Lecture: 50 years of the English Place-Name Society, University of Nottingham, UK, Dec. 1 2017

The English Place-Name Society has announced that this year’s Cameron Lecture will take place from 18.00–20.00 on 1 December 2017 in the Clive Granger building at the University of Nottingham.

This very special lecture celebrates 50 years of the English Place-Name Society in Nottingham, and will feature an introduction to the late Prof. Kenneth Cameron and his work by Prof. John Insley from the University of Heidelberg, followed by a lecture entitled “Highways and byways to the English Place-Name Society through more than fifty years”, delivered by Prof. Gillian Fellows-Jensen from the Department of Nordic Research at the University of Copenhagen. There will also be a display of posters relating to ongoing research by the English Place-Name Society and at the Institute for Name-Studies, the Society’s home in Nottingham.

To attend, fill out the registration form on the website.

Australian huskies immortalized in Antarctic place names

Husky dogs hitched up on Mawson’s expedition 1911-14. (Frank Hurley)

The Antarctic Place Names Committee is naming 26 islands, rocks, and reefs after the beloved dogs, that were a crucial part of Australia’s heroic era of ice exploration a century ago, and had a role into the 1990s. The dogs were all on Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-14, but the naming is a tribute to all the huskies that underpinned Australian exploration in the icy continent.

Rod Ledingham detailed “the fine art of dog driving” in a manual and in lectures, to countless Australian Antarctic expeditioners and scientists from the 1970s, after training and running teams for the UK. Mr. Ledingham said dogs had been critical to exploring the Antarctica, up until they were removed in 1994.

“Most of the leaders were female,” he said. “There was even a team of all ladies, it was called ‘The Ladies’, 11 females that were a very good team.”

Read this article at ABCNews to find out more!

Yale college naming sparks debate

Pauli Murray

The debate over the naming of two new colleges at Yale University began in earnest in fall 2015. With racially charged protests sweeping college campuses across the country, the as-yet-unnamed construction sites by Science Hill emerged as a litmus test for Yale’s commitment to diversity: Would the University seize the opportunity to honor a woman or person of color, students asked, or choose another dead white man as a college namesake?

In the end, Yale did both. The college closest to Science Hill was named after Anna Pauline Murray LAW ’65, a queer black activist who co-founded the National Organization for Women. But to the dismay of student protesters, the second college was named in honor of the founding father Benjamin Franklin — a writer and inventor who also owned slaves.

Read this article at the Yale Daily News to find out more about the controversy over the names.

About Names: Tanya, Tonya are survivors

Tanya Tucker

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his October 10th column, he looks at the history of the names Tanya and Tonya.

Tanya is a pet form of Tatyana, the Russian form of Tatiana. Tatiana comes from the Roman family name Tatius. In Roman legend, Titus Tatius was king of the Sabines. He attacked Rome after its founder, Romulus, abducted Sabine women. The war was a draw, and Tatius and Romulus ruled Rome jointly.

Russians rarely use Tanya as a full name, but it gradually spread west through literature. In 1882, French author Henry Gréville (Alice Durand), who set many novels in Russia, published “Tania’s Peril.” In 1920, Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin,” with its aria “Ah, Tanya, Tanya,” had its U.S. premiere at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

Tanya doesn’t appear in U.S. Census records until 1880. In 1940 there were 644 women named Tanya or Tania in the census, 21 percent of whom were born in Russia. Russian Tanya is pronounced “TAHN-yuh.” Many Americans look at its spelling and want to say the first part like the word “tan.”

That’s how Tanya Tucker herself says it. Tucker’s mother found the name in a Texas newspaper birth announcement for a local banker’s daughter. The Tuckers assumed the “tan” pronunciation.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Tanyas and Tonyas in history!

Coming to Georgia: The city of Amazon?

Amazon wants to establish a new corporate hub, currently called HQ2, and some cities are pulling out all the stops to entice the Seattle-based giant to their state. The Stonecrest, Georgia City Council has voted to de-annex 345 acres of land if Amazon picks them – and on top of that, they’ll name the new city Amazon.

“There are several major U.S. cities that want Amazon, but none has the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company,” said Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary. “How could you not want your 21st century headquarters to be located in a city named Amazon?”

Is this just the 21st century version of a company town? Read this article at AJC.com to find out more. 

Domain Name Conference: NamesCon, Las Vegas, January 28-31 2018

NamesCon, the world’s largest yearly domain-industry conference, will be holding its 2018 conference in Las Vegas from the 28th to the 31st of January. The purpose of the four-day conference is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for domain-name professionals to learn about the latest developments in the field. Everyone from attorneys, brand managers, registrars, digital marketers, individual end-users, and web-hosting companies will be represented. Registration for this event has already begun!

