GB1900: Crowdsourcing placenames in Great Britain

Are you fascinated by placenames?  Do you have a weakness for tea, clotted cream, strawberry preserves, and homemade scones?  Have you ever thought how cool it would be to be a part of an international project to preserve the cultural history of Great Britain? If you answered “Yes”, then you will be happy to hear that volunteers are being solicited to help collect and preserve all of the names of places (yes, ALL) in Britain from the Ordnance Survey’s six-inch to the mile maps of the early 20th century.  Interested in learning more? Just follow this link!

By contributing to this project you’ll be helping to compile the most detailed list of historic places in Britain. It is intended that the GB 1900 gazetteer will form the backbone of a national collection of the country’s historic place-names, comprising everything from the earliest medieval records to the field-names still known to modern farming families. The names of places are a vital key to unlocking the social and linguistic history of the land. They recall agricultural practices and local industries, changed landscapes and lost settlements. They preserve a rich heritage of Welsh- and Gaelic-language forms from across Wales and Scotland, chart the arrival of English, and illustrate interactions between the two.

There can be only one Kylie™

Image: Shutterstock

If you want to protect a business name, you should trademark it. And that’s just what singer Kylie Minogue did in 2006, for the name “Kylie”. So when US reality TV star Kylie Jenner filed for the mark “Kylie” for her clothing and beauty empire, it was refused, because it would be too easy to confuse the two marks. Will Kylie Jenner’s appeal gain her any ground? Read the whole article here.

Trumpchi SUVs Coming Soon To U.S. – But Maybe Not Under That Name

An intrigued visitor checks out the Trumpchi GS7 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim Dunne

At Forbes, Michael Dunne writes about the next Chinese auto coming to the US: the Trumpchi SUV. It was was China’s fastest-growing car brand in 2016, scoring highest among all Chinese car brands. Officials at GAC, Guangzhou Automotive Corporation, insist privately that there is no connection to President Donald Trump. Chinese customers know the brand by its two Chinese characters, pronounced chuan chee. Those characters mean “delivering good fortune.” But will it have the same name in the U.S.? Head over to Forbes to get the whole story.

Is it Stash Tea or just a stash?

Founded in 1972, Stash Tea has suddenly become very busy defending their trademark. In Washington state, where recreational marijuana is legal, the word “stash” has been popping up in business names; not surprising, since “stash” has been a slang term for “hidden collection”, usually of some type of drugs, since the 1960s. In April in federal court in Portland, Stash Tea filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Stash Cannabis Co., and recently sent a notice of trademark infringement to the Stash Pot Shop in Seattle.

Read the whole article at the Oregonian. And, starting this week, Stash Pot Shop of Seattle is Lux Pot Shop of Seattle.

The secret taxonomy behind IKEA’s product names, from Billy to Poäng


(Reuters/Toby Melville)

Did you know that bathroom articles at IKEA are given names of Swedish lakes and bodies of water? Or that the Billy bookcase was named after IKEA employee Billy Likjedhal? Everything you’d ever want to know about IKEA product naming was explained at a Jan. 25 product showcase in New York City, by IKEA designer Jon Karlsson. He revealed that IKEA has a crack team of product namers, who assign names from a database of Swedish words. Quartz covers the event and looks at IKEA’s naming rules. You knew that IKEA was an acronym, right? It stands for Ingvar (founder’s first name), Kamprad (founder’s surname), Elmtaryd (his family’s farm) and Agunnaryd (the village in Småland where he grew up in).


About Names: Once-popular Carol has royal roots

“Hello, Dolly!” star Carol Channing. AP photo

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. To celebrate entertainer Carol Channing’s 96th birthday, his most recent column looks at the history of the name Carol. Throughout history it has been used for both men and women and although it’s now a “grandma name”, there have been quite a few prominent Carols in American history, including one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

When The Brain Scrambles Names, It’s Because You Love Them

Ever wonder why you call the kids by their siblings’ names – or even the dog’s name? Samantha Deffler, a cognitive scientist at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., wanted to find out why it happens. She and her colleagues conducted a large study on the topic, and their findings were published in the journal Memory & Cognition. Head over to NPR to read or listen to the story. Spoiler: it’s not just you – it’s a normal cognitive glitch – based on who (and what) you love.

Pan-American International Symposium on Toponymy, Rio de Janerio, May 3-5 2017

The Pan-American International Symposium on Toponymy will be held from the 3rd to the 5th of May 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The main themes of the conference are toponymy in maps; indigenous and minority toponymy; and education and toponymy. After the conference, selected papers will be presented in The Brazilian Journal of Cartography and in a book publication. For more information, please contact Paulo Menezes,