Call for Papers – Special Session of ANS about Texas Names, Austin, January 5-8, 2017

The 2017 annual meeting of ANS will be January 5-8 in Austin, TX. In recognition of this occasion there will be a special session devoted to Texas names.

Abstracts on any aspect of Texas names are welcome:

  • place names in Texas
  • personal names in Texas2000px-Texas_flag_map.svg
  • regional or ethnic names in Texas
  • changes of names
  • pronunciation of Texas names
  • street names in Texas
  • ranch names
  • Texas brands
  • folk etymology in Texas names
  • fanciful stories attached to Texas names
  • names of Texas radio and TV stations
  • Texas highway names
  • names of Texas politicians
  • Texas formal vs. colloquial names
  • Texas names in media
  • names of Texas newspapers
  • New England names in Texas

… the list goes on.

You need not live in Texas nor be a native or even a naturalized Texan to participate. Texans, former Texans, closet Texans, Texas wannabees, Texans from all parts of the world are welcome.

If you are interested in presenting a paper at this special session, please send an email to Edward Callary [] no later than April 30 expressing your interest and a general idea of your topic.

Motorola Brand Changed to Moto

11645033223_63cd7187fc_mIn an effort to breathe new life into one of its problem-children, Lenovo executives have decided to sacrifice the brand name Motorola and replace it with the sleeker, shorter name Moto. According to the company, the decision to doff the 83-year-old brand name was not easy. However, executives are convinced that the new brand name will attract new customers and bring back some old ones.

Call for Papers: The Names Institute, New York, May 7, 2016

Manhattan_and_Brooklyn_bridges_on_the_East_River,_New_York_City,_1981Call for Papers: The Names Institute

The Names Institute was founded by the late E. Wallace McMullen at Fairleigh Dickinson University and directed by him for a quarter of a century. It then continued under the direction of Wayne H. Finke at The City University of New York. It will in 2016 hold its 55th annual meeting at Baruch College (CUNY) the first Saturday in May.… Read More

Winners in Naming the Exoplanets

14387061164_32abe90565_mThere are planets that orbit our sun (e.g. Mercury, Saturn, and or beloved Earth) and there are planets that orbit around a star that is not our sun. These celestial bodies are called “exoplanets.”

This past spring, registered clubs and non-profit organizations were invited to suggest names for several exoplanets and stars. Among the winning bids came from the Kamagari Astronomical Observatory in Japan. This organization received the honor of bestowing the planet Ain b (epsilon Tauri b) the name Amateru, a common appellation for shrines devoted to the Shinto Sun goddess, Amaterasu. Learn about these onomastics winners.

Don’t name your dog Bella

6364969379_8a9210a9c6_mChances are if you think you have found the perfect name for your dog, there are at least 10 thousand other dog-owners who have made the same discovery. Pet names, like baby names, follow strong national and generational trends.

Whereas pooches in the past carried names like Rex, King, and Lady, today the most popular names for dogs in English-speaking countries are Max, Charlie, Lucy, and Bella. In fact, according to dog experts, the name Bella has become so popular, that it has become a real problem.

In a January 2016 interview for Animal Life, Toni Perling, founder and CEO of explains that the increasing number of Bellas has caused serious chaos, ranging from “grooming mishaps” to “medication mixups”.

Reminder: Proposal Deadline approaches for ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

15082596_d823d3fc69_oANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

January 5-8th, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA

The American Name Society invites proposals for a panel under the theme of “Names and Multilingualism.” Multilingual and multicultural communities have been developed since the ancient world. The linguistic and cultural contacts within these communities have attracted the interest of a broad range of disciplines, where in some cases different strands have emerged. Personal as well as place names (i.e. anthroponymy and toponymy, respectively) mirror the interactions and the subsequent changes in those communities, thus modern scholarship often emphasizes their significance.

We encourage submissions pertaining to this topic from diverse perspectives, drawing evidence from literature, material culture, oral tradition, etc. of any period or area. Papers may deal with any aspect of naming, e.g., personal names, place names, corporate or trade names, name theory, etc. Submissions for interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome.

Proposal submission process:

  1. Proposals should include a title and abstract up to 350 words.
  2. Proposals should be sent via email attachment (PDF format) to Andreas Gavrielatos [] with “MLA proposal” in the subject line. Please, include the Title, Name of Speaker, Affiliation and email address in the body of the email and NOT in the abstract.
  3. Proposals must be received by 5pm GMT on 16 March 2016. Proposers will be notified of results soon thereafter, following blind review of proposals.
  4. Panelists must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present.
  5. For questions, please contact Andreas Gavrielatos at the email address above.

More information about ANS and MLA conferences in available on the Conferences page of this website.

Kayden Clarke and Transgender Naming Issues

2498847226_5ee6962d70_mEarly this month, Arizona police responded to an emergency call about a suspected suicide attempt. When the officers entered the home, they found a distressed individual in a darkened room with a knife. In what the police have described as an act of self-defense, at least one shot was fired and the individual, who was later identified as transgender internet star, Kayden Clarke, was officially pronounced dead.

Public attention to this tragedy has been fueled not only over the questionable actions of the officers, but also over the police department’s repeatedly referring to the shooting victim’s “dead name”, the name used before transitioning.