This year, in some households, the Easter and Passover Holidays in Germany were not spent in peaceful reflection but rather in political indignation in response to a brand name given to chocolate bunnies wrapped in tin-foil. Instead of being called Osterhase “Easter Bunny”, a popular chain store listed the item as a Traditionshase “Traditional Bunny”, provoking charges of overzealous political correctness. However, in point of fact, the name change was not initiated for political reasons but for commercial ones. That is, in an attempt to distinguish its product line from others sporting the almost generic name “Easter Bunny”, the company chose the new, eye-catching name. If the firestorm both pro and con the name change is anything to go by, the store-owners certainly achieved their purpose.
Mary Lillian Ellison is commonly considered to be one of the biggest pioneers in the history of women’s wrestling. In honor of her ground-making career in the world of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, inc.), the decision was made to name the epic women’s wrestling festival the “Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal”. The name “Moolah” is taken from the name of Ms. Ellison’s WWE persona. However, in view of recent revelations about Ms. Ellison’s alleged personal and professional misconduct, the WWE has chosen to rename the event to “WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal”. Click through to CBS Sports to read more about this controversial decision.
Wales is currently undergoing major onomastic controversy, thanks to proposals to change the name of the “Second Severn Crossing” to the “Prince of Wales Bridge” in honor of Prince Charles. While some people have applauded the suggestion, others have found the very notion an insulting waste of time and public funds on PR projects. More on this and other names fights in the UK can be found in this article at the BBC News.
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his April 11th column, he looks at the history of the name Daisy.
The flower name daisy comes from Old English “dægesege,” “day’s eye,” because a daisy’s white petals surrounding a yellow center open at sunrise. Daisy wasn’t a girl’s name in Old English. The story of how it became a name starts in France. The original Latin word for “pearl” was “margarita,” a Greek derivative that’s the origin “Margaret.” In French, this became “margarite.”
Around 1300, “margarite” (modern “marguerite”) became the French word for “daisy.” No one’s sure why. To some, when the flower folds up at night, it looks like a pearl. Others say medieval French brooches often featured a circle of pearls around a larger central gem, resembling a daisy.
In 1879, Henry James published “Daisy Miller,” about a flirtatious American girl who scandalizes older tourists while visiting Rome. In 1880, when Social Security’s yearly name lists began, Daisy ranked 48th.
Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Daisys in history!
The University of Central Lancashire will host the 5th International Postgraduate Conference on Modern Foreign Languages, Linguistics and Literature on Friday 1st June 2018. Papers may be submitted in three strands: research (reporting on data arising from field testing), conceptual (theoretical studies) or poster presentations. The deadline is 1st May 2018. More information, and the call for papers, can be found here. The conference is free for participants and presenters, and light refreshments will be provided.
On the 17th of March 1979, Stephanie Clifford was born in In Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After becoming the President of the 4H club and the editor of her high school newspaper, Stephanie was successfully completed the ACT tests and earned scores high enough for her to enter college. Instead, she decided to take a different path. Inspired by the name which the bassist of the band Mötley Crüe’s gave his child, “Storm”, she changed her name her name to Stormy Waters and began her career as a stripper in a local club. Sometime later, when she began a career as an actress, writer, and director in the pornography industry she became inspired once again by the American whiskey Jack Daniels and changed her pseudonym again—but this time to Stormy Daniels.
According to research compiled by Quartz from the toponymy reference book Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names, basically every country on Earth is named after one of four things (though many origins are understandably murky). Do you know which category your country falls under? We’ll give you the first two categories to get you started.
Feature of the Land
About a quarter of the world’s countries got their names from some description of the land.
- Iceland was originally called Snæland, “Snow Land,” but its current name comes from Norse settlers who renamed it to deter visitors.
- Grenada was named by Spanish sailors who thought the landscape resembled the region around Granada in Spain.
A Directional Description
A slight twist on the previous category, this one is more geographically specific. According to Quartz, about 25 countries are named for their location.
- Australia comes from the Greek name Terra Australis Incognita, meaning “unknown southern land,” as a result of the Greeks imagining some faraway place in the southern hemisphere.
- Ireland comes from Iar-en-land, “land in the west,” from the Gaelic word iar, meaning “west.”
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico announced this month that the Sherman Alexie Scholarship has been officially renamed to the MFA Alumni Scholarship. The decision to change the name came in reaction to the charges of sexual harassment by the author. On the 28th of February 2018, the writer released a formal statement in which he admitted to having “done things that have harmed other people […].” The statement ended: “I am genuinely sorry.” The scholarship was first introduced in 2017.
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his March 27th column, he looks at the history of the name Gloria.
“Gloria” is Latin for “fame” or “glory.” It has the same meaning in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The name began in Iberia. As veneration of the Virgin Mary developed in medieval Europe, she was given many titles, such as “Mary of Mercies” and “Mary of Glory” — in Spanish, “Maria de las Mercedes” and “Maria de Gloria.” By 1700, Iberian parents were naming daughters with the full titles. Soon Mercedes and Gloria became names in their own right. Gloria was often given to girls born around Easter.
Some famous Glorias are fictional — Gloria Bunker Stivic (Sally Struthers) of 1970s hit “All in the Family” and Gloria Pritchett (Sophia Vergara) of today’s “Modern Family” are two of America’s best-known sitcom characters. Jada Pinkett Smith voiced Gloria the Hippo, who falls in love with giraffe Melman, in the “Madagascar” animated film series. In 2016, Gloria ranked 550th — lower than in 1907. Its pleasant sound and positive meaning will surely make it ready for another close-up in a few decades.
Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Glorias in history!