NAMES Vol 70 Issue #2 is published!

The latest issue of Names: A Journal of Onomastics is now available online! Click here to read the latest in onomastics scholarship in volume 70, number 2 of Names. A table of contents appears below.

Names is published as an open access journal available to all via the Journal’s new home at the University of Pittsburgh. All journal content, including the content found in previous volumes, is now available for free online as downloadable PDF files.

Subscribers to the print version of the journal will receive their copies within the next few weeks.



Translating Character Names in Fantasy Literature: A Study of the Turkish Translation of Invented Names in Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast Triology, by Naile Sarmaşık

Gendering Urban Namescapes: The Gender Politics of Street Names in an Eastern European City, by Mihai S. Rusu

Cat Naming Practices in Saudi Arabia, by Muteb Alqarni

From Bonehead to @realDonaldTrump: A Review of Studies on Online Usernames, by Lasse Hämäläinen


Book Reviews

Grant W. Smith, Names as Metaphors in Shakespeare’s Comedies, by Dorothy Dodge Robbins

Alexander Avram, Historical Implications of Jewish Surnames in the Old Kingdom of Romania, by Brandon Simonson

Seeking New ANS Officers for 2023

Ever thought about getting more involved with the American Name Society?  Here is your opportunity!  The American Name Society is currently looking for a few good people who are interested in joining the Executive Council. Starting in 2023, new officers will be needed to fill the positions listed below.

To apply for one or more of these Executive Council positions, please fill out the application form on this page.


Vice President (2023-2025)

The person elected to this position is primarily responsible for co-organizing the ANS annual conference in close cooperation with the ANS President. As conference co-chair, the person in this position will issue an official call for papers, organize a team of reviewers, design the program of paper presentations, and coordinate with the Linguistic Society of America and the other linguistic affiliates or “Sister Societies”: the American Dialect Society (ADS), the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics (SPCL), the Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the America (SSILA), The Association for Linguistic Evidence (TALE), and the North American Association for the History of Language Sciences (NAAHoLS). In addition to these duties, the VP also serves as a voting member of the Executive Council and, as such, is actively involved in the legislative process of the ANS. The person selected for this office has the option of running for the office of ANS President, at the end of his/her term. Candidates for this position are expected to have superior organizational, time-management, and communication skills.


Allied Conference Coordinator (2023-2025)

The person elected to this position is principally responsible for organizing the ANS session at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association. This activity involves issuing a call for papers, assembling a team of abstract reviewers, selecting three authors whose work will be presented at the MLA conference, and coordinating the presentation of the three winning abstracts with the MLA administration. In addition to these duties, as a voting member of the ANS Executive Council (EC), the Allied Conference Coordinator participates in the legislative decision-making of the Society. Although the term of service for this position is for two years, the holder of this office may be re-elected pending approval by the EC. Given the fact that this position requires close communication with the MLA, candidates who have a demonstrated expertise in literary onomastics will receive preference.


Announcing the official ANS YouTube channel!

The ANS is pleased to announce the launch of its official YouTube channel, home to videos from the 2021 and 2022 annual conferences. Currently we have 53 videos available, and will be adding more content from ANS events as they happen.

We are delighted that the amazing content from our conferences will now be available to everyone interested in onomastics. Please share on social media and with anyone who is fascinated with names.


Join the ANS Special Interest Group: Teaching Onomastics

Proposal for the establishment of a ‘Teaching Onomastics’ Special Interest Group


The Ehrensperger Report was a printed, later web-based PDF, ANS publication, named in honour of Edward C. Ehrensperger, one of the founders of ANS. It was an annual report on the research and other activities conducted in the world of onomastics, and proved to be a valuable resource. The first Report appeared in 1955, and was compiled by Ehrensperger until 1982. At the end of every academic year he sent a letter to ANS members, asking what they had done over the last year. Kelsie Harder compiled the Report from 1983 to 1991, after which Michael McGoff took over the reins from 1992 to 2007, which was the last year the Report was published. The Report probably ceased to be published because it was too much work for one individual to compile.

Even though the Ehrensperger Report focused on individual achievements for the forgoing year, it seems it was originally designed to be a publication in which ANS members could share and discuss ideas. Given it was a printed annual report of ANS members’ activities, it was static and lacked the ability to be interactive and collaborative.


