Finding The Families of Korean War MIAs/POWs: Names and DNA

From 1990 to 1994, the North Korean government exhumed and returned the remains of US American soldiers who had died during the war. Those remains were placed in 208 boxes. According to Department of Defense officials, as many as 400 different soldiers may be represented in those boxes.  For decades now, military forensic scientists have been attempting to identify the names and identities of these Missing in Action/Prisoners of War.  A crucial key to unlocking this mystery has not only been the use of DNA technology, but the recovery of an incredible list of MIA/POWS who died while being held captive.  Composed in secret by a surviving POW John Johnson, this list contains the names of 496 fellow soldiers. In a project called Finding the Families, researchers are using this onomastic data to help finally put a name to soldiers who valiantly fought and died while serving their nation. To date, military officials estimate that more than 7,800 US American soldiers from the Korean War remain unaccounted for. Click here to view the names on the “Johnnie Johnson List” or to learn more about the government’s continuing efforts to locate the names of Korean War POW/MIAs.


What’s In A Name – More Algonquian Place Names

“What’s in a Name?” is a new original YouTube series from 1623 Studios in partnership with the Gloucester Historical Commission. On this episode, Mary Ellen Lepionka explains the history behind place names on Cape Ann and their Algonquian roots. Mary Ellen is an independent scholar researching the history of Cape Ann from the last Ice Age to around 1750 for a book on the subject and is a trustee of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and co-chair of the Gloucester Historical Commission. Visit her website at and view the video below!

About Names: Jamal Khashoggi chosen as 2018’s Name of the Year

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his January 15th column, he looks at the ANS Name of the Year, Jamal Khashoggi.

Do you know how to say “Khashoggi”?

At its meeting in New York City on Jan. 4, the American Name Society voted Jamal Khashoggi 2018’s Name of the Year. Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post journalist and critic of the Saudi regime assassinated in Istanbul on Oct. 2. His name is associated with increasing threats journalists face in an atmosphere branding them “enemies of the people.” President Donald Trump’s dismissal of CIA reports strongly concluding the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder have kept Khashoggi’s name in the news.

“Khashoggi” also illustrates modern media’s more careful treatment of non-English names. Initially, reporters rhymed it with “soggy.” Over time, most switched to “Ka-SHOG-zhee,” closer to the Arabic pronunciation.

“Gritty” won as 2018’s trade name of the year. Gritty is the new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, a hairy orange monster debuted on Sept. 24. Left-wing activists interpreted Gritty as a blue-collar hero, fighting against the absurdities of capitalism. On Oct. 24, the Philadelphia City Council passed a formal resolution honoring Gritty, declaring he honored the city’s spirit and passion. Sports blog network SB Nation wrote: “The name ‘Gritty’ itself is an inside joke used as a descriptor by fans for any player who isn’t the most athletically talented.”

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about the ANS names of the year! Note that because of the limitation on the length of the column, this report does not include every nominee that was not a winner. A full report will come out later in the ANS journal, Names.

Winter Storm Names For 2018-19 Revealed

Avery, Bruce, Carter, and Diego, Vaughn, Wesley, Xyler, and Ulmer. What do all of these names have in common? According to the Weather Channel, these names are on the list of Winter Storm Names 2018-2019. The names will be used in alphabetical order to identify winter storms that meet objective naming criteria based on National Weather Service winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings and ice storm warnings. Want to see the other names on the list? Check out more information at the Weather Channel!

Coon Street? Yes, it’s a Cincinnati street name, but not for much longer

In Cincinnati, Ohio, if you happen to travel down “Fox Street” and then take a sharp turn to the right, a few years ago, you might have found yourself on a short byway named “Coon Street”.  Given the proximity to “Fox Street”, it may well be that the intersecting street was simply given a completely tame animal name: Coon as in Raccoon. However, the origin of the mysterious place name might, of course, be completely different.  Despite research conducted by the Cincinnati Committee of Names, the source of the toponym remains unclear.  The long-standing federal mandate to avoid public derogatory place names is nevertheless quite clear.  For this reason, the City Planning Commission has announced that it will take steps to replace this street name with something less offensive. Check out this article at the Enquirer at to learn more!

Call for Papers: Lexique

Name researchers whose work examines the morphology, semantics and lexicology of names and naming may be interested in submitting an article for the scholarly journal Lexique (Lexicon). Articles should be submitted on or before March 1, 2019 and may not exceed 50,000 characters (including spaces, figures, and tables, but excluding references.  The first issue of the journal is scheduled to be published in the second half of 2019. Please see the guidelines for submissions at the Lexique website.

After years of exclusive publication of thematic issues, Lexique will begin in 2019 the publication of non-thematic issues (“varia”). The purpose of the journal is to study the lexicon, both in and of itself and as a crossroads of other linguistic fields – morphology, lexicology, lexicography, semantics, computational linguistics, etc. It is intended for language sciences researchers and practitioners, coming from various theoretical backgrounds. Lexique welcomes papers submitted in French or English.

Where the Streets Have MLK’s Name

The personal name of the legendary Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, has served as a source of inspiration for the naming of places, spaces, organizations, and institutions across the United States. According to a recent article appearing in National Geographic, evidence of this onomastic inspiration can also be found outside the USA.  The human rights activist’s name can be seen in many different countries; the global MLK street count is upwards of a thousand, including a number of Martin Luther King streets in Germany, the country from which he got his name. The online article includes an interactive map that can show streets named for Dr. King around the world.

No comprehensive global index of the streets named for King exists, but there are more than a thousand entries for such eponymous streets in OpenStreetMap, the publicly maintained database where citizens around the world can add and edit road maps. This interactive map pairs those records with Google Street View images, where available, to provide a glimpse of the places where King’s name and legacy have become part of the landscape.

Oxford Seminars in Cartography: Rivers and Ice: Early Modern Maps of the Far North, Oxford, UK, January 24 2019

The Oxford Seminars in Cartography will be holding a special lecture entitled “Rivers and Ice: Early Modern Maps of the Far North” which will be given by Charlotta Forss (Bodleian Libraries and Stockholms Universitet). The lecture will take place on January 24, 2019.  The seminar is scheduled to run from 4:30 to 6:00pm in the Weston Library Theatre on Broad Street in Oxford, England. Booking is essential – for further details, please contact: Nick Millea [] The Oxford Seminars in Cartography is supported by a conglomerate of scholarly organizations such as the British Cartographic Society and the Oxford Cartographers.