No Name-Calling Week – Registration Open

5120656071_3bcd4b8630_mRegistration is open for elementary, middle, or high school officials to join a growing partnership of scholastic organizations who plan to join hands in collective celebration of the “No Name-Calling Week”. Scheduled for the 16th to the 20th of January 2017, this week was originally created by GLSEN (Gay-Straight Alliances) and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and now consists of more than 60 different national partner organizations.

Emerging Trend of “Post Gender” Baby Naming

484969504_455d871708_mOver the past few decades, the artificial color line dividing babies into blue and pink camps has gradually eroded in US society. This development is clearly evident in the names parents have been increasingly selecting for their newborns. According to Pamela Redmond Satran, the founder of Nameberry, one of the world’s leading onomastic websites, one of the hottest trends for 2016 is “post gender” naming (i.e. not constricting the selection of a baby’s name on rigid constructions of what is masculine or feminine). The New York Times recently covered this developing trend. – Animal Naming Contests

6284573259_eafdfc5375_mThere might be websites that are cuter, but probably not many. At, visitors can catch the latest news (plus adorable photos) of baby animals born in the zoos and aquariums around the world. The site also provides details about special contests (past and present) run by zoo officials looking for new names for their bundles of joy. For example, visitors to the site can read all about the naming of the Asiatic Lion cub triplets, Kali, Sita, and Sonika in Great Britain’s Cotswold Wildlife Park. Some of the most recent fur babies who are looking for a name include a baby Bonobo born in the Jacksonville Zoo (USA), a wildcat kitten born in Chester Zoo (Scotland), and a female European lynx kitten born in Zoo Wroclaw (Poland).

Cognitive Toponymy Project

2961565820_3d59b7bdfb_mThe Royal Society of Edinburgh has initiated an innovative scientific project to investigate how place names are used to help people conceptualize space in Western Europe. The collaborative project involves three of the world’s universities: Glasgow, Copenhagen, and St. Andrews. Read more about the Cognitive Toponymy Project.

Call for Papers: Thirteenth International Conference on Jewish Names, Jerusalem, Israel, August 6-10 2017

indexjerThe Project for the Study of Jewish Names announces the Thirteenth International Conference on Jewish Names.

The conference will be held as part of the Seventeenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, which will take place from August 6-10, 2017 at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus Campus, Israel.

Call for Papers

The conference committee welcomes papers on all aspects of Jewish onomastics (personal names, family names, epithets and place-names) from the biblical period through the modern age, representing  all Jewish communities world-wide and from all fields of research, including Judaic studies, linguistics, literature, sociology, anthropology, genealogy, and toponymics. Papers will be given in Hebrew and English.

Scholars who wish to present papers are requested to send a 200 word abstract, clearly stating contribution,  a selected bibliography, and a brief academic profile to the address listed below no later than November 30, 2016.

For further information please contact: Professor Aaron Demsky, Director, Project for the Study of Jewish Names []

Steering Committee: Dr. Yigal Levin, Dr. Tsvi Sadan, and Dr. Stephanie Ginensky

All participants must register for the 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies.

Call for Papers: 26th International Congress of Onomastic Sciences, Debrecen, Hungary, August 27-September 1 2017

Call for Papers for ICOS 2017:

26th International Congress of Onomastic Sciences / Internationalen Kongresses für Onomastik / Congrès International de Sciences Onomastiques.captureicos3

27 August – 1 September 2017

University of Debrecen (Debrecen, Hungary)

Locality and globality in the world of names

The central topic of the congress is the linguistic position that proper names occupy in our present globalized world. Proper names as linguistic universals are an ancient linguistic category as old as language itself. They were probably created by the communicational situation in which, relying on linguistic signs fostering distinction, humans wanted to mark the things that were most important in their immediate environment. In fact, this ancient function is the most important reason for the existence and use of proper names even today. Nevertheless, at the same time, proper names may be the most characteristic linguistic representations of the global linguistic situation that has evolved up to our times. Communication in our times does not only make the ever more intensive use of proper names inevitable, but it also endows these with ever newer functions, continuously creating new types and sorts of names.

The wide-ranging central topic of the congress offers a number of possible approaches for speakers. Different questions of onomastic theory will come to the foreground, such as the situation of the variable relationships between particular types of names or their continuous interactions and changes. The presentation of the systematic character of names and their manifestation in different linguistic environments calls both for the study of phenomena and the accurate, thorough analysis of particular names. Besides the (historic and descriptive) aspects traditionally found in linguistics, new aspects may also be raised that have come to the fore over recent decades: e.g. socio- and psycho-onomastic or even cognitive frame sets; and, besides all these, even related disciplines, such as language policies or different approaches of applied science, may come to contribute to our knowledge concerning proper names.

The deadline for paper proposals is 31st October 2016. The program will be finalized in December 2016.