With the internet facilities we have at our disposal nowadays, it is possible to revamp the Report and make it a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative web resource allowing it to constantly change, adapt, and develop.

The proposal, then, is to revive and modernize the Ehrensperger Report, to retain its current name in honour of Ehrensperger, and to fulfill his original intention of being a resource and discussion forum for the teaching of onomastics and the compilation of material for this purpose.

Making the Report an online tool accessible to ANS members should also help to guard against the project becoming too much work and responsibility for any one person. Naturally, a moderator would also be needed.

Jan Tent is prepared to start off the project, but we call on ANS members who are willing to volunteer their help in advising, setting up, and managing the SIG. Please contact him at and he will coordinate this venture.

Note: You must be a member of the ANS to serve on this SIG. This proposal was put forward and approved by the membership at our annual meeting in January 2022.

Call for Papers: Special Journal Issue of NAMES devoted to Ukrainian Names and Naming

The American Name Society (ANS) is issuing its first call for abstracts for an upcoming special issue of the Society’s journal, NAMES.  In celebration of Ukrainian culture, history, and language, NAMES is issuing a call for abstract proposals for papers on Ukrainian Names and Naming.  All name types and methods of research are welcome.  However, all proposals must include a clearly articulated theoretical framework as well as research question(s) and a preliminary reference list. Topics for papers include, but are by no means limited to the following issues: controversies in Ukrainian naming policies and practices; Ukrainian names and naming as acts of resistance; Ukrainian names and naming at home and in exile; contested place names in Ukraine.

Proposal Submission Process

  • Abstracts proposals (max. 400 words, not including references) should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Professor I. M. Nick (;
  • The preliminary reference list should follow the formatting regulations of the NAMES Style Sheet;
  • Proposals must include “Ukraine” in the subject line of the email;
  • All submissions must include an abstract, a title, the full name(s) of the author(s), the author(s) affiliation(s), and email address(s) in the accompanying email and NOT within the body of the abstract;
  • DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 15 July 2022. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 15 August 2022.

For further information about this call, please feel free to contact Dr. I. M. Nick (

Publication announcement: Names: A Journal of Onomastics 70, no. 1 is now available

The latest issue of Names: A Journal of Onomastics is now available online! Click here to read the latest in onomastics scholarship in volume 70, number 1 of Names. A table of contents appears below.

Names is published as an open access journal available to all via the Journal’s new home at the University of Pittsburgh. All journal content, including the content found in previous volumes, is now available for free online as downloadable PDF files.

Subscribers to the print version of the journal will receive their copies within the next few weeks.


Table of Contents


Spanish Place Names of the Falkland Islands: A Novel Classification System, by Yliana V. Rodriguez

Wherefore Art Thou Juanita? The Life of a Spanish Name in Newfoundland, by Ainsley Hawthorn

Mapping Digital Discourses of the Capital Region of Finland: Combining Onomastics, CADS, and GIS, by Jarmo Harri Jantunen, Terhi Ainiala, Salla Jokela, and Jenny Tarvainen

Revisiting Semantic Issues of Proper Names: A Vietnamese Perspective, by Nguyen Viet Khoa

Book Reviews

Tim Bryars and Tom Harper, A History of the Twentieth Century in 100 Maps, by Christine De Vinne

Oliviu Felecan and Alina Bugheşiu, eds., Names and Naming: Multicultural Aspects, by Paul Woodman

Report & Announcements

Name of the Year Report 2021, by I. M. Nick

American Name Society Call for Papers for MLA 2023, by Maggie Scott


In Memoriam: Allan Metcalf (1940-2022), by I. M. Nick

View All Issues 

In Memoriam: Allan Metcalf (1940-2022)

Prof. Metcalf in his office at MacMurray College

The American Name Society is sad to announce the passing of longtime ANS member Professor Allan Metcalf. Professor Metcalf was innovator of the American Dialect Society’s Name of the Year selection, which served as the inspiration for the ANS Name of the Year. The celebrated dialectologist served many decades as the Executive Secretary of the American Dialect Society, the sister society of the ANS. He authored numerous popular books of US American English. Two of his most recent publications are OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word and The Life of Guy: Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word. The ANS expresses is sincere condolences to the Metcalf family. For more on Professor Metcalf’s impressive career, see his personal website:

“Great Resignation” Chosen 2021 Name of the Year

“Great Resignation” was chosen as the winner of the Name of the Year for 2021 by the American Name Society at its virtual annual meeting on January 23, 2022. Also known as the Big Quit, the Great Resignation refers to an economic trend in 2021 where large numbers of people left their jobs with a record 4.3 million resigning in August 2021. The phrase was likely coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor at Texas A&M.

