Annual Conference of the Welsh Place-Name Society, Llanelwedd, October 3, 2015

On Saturday, the 3rd of October 2015, the Welsh Place-Name Society will be holding its Annual Conference and General Meeting at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwed.

Flag_of_Wales_2.svgThe aim of the Society is twofold:

  • to promote the awareness, study, and understanding of Welsh Place-Names
  • to increase interest in and appreciation for the history, culture, and language of Wales



To become a member of the Society, complete the Membership Form. For more information, click here.

France’s UMP party changes name to The Republicans

4056836338_526f9ca729_mFormer French President Nicolas Sarkozy has decided to run again for his old office. In an effort to reignite voters’ interest, Sarkozy announced that the opposition party would be changing its name from “Union for a Popular Movement” (UMP) to Les Républicains.

The name change has created quite a bit of controversy. Supporters have praised the move as a savvy and elegant way to attract voters who have moved far left of center while shedding the Party of old, unwanted political baggage. Critics worry that the move may help to strengthen and/or legitimate right extremism.

It remains to be seen how the onomastic make-over will affect the 2017 Presidential race.

Grexit and Grecovery

18213207664_6191ea6bbc_mAs economists and politicians argue whether or not Greece should exit the European Union, onomastic experts have watched the birth and spreading popularity of a new political name.

A clever blending of the place name “Greece” and the verb “to exit”, the name Grexit has become a part of the everyday vocabulary throughout the EU and beyond. The onomastic antonym to Grexit, namely Grecovery (a blend of the words Greece and recovery) does not seem to have made as much headway.

The difference in frequency and recognizability between the two names would seem to be a telling barometer of Europeans’ predictions for the future of Greece within the EU.

International Congress of Celtic Studies, Glasgow, July 13-17 2015

5156859128_62b1bca836_mRegistration closes today for the 15th International Congress of Celtic Studies, taking place from the 13th to the 17th of July 2015 at the University of Glasgow. Among the many outstanding presentations to be given are several papers on onomastics.



Three examples include:

  • Timothy Bridgeman (Binghamton University), “Names and Naming Conventions of Celtic Peoples in Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia”
  • M. Joseph Wolf (University of Glasgow), “Exploring Manx Saint Dedications and Place-Names in the Wider Irish Sea Context”
  • Ken George (Cornish Language Board), “Assibilation and palatalization in Cornish: the evidence of place-names’

Click here for more on the congress and registration.

Workshop on Surnames, University of Leipzig, July 1 2015

On the 1st of July 2015, the University of Leipzig will be holding a workshop on onomastics. The topic of the workshop will be on Leipzig Surnames which originate in a romance language (e.g. Italian, Spanish, French, etc.). The workshop will be held in German. The primary lecturer for this workshop will be Professor Dieter Kremer.… Read More

Funded PhD at the University of Glasgow: ‘Protocols for the use of name evidence in lexicography: comparative analysis of onomastic and non-onomastic data for historical and contemporary Scots’

17101840068_4796d8a18f_mSubmit your application for a funded PhD on the use of name evidence in lexicography, based at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

The studentship is offered under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award program with Scottish Language Dictionaries (Edinburgh) and will be co-supervised by Professor Carole Hough, Dr Wendy Anderson (University of Glasgow), and Dr Alison Grant (Scottish Language Dictionaries).

The studentship is funded for three years, beginning in October 2015. The deadline for applications is Monday, 29 June 2015. Interviews will be held on Thursday, 23 July 2015.

Click here for more information and to apply.

“My Treasure” is the most popular pet name among German couples

8460805431_fb29465f5a_mIn a representative nationwide study conducted in Germany, researchers have identified the top ten pet names which couples use to call one another behind closed doors:



“My Treasure” takes the top spot, with about 35% of Germans using a variation such as:

  • Treasure (Schatz)
  • Little Treasure (Schatzi/Schatzlein/Schätzle)
  • Big Treasure (Riesenschatz)
  • Cuddly Treasure (Schnuckelschatz)


Animal names account for second through fifth place. In order, these zoonymic names of affection are:

  • Mouse (Maus)
  • Hare (Hase)
  • Bear (Bär)
  • Sparrow (Spatz)


In tenth place is the now internationally recognized onomastic evergreen Liebling.

Here is a list of other favorite German nicknames for your sweetheart.

Online Workshop: Methodology for Terminology Work, Sept. 2-3 2015

8166397343_5f2f62c0a2_mFrom the 2nd of September to the 3rd of November 2015, the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain will be holding an online lexicography and language documentation workshop on “Methodology for Terminology Work”.

The focus of the workshop is on carrying out terminological projects based on the Communicative Theory of Terminology (CTT). All the phases of carrying out terminographic work will be presented, from project conceptualization to database construction and management. The minimum level of education required for participation is a MA.

Click here for more information.