About Names: Ethan, which means “enduring,” has lasted since Old Testament times

Actor John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards in the 1956 film “The Searchers” (AP/Warner Bros.)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his November 6th column, he looks at the history of the name Ethan.

Ethan is the English form of Hebrew Eitan, “solid, enduring.” Four Ethans are mentioned in the Old Testament. The most famous, Ethan the Ezrahite, wrote Psalm 89, beginning “I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever.” Ethan was one of the obscure biblical names New England Puritans adopted. Ethan Allen (1738-1789), Vermonter who led the “Green Mountain Boys” at Fort Ticonderoga’s capture from the British in 1775, is the most famous example.

When Edith Wharton published classic novel “Ethan Frome” in 1911, the name was a good choice for a downtrodden New England farmer born around 1860.

In 1956, director John Ford adapted a novel by Alan LeMay into the Western “The Searchers.” John Wayne played Ethan Edwards, a Civil War veteran searching for his niece, who’s been kidnapped by Comanche raiders. In the novel, the character was “Amos.” Ford changed that to Ethan because Amos was too identified with the comic character from “Amos ’n’ Andy.”

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Ethans in American history!

Call for Papers: Beyond the Canon (of Children’s Literature), University of Zadar, Croatia, May 8-10 2019

The Croatian Association of Researchers in Children’s Literature and the University of Zadar cordially invite researchers to submit a proposal for the 14th International Child and the Book Conference (CBC2019): Beyond the Canon (of Children’s Literature), Zadar, Croatia, 8 – 10 May 2019.  For more information, please visit the Conference webpage http://cbc2019.hidk.hr/.

They invite proposals for papers to be presented in English or Croatian. The presented papers will be 15 minutes maximum, followed by 5 min discussion time. For a paper proposal, please submit an abstract of 200-500 words and up to 5 keywords. The submission deadline is 15 November 2018. All proposals will be reviewed, and the authors of the proposals will receive notification of acceptance by 15 January 2019. To submit paper proposals or panel proposals, please fill in the interactive submission form at this link.

Anthony Shore on Naming: Explore Concepts, not Words

Anthony Shore is Chief Operative of Operative Words and was formerly Global Director of Naming and Writing for Landor Associates. In this blog post, he offers advice about creative brand names, starting with the concept “To name well, you must name abundantly.”

To create the many name candidates needed for a new brand name, Shore counsels that you should explore concepts, not words:

Concepts are intrinsically more generative than specific words because concepts can include other concepts.

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“Hello, death”: Coca-Cola’s te reo marketing blunder

Photo from @waikatoreo on Twitter

A Coke vending machine with the words “Kia Ora, Mate” is doing the rounds on Twitter, with social media users pointing out the dangers of mixing te reo and English. “Mate” is Māori for “death” which brings a whole new meaning to the sentence – and definitely not the one Coca-Cola intended.

An article at the New Zealand Herald rounds up the responses, which were kicked off by a tweet. Twitter user @waikatoreo posted the photo on Sunday, saying “Coke got an unexpected result when they mixed Māori and English”. Click through to see what people had to say!

About Names: A name that’s managed to stay in our good Grace(s) for centuries

Superstar Miss Grace Jones

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his October 25th column, he looks at the history of the name Grace.

Grace is from Latin “gratia,” “favor, good will.” In Christian theology, it means “God’s unmerited favor or love.”

Medieval Catholics occasionally used the term as a girl’s name. One example is St. Grace of Lérida in Spain. Born the daughter of a Muslim caliph, she was martyred in 1180. Normans brought the name Grece when they invaded England in 1066. This was probably from a Germanic word meaning “gray,” also found in the first syllable of “Griselda.” Early medieval records used “Grecia” as Grece’s Latin form. By 1250, this changed to “Gracia.” Soon, the everyday English form was “Grace.”

Grace peaked again at 13th in 2003 — though with names more varied today, it accounted for only 0.64 percent of girls born then as opposed to 1.13 percent back in 1890.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Graces in American history!

Registration opens for the 2019 ANS Conference, New York City, NY, January 3-6, 2019

American Name SocietyRegistration is now open for the 2019 ANS Conference in New York City, NY. The ANS conference will take place in conjunction with the Linguistics Society of American (LSA) Conference from January 3-6, 2019.

To register, you must join the ANS or renew your ANS membership.

LSA Registration is now open! Go to the LSA Meeting page to register. You must be a member of the LSA (as well as the ANS) in order to attend.

You can also reserve your room at the Sheraton in New York City via the LSA. Use the LSA link to receive a special discounted room rate.

Note that to renew your ANS membership, you will be redirected to the Taylor & Francis website where you will need to enter information from your renewal notice.

Once your membership is up to date, you can register online here, or download a PDF of the Conference Registration Form and mail it to ANS Treasurer Saundra Wright, as per the instructions on the form.

For more information about the ANS Conference and the LSA Conference, including rate and hotel information, please visit our Conference Page.

Call for Papers: Childhood: Literature and Culture

A new children’s literature journal based in Poland called Childhood: Literature and Culture is accepting articles in either English or Polish. They are devoting the first issue of the journal Dzieciństwo: Literatura i Kultura to consideration on the 21st century trend of adaptation of children’s literature – both film and TV series, presented on cinema and television screens and on streaming platforms (such as Netflix). What are the transformations of childhood constructs relative to literary prototypes? What tendencies are visible in film and TV series adaptations understood as reinterpretations of pre-text books? What literary works are the modern adapters most willing to use and what could be the reasons for their choices? Who is the hypothetical recipient of contemporary film and TV series adaptations?

The deadline for submitting articles is November, 30th 2018.

Interested authors should visit the website for more information, in English and Polish.


About Names: From Welsh roots, Gladys has worked its way through the grapevine

Gladys Knight

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his October 9th column, he looks at the history of the name Gladys.

Gladys is the modern form of Welsh Gwladus. Medieval records in Latin used “Claudia” as its equivalent. Experts disagree on whether Gwladus was just the Welsh form of Claudia or from Welsh gwlad, “countryside.” The first historical Gwladus was St. Gwladus, a princess of Brycheiniog. Kidnapped by Gwynllyw, king of Gwynllwg, she became his queen.

The modern form was spread by the novels “Gladys of Harlech” (1858) by Louisa M. Spooner and “Gladys the Reaper” (1860) by Anne Beale. Both authors were English women living in Wales. Spooner’s tale features a medieval noblewoman and Beale’s a simple country girl. Both show the Welsh as good people oppressed by corrupt Englishmen. The 1870 census includes 128 Gladyses, almost all born during the 1860s in the North. (Perhaps the novels didn’t make it to the South during the Civil War.)

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Gladyses in American history!

Should you trademark a greeting?

Bula Kafe in Florida Photo: Facebook / Bula Kafe

According to this article at Radio New Zealand, Pacific leaders meeting in New Zealand are outraged by the commonly-used Fijian greeting, “bula” being trademarked by a US businessman who runs and owns three businesses spread across Florida – Bula Kafe, Bula on the Beach and Bula Coco Beach. Many people have left negative reviews of the businesses on Facebook. The “bula” logo has appeared on many of products and advertising, from signage and bottle branding, to “bula babe shorts”. It is not the first time US businesses have been accused of cultural appropriation. For example, Illinois restaurant chain “Aloha Poke Company” has recently copped criticism for sending cease and desist letters to other restaurants using the word “aloha”. The New Zealand Minister for Pacific Peoples said: “This is a disturbing revelation and will be distressful not only to Fijians in New Zealand but to all Fijians throughout the world. It is unbelievable that a company from another country can trademark what belongs to another group of people.”