“Karen” was chosen as Personal Name of the Year. “Karen” is a pejorative term used for a typically white woman who is perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what’s considered normal and civil. Although started years ago, the pejorative use has continued to gain momentum in memes and on social media.

“United States Capitol” was voted Place Name of the Year. On January 6, 2021, a mob of thousands of Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., and violently disrupted a joint session of Congress. Linguistically, this is significant because it underlined confusion between the uses of “capitol” and “capital.” Interestingly, “Insurrection” was selected as Word of the Year 2021 by the American Dialect Society.

“Cyber Ninjas” won the title Trade Name of the Year. Cyber Ninjas is the name of the firm that led the partisan 2020 election review in Arizona with the intention to overturn the 2020 Presidential election results. The company was plagued with legal battles and eventually dissolved.

“Squid Game” was chosen Artistic Name of the Year. Squid Game is a South Korean survival drama streaming on Netflix in 2021. It quickly became one of the most popular Netflix series worldwide. The name is taken from a Korean children’s game.

“#FreeBritney” was voted E-Name of the Year. Due to mental health issues, Britney Spears was placed in conservatorship in 2008 with her father controlling her estate and medical decisions. Out of concern for her situation, Spears’ fans created the hashtag in 2019 for the Free Britney movement in order to change her legal standing. The movement led to Spears’ release from conservatorship and to a bill reforming conserveratorships in California.

“CRT” was chosen Miscellaneous Name of the Year. Although more than 40 years old, CRT, or Critical Race Theory, examines the relationship between race and law in the United States. ANS chose the initialism over the full term because it highlights the misunderstanding of the theory and the latest controversies in education.

The American Name Society is a scholarly organization founded in 1951 devoted to studying all aspects of names and naming. The Name of the Year vote has been held since 2004.The 2020 Name of the Year was jointly held by “Kamala” and “COVID-19.” ”Brexit” was Name of the Decade and “Arrokoth” was the 2019 Name of the Year. “Jamal Khashoggi” was the 2018 Name of the Year. “Rohingya” was the 2017 Name of the Year. “Aleppo“ won for 2016 , “Caitlyn Jenner” for 2015, “Ferguson” for 2014, “Francis” for 2013, and “Sandy” for 2012.

For further information contact Deborah Walker, chair of the Name of the Year committee, at, 206-621-3543.

A PDF version of this press release can be found here.

Call for Papers: ANS panel at the 2023 Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention

The American Name Society is issuing its Call for Papers for the ANS panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention, which will be held 5–8 January 2023, in San Francisco, CA, USA. The theme of the panel is “Names and Identity in Literature: Contemporary Debates.”

The politics of names and naming has been brought into sharp relief by several influential scholars and studies during the 21st century. Recent work in this area is exemplified by the papers in edited collections including Luisa Caiazzo and I.M. Nick’s Shifting Toponymies: (Re)naming Places, (Re)shaping Identities (2020), and Guy Puzey and Laura Kostanski’s Names and Naming: People, Places, Perceptions and Power (2016). Debates about names may be symbolic of wider cultural questions about social change and ownership, from post-colonial naming practices to the rights of an individual to (re)name themselves. Papers for this panel will explore questions about names and identity and how they are reflected in contemporary literature. Examples of themes that can be addressed include: contested place-names; post-colonial place-names; transgender names; names and raciolinguistics; names and legal status; names as political statements.

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. Abstracts proposals (350 words) should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Dr Maggie Scott (;
  2. Proposals should include “MLA 2023 proposal” in the subject line of the email;
  3. All submissions must include an abstract, title, full name(s) of the author(s), the author(s) affiliation(s), and email address(s) in the body of the email and NOT with the abstract;
  4. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 8pm GMT on Friday 18 March 2022. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 25 March 2022;
  5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers, and members of MLA by 7 April 2022;
  6. For further information, please contact Dr Maggie Scott (

Download a PDF copy of the full call for papers here