Meet the American interns at “Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources”


Exciting developments are afoot at DMNES central, as they’ve partnered with Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts for their summer internship programme, which means that the Dictionary Project has four research interns working for them for the next 8-12 weeks! So many back-burner projects are being brought to the front burner and are now already bubbling away.

In addition to working behind the scenes, each will write a few blog posts updating their progress and what they’re learning/finding out, as well as take over the twitter account for a week. Let us briefly introduce thems: Adelia Brown (majoring in Philosophy and English), Juliet Pepe (majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior), Sidney Boker (English major) and K. J. Lewis (studying Physics, Engineering and English). makes a powerful statement in honor of the black lives lost to police violence

Jennifer Moss, longtime member of the American Name Society and owner of, has chosen a unique and powerful way to show solidarity with the black community and support for Black Lives Matter.

Instead of the usual popular name rankings and photos of babies, the site’s homepage shows a black box with dozens of names, all belonging to black Americans who’ve died due to police violence or, in a few cases, at the hands of civilians.

“Each of these names was somebody’s baby,” the site reads. A reminder of the importance of names.

Trends in Onomastic Research in Brazil

An article with this title has just been published at the Swiss “Linguistik Online” (2020) by Márcia Sipavicius Seide and Marcelo Saparas.


This article brings together recent onomastic investigations developed in Brazil between 2011 and 2018. In the field of toponomastics there is some degree of uniformity resulting from both the use of the same research paradigm and the development of projects dedicated to the production of toponymic atlases in several regions of the country. In the field of anthroponomastics, however, there is dispersion and fragmentation of anthroponymic studies due to non-affiliation with the field by some sociolinguistics and literature researchers The comparison between research papers in this review and a number of onomastic studies in Europe reveals that the socio-onomastic field is an emerging one in both Brazil and Europe. There are investigations that relate the studies of linguistic settings to toponymic studies and socio-anthroponomastic investigations based on data collection in written documents or data generation through field investigations. The existence of comparative anthroponomastic research and studies dealing with theory, methodology and literature review in the field of anthroponomastics can be observed. Studies about Brazilian indigenous onomastics and secondary non-official personal names used by Brazilian city councilors has been found just in Brazil in the literature review presented in this paper.

War of Names: “Floyd Road” in China vs. “Li Wenliang Plaza” in the US

Chinese netizens on May 31, 2020 protested against the US’ continued hyping of doctor Li Wenliang’s death to attack China, saying the US should find fault with itself and reflect on George Floyd’s death rather than point its fingers at others. Some Net users suggested renaming the road near the US Embassy in Beijing as Floyd Road in commemoration of the victim of US racism and police violence.

Fu Xuejie, the wife of late doctor Li Wenliang, has voiced her opposition to a US lawmaker’s push that calls for the street in front of the Chinese Embassy in the US to be renamed Li Wenliang Plaza, saying she was “very sad to hear that.”

How To Pronounce Everything In Frank Herbert’s Dune

Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the well-known science-fiction novels of the 20th century. Set in a fictional feudal universe and centered on the conflict between two powerful houses, it’s a dense book full of terminology that Herbert crafted from many sources, but that feel almost impossible to pronounce unless you’re familiar with the languages he borrowed from to give Dune its unique tone.

If you’re curious how to pronounce some of the oft-repeated terms in Dune but have no idea where to start, you’re in luck! One clever fan compiled sound clips of Herbert himself saying the words of Dune on a blog called Usul’s Homepage.

Many of the words in Dune appear to come from Arabic root words, but Herbert doesn’t actually use the proper Arabic pronunciations in his reading. It appears he anglicized much of it, perhaps intentionally or perhaps from his own misunderstanding of Arabic.

(Original post at Nerdist)

Dr. Sara Louise Wheeler on the Baby Names Podcast, with Jennifer Moss

On the Baby Names Podcast, ANS Member Jennifer Moss interviews ANS Member Dr. Sara Louise Wheeler, Welsh Names academic, author, and poet. They also discuss the current celebrity baby news and take questions from our listeners.

Names mentioned in this episode: Justice, Blue, Sara, Rhiannon, Harri, Seren, Ffan, Jac, Macsen, Caerwyn, Dilys, Gwenhwyfar, Bran, Ebrill, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, and more!

Check out Dr. Wheeler’s Onomastic Blog.

About Names: Clark counts Superman and Gable among its famous names

Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 23rd column, he looks at the history of the name Clark.

