“Wendy’s” Namesake and Founder Dave Thomas’s Regret

Wendy’s Restaurant (Public Domain)

A recently published piece on CNN Business discusses the namesake of fast-food chain “Wendy’s”: Dave Thomas’s fourth child Melinda Lou. While the restaurants were a hit, the founder was not always satisfied with his choice of name for the chain. According to Nathaniel Meyersohn, Thomas later expressed regret over naming the restaurant after his daughter, saying “”She’s lost some of her privacy. Because some people still take her for the official company spokesperson, sometimes she hedges speaking her mind. I don’t blame her.”

Read more over at CNN Business.

About Names: “Moses popularity brought on by athletics, pop culture and biblical revivals”

The Finding of Moses by Hendrik de Clerck, Eskenazi Museum of Art (Public domain)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 19th column, he looks at the name Moses.

Today should be a celebration of bowl haircuts.

Moses Horwitz (1897-1975), known by his stage name Moe Howard, was born 125 years ago today. From 1934 through 1970, he played the irascible leader of The Three Stooges, the world’s most famous slapstick comedy troupe, in more than 200 films. Their 190 Columbia Pictures shorts became television staples, making Moe’s trademark haircut known to millions.

The original Moses is the man who led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt by parting the sea in the Bible’s Book of Exodus. Egypt’s pharaoh ordered Hebrew male infants to be killed. To save him, Moses’ mother put him in a basket floating on the Nile. He was discovered by pharaoh’s daughter, who calls him Moses because she “drew him out” (Hebrew “mashah”) of water.

That derivation isn’t plausible. Why would Pharaoh’s daughter speak Hebrew? Moses is likely from an Egyptian word meaning “born of” or “child of,” found in names of Egyptian Pharaohs Thutmosis and Ramesses, “born of” gods Thoth and Ra. The basket story was probably invented to explain the name after its Egyptian origin was forgotten. That origin, though, makes it credible Moses was a real historical figure raised in Egypt.

Before the Reformation, Moses was primarily a Jewish name. In the 16th century, it was adopted by Puritans, one example being Moses Fletcher (1564-1620), a Pilgrim signer of the Mayflower Compact.

Moses stayed in use among descendants of the Puritans. Two later examples were Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806), a Connecticut Revolutionary War general who founded Cleveland, Ohio; and Moses Beach (1800-1868), founder of the Associated Press and inventor of print syndication.

“First Peoples Mountain” at Yellowstone will Honor Native Americans

The mountain formerly known as Mount Doane in 1977 (Public Domain)

What was once known as “Mount Doane” will now be called “First Peoples Mountain.” The former name of the mountain was given to honor Gustavus Doane, the person responsible for securing federal protection for the land during the 1870 Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition. The National Park Service recently announced that Doane was also responsible for the Marias Massacre, an attack that led to the deaths of at least 173 Native Americans, and the mountain would therefore be renamed. The new name, NPR reports, “is part of a trend to better recognize the roles and contributions of Native Americans” and a priority of Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

Read more over at NPR.

World Health Organization to give “Monkeypox” a New Name

Flag of the WHO (Public Domain)

The World Health Organization has pledged to change the name of the “monkeypox” virus. NPR reports that the decision was made “after scientists recently criticized the current name as “discriminatory and stigmatizing.” The researchers say it’s also inaccurate to name versions of the virus after parts of Africa.” The virus has gained notoriety after a growing outbreak in nearly 40 countries around the world.

Read more over at NPR.

Former McDonald’s Locations in Russia to be Rebranded “Delicious, That’s All”

The new logo for “Вкусно – и точка”

All of Russia’s former McDonald’s locations that were recently sold to Siberian coal baron Alexander Govor will be rebranded Вкусно – и точка, which various media translate “Delicious, That’s All” or “Tasty — full stop”. The move comes after McDonald’s ceased operation of its popular fast food restaurant after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Govor announced that he will keep all employees of the former McDonald’s locations employed for the next two years. Many of McDonald’s famous dishes will remain on the menu at the rebranded fast food chain, though they are also slated for rebranding.

Read more about the name change over at NPR. 

About Names: “Exotic Ian found American popularity after the 1960s”

Photo of English-Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, best known for his role as Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) in the Star Wars (Official Star Wars Blog, CC-BY-2.0)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 5th column, he looks at the name Ian.

Ian will find a way to deal with dinosaurs again next Friday.

“Jurassic World: Dominion,” the sixth film in the hit “Jurassic Park” series, opens June 10. It features Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, an expert on mathematical chaos theory whose line “Life finds a way” is iconic for fans.

Ian is a simplified spelling of Iain, a Scottish Gaelic form of John, ultimately from Hebrew “God is gracious.”

Before 1880, Ian was very rare in written records. Back then names, like other words, were translated from one language to another. A Scottish Highlander called “Ian” in Gaelic would automatically be called “John” in written or spoken English. Only one man is listed as Ian in Scotland’s 1851 census, alongside 252,476 Johns.

Educated artistic parents often start new name trends. Scottish-born John Forbes-Robertson (1822-1903) was one of the first professional art and theater critics in London. Five of his eleven children became actors, including second son Ian (1858-1936), perhaps the first example of Ian’s use as an official name in England.

In 1894, Presbyterian minister John Watson (1850-1907) published “Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush” under pen name Ian Maclaren. This collection of sentimental tales whose characters spoke in heavy Scots dialect (“Wull ye no come wi’ me for auld lang syne? … it wud dae ye gude”) was a huge bestseller in both Britain and America. “Ian Maclaren” died in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, while on an American lecture tour.

