Australian scientist officially names “Blue Bastard” fish by that name

183930977_2cdc880839_mFor years now, Australian fishermen have battled against an elusive shimmering blue fish that was, according to sea lore and the UK Guardian, a real “bastard”. This year, Queensland scientist, Jeff Johnson, made that onomastic epithet official. From here on out, the fish’s official Latin name is Plectorhinchus caeruleonthus where “caeruleo” means “blue” and “nothus” bastard. As Johnson explained, the species earned its nasty reputation for its unusual pugilistic prowess. When adult males happen upon one another, they immediate lock jaws and reportedly “go at it hammer and tongs”.

University of Iowa faces controversy over web program name: Iowa Student Information System

2671822805_9dc96eceb1_mThe University of Iowa may be the next US institution to undergo an onomastic face lift to distance itself from the terrorist acronym, ISIS. According to an interview by the local news station KWWL, the sudden prominence of ISIS has cast an upsetting shadow over the name of one of the school’s web programs, the Iowa Student Information System. Although many students have found the onomastic coincidence unimportant to humorous, University officials have explained that the overlap has made some users reticent to use the service, for fear of calling unwanted attention to themselves for googling such a fraught moniker. To avoid this and other problems, UoI administrators officially announced that their ‘ISIS’ will be re-named.

The Linguistics Roadshow: Mapping Words Around Australia

4693699308_c788c1d9f0_mWhen you want to order a deep-fried, battered potato snack in Australia, what name do you prefer to use? There’s “potato cake”, “potato scallop”, “potato fritter”, “hashbrown”, and others.

Aussies interested in sharing the names you use to label your environment, should check out the “Linguistics Roadshow”, a website devoted to mapping dialectal differences found in the words used around Australia.

Symposium on American Indian Languages, Rochester, NY, April 22, 2016

7288371338_7c95233df8_mNames scholars whose research focuses on indigenous languages are encouraged to attend the “Symposium on American Indian Languages” (SAIL) on the 22nd of April, 2016, in Rochester, NY. The purpose of SAIL is to bring together scholars, educators, activists, and members of indigenous communities to discuss methods for documenting, conserving, and revitalizing Native American languages. Names scientists who would like to present their research are asked to send in abstracts by the 31st of January.

Another Name of the Year

2843927993_072554168f_mAt the 2016 Annual Conference of the American Name Society, Caitlyn Jenner was selected as the official 2015 Name of the Year. The ANS decision is made by a team of names specialists who deliberate over the cultural, linguistic, and historical significance of the onomastic nominees,

However, the ANS is not the only organization that bestows this onomastic title. The organizers announced that “Amanda Miranda Panda” won a whopping 60.75% of internet users votes, as compared to its top contender “Infinite Grover”. This winner is crowned by popular vote from site visitors.

International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology (ICHLL), Bloomington, IN, July 12-15, 2016

5281453002_ab257fec82_mFrom the 12th to the 15th of July 2016, the International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology (ICHLL) will take place in Bloomington, Indiana. The deadline for 500 word English-language abstracts is February 1, 2016.

In particular, the conference welcomes papers addressing problems associated with dates and dating and periods and periodization. In addition, the conference solicits abstracts that concern how chronology is re-conceived in the era of digitally-driven lexical research.

There are four plenaries planned for this event:

  • Fred R. Shapiro (Yale University, dates and dating)
  • Anne Curzan (University of Michigan, periods and periodizing)
  • Mira Podhajecka (University of Opole, theories of history)
  • Sarah Ogilvie (Stanford University, digital chronologies)

Top Wacky Dog Names of 2015

20318583178_ae91aebc82_mFollowing the top wacky cat names for 2015, here are some of the Nationwide Pet Insurance’s eclectic onomastic winners for the canine members of the family.

In first place is “Baron von Furrypants”. Taking second, third, and fourth place are “Artoo Dogtoo”, “Rosie Picklebottom” and “Parker the Barker”. Finally, the fifth prize was awarded to “Abigail Carmichael Spartacus”.

Read the entire onomastic list.