Clarke is another spelling of Clark, an English surname derived from “clerk.” Originally from “cleric,” Latin for “clergyman,” by 1200 it meant “anyone who could read and write.” In the 2010 census, 562,679 Americans had the last name Clark, making it the 27th most common surname. The 68,281 Clarkes ranked 281st.

When around 1800 the custom of turning surnames into male first names developed, boys named Clark appeared. In the 1850 United States census, first listing everyone by name, 7,757 men had the first name Clark, and 542 Clarke. Admiration for Revolutionary War general George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) and his younger brother William (1770-1838), leader of the Lewis & Clark expedition, helped its popularity.

Clarke was almost nonexistent as a girl’s name before 1991. That year, Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” featured Cynda Williams as Clarke Betancourt, one of Denzel Washington’s two love interests. Critic Vincent Canby said, “No one with such a fancy handle can be trusted in slick-movie fiction.” There were 22 American girls named Clarke in 1991, the first year ever there were more than four. Between nine and 25 arrived between 1992 and 2013.

How Baltimore got its name?

Charm city in Maryland, U.S., founded 1729, named for Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), 2nd baron Baltimore, who held the charter for Maryland colony; the name is from a small port town in southern Ireland where the family had its seat, from Irish Baile na Tighe Mor, literally “townland of the big house.” In old baseball slang, a Baltimore chop was a hit right in front of the plate that bounced high.

It’s Official: ANS 2021 Conference will be Virtual

American Name SocietyAfter serious deliberation of an official proposal made on the 8th of May 2020, the Executive Council of the American Name Society unanimously voted to hold the 2021 Annual Conference online. The exact format and date of the conference will be announced by June 15, 2020. This means that our conference will NOT be held in conjunction with the LSA meeting, which is still slated to be held in January 2021 in San Francisco.

As stipulated in the proposal, there were several important reasons behind the decision to hold our upcoming annual conference virtually: 1) a significant number of our members are in high-risk groups because of their age and/or pre-existing health conditions; 2) the international and domestic travel restrictions that have been imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 will make it exceedingly difficult for members to attend the conference; and 3) the individual and institutional economic fallout of COVID-19 will no doubt make prohibitive the costs connected with a traditional conference (LSA/ANS registration fees, travel costs, hotel accommodation food, etc).  Of all these reasons, the most important is of course the first. It is important to bear in mind that the very factors which make the traditional conference enjoyable also make it high-risk (i.e., traveling to a major metropolitan area to join a large gathering of people—both the attendees and the other hotel guests—who meet for intensive discussions, often times over shared meals, in small crowded spaces for a prolonged period of time).

The ANS Executive Council agreed that a virtual format would allow members to share their work without the dangers mentioned above. Even if COVID-19 were not an issue, this format will also attract people who might otherwise not have been able to attend our conference. Finally, this decision offers the added bonus of holding a conference in manner that is more environmentally sound. Members who are interested in viewing the original proposal or the report on proposal made to the ANS-EC vote  are encouraged to contact the ANS Secretary, Dr. Star Vanguri.

A revised Call for Papers will be sent out as soon as the date and time have been finalized. In the meantime, we will continue to accept abstracts for the 2021 conference. If you have questions, please contact us at <>.

About Names: Where did the name Glenda come from? And where did it go?

British actor Glenda Jackson

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

Glenda is a modern name with obscure origins. Most baby name books claim it’s from the Welsh words glân, “clean, pure,” and da, “good”. Welsh pride created many names from Welsh words in the early 20th century. Delwyn (“pretty and fair”) and Tegan (“lovely”) are two examples.

The problem with the Welsh theory is that the earliest examples of Glenda in census records aren’t related to Wales. The first example in Britain, Glenda Day, was born in 1864 in Somerset, with most other early examples near London. The first Welsh Glenda doesn’t show up until 1910. It’s probable Glenda was originally created another way and reinterpreted with the Welsh meaning.

Glenda skyrocketed 136% between 1932 and 1933, when 680 arrived. Its boom continued until 1944, when the 3,366 born ranked it 79th. Glenda stayed among the top hundred through 1952.

Glinda, the good witch in L. Frank Baum’s famous 1900 children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (played by Billie Burke in the 1939 film), often is misremembered as “Glenda.” Glinda was ignored as a baby name, however, until Linda became popular. Glinda was in the top thousand between 1944 and 1955, peaking at 733rd in 1951. Glinda is nonexistent as a baby name today, despite the popularity of Oz spinoffs like “Wicked.”