abraham dropped, bottoming out at 499th in 1967.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Abrahams in history!

Biases Against Immigrants with Non-anglicized Names

Immigrating to a new country brings many challenges. For some people, voluntarily adopting a name similar to where someone is living, rather than keeping an original name, is one part of trying to assimilate or fit in with the new community. According to a new study focused on the United States, where anglicized names are more typical, anglicizing ethnic names may reduce bias towards immigrants. The results appear in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Migrants Immigrants Merge Migration Integration

“We do not suggest immigrants to Anglicize their ethnic names in order to avoid discrimination,” says Xian Zhao (University of Toronto), lead author on the study. “This certainly puts the onus on immigrants to promote equity and our previous studies also suggest that Anglicizing names may have negative implications for one’s self-concept.”

Do you know all state demonyms in the USA?

A few state demonyms are probably well-known. By demonyms we mean the words you call people or things from a specific state (like “Pennsylvanian”, “Texan” or the entertaining “Michigander”). But not everybody knows that state demonyms follow a regional pattern.


The regional patterns are revealed in this map from Twitter’s OnlMaps where you may find the demonyms recommended by the U.S. Government Publishing Office. It is obvious that states in the same region tend to have the same suffix in their demonym: the old South and the West Coast generally end an “-ian,” New England ends in “-er,” the West in “-an.” A few stray states use “-ite.”

International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo MI, May 9-12 2019

Hosted by the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, the International Congress on Medieval Studies is an annual gathering of around 3,000 scholars interested in medieval studies. The congress features more than 550 sessions of papers, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, demonstrations, performances, and poster sessions. There are also some 100 business meetings and receptions sponsored by learned societies, associations and institutions. The exhibits hall boasts nearly 70 exhibitors, including publishers, used book dealers and purveyors of medieval sundries. The congress lasts three and a half days, extending from Thursday morning, with sessions beginning at 10 a.m., until Sunday at noon.

The Congress takes place on the campus of Western Michigan University on May 9 to 12, 2019. Registration is online.

There are several panels and papers on onomastics, including:

  • “Nomen est omen”: A Roundtable on Names and Nicknames in the Middle Ages
  • Obscure Names: Reimagining Origins in the Lais of Marie de France
  • Ethnic Minorities in Medieval Palencia as Evidenced by Personal Names: The Jews of Dueñas and Aguilar
  • Arthurian Names
  • The Fairy Queens: Invocation of Fairy Tradition in the Names of Guinevere and Morgan le Fay
  • “What’s in a name?”: Experimental Archaeologist or Re-Enactor: Who are We?
  • Britons amongst Hebrews: Two Brythonic Names in Melech Artus

The full program can be found here.

Call for Papers: International Association for Robin Hood Studies

The Bulletin of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies is the peer-reviewed, open-access scholarly journal of The International Association for Robin Hood Studies. Scholars are invited to submit articles or essays detailing original research on any aspect of the Robin Hood tradition. The editors welcome essays in the following areas: formal literary explication, manuscript and early printed book investigations, historical inquiries, new media examinations, and theory or cultural studies approaches.

We recommend that you review the About the Journal page for the journal’s section policies, as well as the Author Guidelines. Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting or, if already registered, can simply log in and begin the five-step process.

Call for papers: 21st Slovak International Onomastic Conference “Proper Names in the Interdisciplinary Context”

The scholars from the Eastern Europe organize the 21st Slovak Onomastic Conference around the topic “Proper Names in the Interdisciplinary Context”. It will be held in Nitra at the Constantine the Philosopher University, in September 10-12, 2019.








The conference topics are:

1. Theoretical issues of onomastics (interrelationship with various disciplines such as history, archeology, geography, law, economics, psychology, sociology, literary science, aesthetics, semiotics, translatology, etc.);

2. Analysis of different kinds of proper names;

3. Onomastic terminology (literary onomastics, socio-onomastics, psycho-onomastics, areal onomastics, onomastic semantics, etc.)

Please send your applications forms until April 30, 2019 by email to


Call for Papers: Language and Identity: Intersections between Linguistics, Ethnology and Translation, Aberdeen, Scotland, March 30 2019

The Identity and Language Conference Committee at the University of Aberdeen has put out a call for papers for their one-day event, Language and Identity: Intersections between Linguistics, Ethnology and Translation. It will be held at Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen, Saturday 30th March 2019.

In today’s modern society we develop identities related to our use of language, not only in relation to code switching within our native languages, but also across different languages. At the same time as individuals are gaining multiple identities through language acquisition, others are losing their identities to decreased use or extinction of their native tongues. Through globalisation the population of the world is interacting more across linguistic and cultural boundaries than ever before: through learning foreign languages and reading translated texts. How does this increased interaction with other languages affect our identities?

Please visit the official call for papers for more information.

Deadline for abstract submission: Monday 25th February, 5pm