The actor and the author inspired many namesakes. By 1935, Ian was a top 50 name for baby boys in England and Scotland. That year, Ian entered the top thousand in the United States, helped by the career of character actor Ian Wolfe (1896-1992).

Call for Editors, Onomastica Canadiana

Onomastica Canadiana is inviting applications for a new Editor. A team of two Co-Editors will also be considered. This voluntary position will be available from August 1, 2022. The initial term will be three years, with renewal upon mutual agreement.

Onomastica Canadiana was established in 1951 and moved to an online and open-access format in 2022. It is the official, bilingual, peer-reviewed journal of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names. Its principal objectives are to promote the study of names in Canada and abroad, as well as to exchange ideas among onomatologists, toponymists, and scholars in the related fields of literary onomastics and linguistic aspects of names. Onomastica Canadiana welcomes submissions such as research articles, review articles, opinion articles and commentaries, academic interviews, and book reviews in both English and French on all topics in the field of onomastics or name studies. For further information on the journal, please see https://ojs.lib.uwo.ca/index.php/oc/index.

The responsibilities of the Editor include:
– Day-to-day management of journal activities
– Identifying and communicating with appropriate reviewers
– Making decisions on manuscripts
– Evaluating special issue proposals
– Liaising with authors and reviewers
– Working with the Editorial Team / Editorial Board and the Executive Committee of the
Canadian Society for the Study of Names

Selection Criteria
Essential skills
– Experience and knowledge in the field of Onomastics
– An understanding of the focus and scope of the journal
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
– Excellent organizational and time management skills
– Advanced proficiency in English or French

Desired skills
– Bilingual in English and French
– Experience with journal management
– Prior experience of editing a journal

Application Process
Interested candidates should send their abbreviated CV (2 pages) and a statement of interest in the position and vision for the journal (1 page) to Grace Gomashie (ggomashi@uwo.ca) by July 15, 2022. Please use ‘Application Editor Onomastica Canadiana’ as your email subject line. Applications will be evaluated by the Editorial Board, which will make its recommendation to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names, and all applicants will be notified of the results.

A downloadable PDF of the call can be downloaded here.

Call for Papers: ANS Emerging Scholar Award

In 2007, the American Name Society established the ANS Emerging Scholar Award (ANSESA) to recognize the outstanding scholarship of an early career onomastics researcher. This special distinction is given to a new scholar whose work is judged by a panel of onomastic researchers to be of superior academic quality. This year’s selection committee is made up of Dr. Jan Tent, the 2022 ANSESA Committee Chair; Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins; and Dr. Andreas Gavrielatos.

Recipients of this prestigious award receive the following:

  • a cash prize of $250 US dollars
  • one year of membership in the ANS
  • public announcements on the NAMES and ANS websites
  • a profile in the ANS newsletter, to be written by the Chair of the ANSESA Committee

Award recipients are encouraged to submit their manuscripts for publication in NAMES. The Selection Committee reserves the right to refrain from giving this award in those years in which no submission is deemed to have met the above-mentioned requirements.

Application Guidelines

To be considered for this award, applicants must submit the full text of their paper by midnight (E.S.T.), the 15th of October 2022, to this year’s ANSESA Chair, Dr. Jan Tent (<jan.tent@mq.edu.au>). Submissions must be sent as an email attachment in either a .doc or .docx format. For ease of processing, please be sure to include the keyword “ESA2022” in the subject line of your email.

Submission Requirements

All submissions must be prepared according to the guidelines provided at <https://ans-names.pitt.edu/ans/guidelines>. Authors must use the formatting rules listed in the official Style Sheet of Names, the journal of the American Name Society. The Style Sheet is available at the journal website: <https://ans-names.pitt.edu/ans/StyleSheet>. Submissions will not only be judged upon the quality of the writing and the scientific merit of the submission presented, but also on their adherence to these formatting regulations. NOTE: The main text should be no more than 5,000 words, excluding the endnotes, bibliography, graphics, and any supplementary material.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the ANSESA, applicants must be an entry-level professional, an untenured academic, or a student. Applicants must have had their single-authored abstract accepted for presentation at the ANS annual conference and be a member of the ANS. Previously published papers are not eligible for consideration. However, papers based on unpublished theses or dissertations are eligible. The ANSESA Selection Committee will judge all submissions for their methodological soundness, innovation, and potential contribution to the field of onomastics. Although past recipients of the ANSESA are eligible to re-apply for an entirely new piece of scholarship, preference may be given to first-time applicants. Please direct questions to this year’s ANSESA Committee Chair, ANS Vice President, Dr. Jan Tent (<jan.tent@mq.edu.au>).

 

A PDF download of this call can be found here.

The Second Battle for the Name “Josh”

Pool Noodles (Photo by Emma Craig, CC-BY-2.0)

Last year, hundreds of people with the name “Josh” gathered in a park in Nebraska. They battled one another with pool noodles for the right to the name “Josh”. This year the Joshes returned with their pool noodles to the park for another battle. This time the Joshes raised over $21,000 for the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. The winner was 5-year-old Josh Vinson Jr., who held his “No. 1 Josh” title from last year.

Congressional Commission Reveals Nine Proposals for New Base Names

The proposed name “Fort Liberty” will replace the name “Fort Bragg” (Public domain image of the entry to the Fort)

The congressional naming commission revealed proposals to rename nine military bases this Tuesday. CNN outlines all nine possible name change proposals. The writers share, “The proposed names include women, African-American, Native American and Latino service members, a nod to the diverse ranks the US military has benefited from over the years. The commission, however, also recommended renaming a few of the bases after White men.”

Read more about each of the name changes and their respective rationales over at CNN.