50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, University of Zurich, Switzerland, Sept. 10-13 2017

The University of Zurich will be hosting the 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea from the 10th to the 13th of September 2017. Registration for this event will close on the 1st of August 2017. The program for the conference can be found at the website. The conference includes a workshop titled “The grammar of names“, convened by Antje Dammel (University of Freiburg), Johannes Helmbrecht (University of Regensburg), Damaris Nübling (University of Mainz), Barbara Schlücker (University of Bonn) & Thomas Stolz (University of Bremen).

Reminder: Seeking New ANS Officers for 2018


Ever thought about getting more involved with the American Name Society but did not know how?  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 January 2017, new officers will be needed to fill the positions listed below.


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


ANS Treasurer (2018-2020)

The person elected to this position will be responsible for keeping official record of all funds and securities of the Society; giving and keeping receipts for moneys due and payable to the Society; depositing all moneys in the name of the Society; responding to inquiries from annual conference attendees regarding registration payments; and informing the ANS President, the members of the ANS Executive Council, and the general membership about the financial status of the Society via an end-of-the year fiscal report. The ANS Treasurer will work closely with the ANS President, Vice President, and Membership Officer as well as Taylor & Francis, the current publisher of the ANS Journal NAMES. The person elected to this position is expected to have demonstrable accounting experience and competence in using standard spreadsheets programs (e.g., Excel). Applicants for this position must be long-term ANS members in good standing.


Member-at-large (2017-2020)

The person elected to this position will serve as a voting member of the Executive Council (EC) and is expected to participate actively in the legislative decision-making involved in resolutions and motions placed before the EC.  In addition to these duties, members-at-large serve on various auxiliary sub-committees to, for example, help with the nomination of new officers, coordination of the annual conference, and organization of allied conferences.  Officers in this position can renew their term of service twice.


Allied Conference Coordinator (2018-2020)

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.


Coordinators for 4 ANS Facebook Special Interest Groups (2018-2020)

The people elected to these positions are principally responsible for managing the ANS Facebook Special Interest Groups (SIGs). There are four ANS SIGs: 1) Personal Names, 2) Literary Names, 3) Trade Names, and 4) Place Names. For each of one of those SIGs, the coordinator is responsible for stimulating and monitoring discussions between users; regularly posting material of thematic interest; answering queries from the general public; and coordinating an informal gathering in-person during the annual ANS meetings. The people chosen for these positions are expected to have excellent writing skills; be a frequent and enthusiastic Facebook user; and have a demonstrable interest in the thematic area of the relevant SIG. The coordinators of the ANS Facebook SIGs will work closely with one another, the ANS President and Vice President, and the ANS Information Officer.

About Names: Nicole popularized by films, France, Fitzgerald

Yvette Nicole Brown by Gage Skidmore

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 20 column, he looks at the history of the name Nicole.  Nicole Kidman, who played those characters in “Batman Forever,” “Moulin Rouge!” and “Lion,” turns 50 today. Kidman is an Oscar winner; in 2002, she won for best actress in a leading role, playing British writer Virginia Woolf in “The Hours.”

Her given name is a French feminine form of Nicholas, Greek “nikê”, “victory” and “laos,” “people.” The name’s biggest surge in popularity came in 1969. A 134 percent rise landed it in 47th place when the soap opera “The Edge of Night” introduced vivacious fan favorite Nicole Travis (played by Maeve McGuire).

Nicole, with its similarity to fashionable French sisters Michelle, Danielle and Stephanie, marched upward until peaking in 1983. That year, 1.25 percent of girls born that year were named Nicole, ranking it seventh. Read on to find out more about Nicoles in history!


Conference: Theorizing Contacts in the Roman Empire, Edinburgh, Scotland, Dec. 8-9 2017

From the 8th to the 9th of December 2017, the University of Edinburgh will be holding a conference highlighting the nexus between onomastics, multilingualism, and multiculturalism in ancient Rome. Entitled “Theorizing Contacts in the Roman Empire”, the event will feature scholarly papers from leading experts in classical studies. Although the official call for papers has passed, details about the conference subject matter can be found at the website of the Society for Classical Studies.

The aim of this conference is to assess the validity and scope of a variety of some of these models, with a particular focus on multilingualism and multiculturalism. By promoting and facilitating dialogue between disciplines, we shall aim to provide effective tools for different fields’ approaches in parallel (e.g. historical and linguistic). This has already been done very successfully in a few cases (e.g. ‘code-switching’), though greater interaction remains a desideratum. It is hoped that the participants will thereby open the discussion for a ‘theory of contact’ in the Roman world.

Will Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne be renamed?

This summer, Australians were unexpectedly hit by an onomastic storm. The controversy began when Margaret Court, former Australian winner of the Tennis Grand Slam and current 74-year-old founder of the Victory Life Church in Perth, released a series of criticisms against same-sex marriage. In reaction to this commentary, civil rights activists and sports legends joined forces to call for the removal Court’s name on a professional court arena in Melbourne. Although Australia’s Prime Minister first refused to entertain calls to rename the court, pressure from the international sports community has continued to mount. Martina Navratilova has written an open letter calling for the name change.

XVI International Congress of Slavists, Belgrade, Serbia, August 20-27 2018

According to an announcement of the American Committee of Slavists featured on Harvard University’s Department of Slavic Language and Literatures, the XVI International Congress of Slavists will be held from August 20-27, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. The program can be found here.

During the six working days, papers are presented in a variety of formats in a series of simultaneous morning and afternoon sessions, each session moderated by a chair.

The International Congress of Slavists has five formats in which contributions are presented: (1) plenary papers, (2) session papers, (3) block papers, (4) round table presentations, and (5) written submissions (scripta).

  • Plenary papers are typically longer contributions presented in plenary sessions by a small number of eminent specialists selected by the Presidium following nominations from the chairs of the various national committees. Plenary speakers are given 40 minutes each.
  • Session papers are single papers grouped into sessions by the host committee according to broad theme. Speakers are given 20 minutes each.
  • Block papers are single papers grouped into a thematically linked block panel composed of five members, all coordinated by a single individual. The block panel typically has a chair functioning as moderator, two speakers who present papers, and two discussants who comment on them. Each participant is given 10 minutes. The moderator and the two speakers on a block panel must represent at least three countries (i.e., three different national committees of Slavists), at least one of which should be a Slavic country. Membership on a block panel does not count against the quota of any member country. Accordingly, the number of block panels allowed at the Congress is limited.
  • Round table presentations are shorter reports on a narrowly construed theme with considerable audience participation anticipated. They are coordinated by a single individual. Speakers are given 10 minutes each. The Composition of a round table panel must also be international, representing at least four countries. The participants on a round table do not count against the quota of any member country. Accordingly, the number of round tables allowed at the Congress is limited.
  • Written submissions are individual papers published along with those of the active delegates of a particular national delegation, but not presented orally at the Congress because the author has alternate rather than delegate status.

Placenames Workshop: Comhdháil na nDéise, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland, June 15 2017

On June 15, 2017, the Waterford Institute of Technology in Waterford, Ireland will be hosting a place names workshop, Comhdháil na nDéise (Waterford Conference). The first Summer Session of the Comhdháil, under the title “Port Láirge: People, Place, Identity” will take place at the Cork Road Campus. The theme of the session will be “Logainmneacha, names of places”.  The event is open to all students, scholars, and enthusiasts of Irish toponymy. Details on the presentation schedule can be found here.