Invitation to Apply for the ANS Emerging Scholar Award 2018

ANS Logo final 1 img onlyThe Emerging Scholar award recognizes the outstanding scholarship of a names researcher in the early stages of their academic or professional career. To be eligible for this award, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be either an untenured academic or a professional in an entry-level position;
  2. Have had their single authored abstract accepted for presentation at the ANS annual conference; and
  3. Be a member of the ANS.

To be considered for this award, applicants must submit the full text of their paper by midnight (E.S.T.) the 14th of November 2017 to both ANS President Dr. I. M. Nick (mavi.yaz@web.de) and this year’s ESA Chair, Dr. Jan Tent (jan.tent@mq.edu.au). Submissions must be sent as an email attachment in either a .doc or .docx format. For ease of processing, please be sure to include the keyword “ESA2018” in the subject line of your email.

The information is also available here as a PDF: ESA 2018 Application Invitation

The Emerging Scholar Award Submission Guidelines PDF can be downloaded.

Papers previously published are not eligible for consideration. However, papers based on unpublished theses or dissertations are eligible. The Emerging Scholar Award Selection Committee will judge all submissions for their methodological soundness, innovation, and potential contribution to the field of onomastic research. The awardee will not only receive a cash prize, but will also be mentored by a senior onomastics scholar who will assist the awardee in preparing their paper for submission and possible publication in the ANS journal, NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics. Past recipients of the Emerging Scholar award are eligible to re-apply for this award for an entirely new piece of scholarship which examines a different area of onomastic research. However, preference may be given to applicants who have not yet received the award. In addition, the Selection Committee reserves the right to refrain from giving this award in those years in which no submission is deemed to have met the above-mentioned requirements.


Last call! Seeking New ANS Officers for 2018


We are still looking for a few good candidates! If you are interested in becoming an officer of the ANS, read on!

Ever thought about getting more involved with the American Name Society but did not know how?  Here is your opportunity!  The American Name Society is currently looking for a few good people who are interested in joining the Executive Council.  Starting January 2018, new officers will be needed to fill the positions listed below.


To apply for one or more of these positions, please fill out the application form on this page.


ANS Treasurer (2018-2020)

The person elected to this position will be responsible for keeping official record of all funds and securities of the Society; giving and keeping receipts for moneys due and payable to the Society; depositing all moneys in the name of the Society; responding to inquiries from annual conference attendees regarding registration payments; and informing the ANS President, the members of the ANS Executive Council, and the general membership about the financial status of the Society via an end-of-the year fiscal report. The ANS Treasurer will work closely with the ANS President, Vice President, and Membership Officer as well as Taylor & Francis, the current publisher of the ANS Journal NAMES. The person elected to this position is expected to have demonstrable accounting experience and competence in using standard spreadsheets programs (e.g., Excel). Applicants for this position must be long-term ANS members in good standing.


Member-at-large (2017-2020)

The person elected to this position will serve as a voting member of the Executive Council (EC) and is expected to participate actively in the legislative decision-making involved in resolutions and motions placed before the EC.  In addition to these duties, members-at-large serve on various auxiliary sub-committees to, for example, help with the nomination of new officers, coordination of the annual conference, and organization of allied conferences.  Officers in this position can renew their term of service twice.


Allied Conference Coordinator (2018-2020)

The person elected to this position is principally responsible for organizing the ANS session at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association. This activity involves issuing a call for papers, assembling a team of abstract reviewers, selecting three authors whose work will be presented at the MLA conference, and coordinating the presentation of the three winning abstracts with the MLA administration. In addition to these duties, as a voting member of the ANS Executive Council (EC), the Allied Conference Coordinator participates in the legislative decision-making of the Society. Although the term of service for this position is for two years, the holder of this office may be re-elected pending approval by the EC. Given the fact that this position requires close communication with the MLA, candidates who have a demonstrated expertise in literary onomastics will receive preference.


Coordinators for 4 ANS Facebook Special Interest Groups (2018-2020)

The people elected to these positions are principally responsible for managing the ANS Facebook Special Interest Groups (SIGs). There are four ANS SIGs: 1) Personal Names, 2) Literary Names, 3) Trade Names, and 4) Place Names. For each of one of those SIGs, the coordinator is responsible for stimulating and monitoring discussions between users; regularly posting material of thematic interest; answering queries from the general public; and coordinating an informal gathering in-person during the annual ANS meetings. The people chosen for these positions are expected to have excellent writing skills; be a frequent and enthusiastic Facebook user; and have a demonstrable interest in the thematic area of the relevant SIG. The coordinators of the ANS Facebook SIGs will work closely with one another, the ANS President and Vice President, and the ANS Information Officer.