By now you’ve heard that the winner of the 2018 Kentucky Derby was Justify. But did you catch the names of the other competitors? What were the odds for Audible? Vino Rosso? Free Drop Billy?
This fun article at The Week offers Kentucky Derby odds, determined solely based on the quality of each horse’s name. You’ll find out where each name came from as well as the great names of the horses’ sires and dams.
Here’s what author Jeva Lange has to say about Justify:
Odds based on name alone: 5/1
Actual odds: 3/1
Analysis: If Justify is to win the Kentucky Derby, he will have to overcome Apollo’s Curse, although bookies obviously believe that won’t be a problem. For our purposes — which involve completely disregarding any real world facts or supernatural destinies — Justify would finish just out of the money thanks to his name, which is a little more Microsoft Word than it is chivalrous and knightly. WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden told the Louisville Courier Journal: “We think [the name’s] important. We look at it like, ‘If this horse wins the Kentucky Derby, would this be a cool name? I don’t want ‘Jim Bob’s Corvette.'” First of all, Jim Bob’s Corvette is a great name for a horse. Secondly, can we pause to appreciate the name of Justify’s damsire, Ghostzapper?
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 8th column, he looks at the history of the names Shania – and Twain.
Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Shanias in history!
The American Dialect Society is currently inviting abstract proposals for its upcoming annual meeting that is scheduled to take place from the 3rd to the 6th of January 2019 in New York, NY. The deadline for abstract submission is the 13th of August 2018.
Panels: This year, the program will include the biennial panel on teaching American speech. If you are interested in participating, please contact Anne Curzan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts of contributions to the panel will be reviewed individually, similar to the 20-minute presentations.
The official call for papers can be found at the ANS website.
The Church of Scientology owns thousands of domain names, including over 1,000 registered to protect its leader David Miscavige’s name. DomainTools records 3,781 domain names registered to Church of Scientology International and 790 domains to Scientology’s Religious Technology Center. While many of the domains seem to serve as proactive protection from critics, Scientology has also grabbed some names in new top level domains. Here are a few examples:
To find out more, click through to this article at Domain Name Wire.
Interested in reading about the meanings of some of today’s popular names for baby boys and baby girls? The writers at CheekyTummy have put together a listing of 100 popular personal names and some of their meanings.
In this article at the Chronicle of Higher Education, linguist Geoffrey Pullum looks at how the names of political scandals are constructed. Some, like Watergate (the scandal arising out of a Nixon-era break-in at the Watergate hotel), are tied to the scene of the crime, with the name now broadened to include “an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration,” some having little to do with the break-in. But what about Weinergate, and Windrush? Read on to find out more!
Last month, King Mswati III of Swaziland, one of the world’s few remaining absolute monarchs, announced the news: The country will henceforth be known as eSwatini, the kingdom’s name in the local language. (It means “land of the Swazis” in the Swazi — or siSwati — tongue.) Many African countries upon independence “reverted to their ancient, native names,” The Associated Press quoted the king as saying. “We no longer shall be called Swaziland from today forward.” According to Reuters, Mswati argued that the kingdom’s name had long caused confusion. “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” the king said, according to Reuters.
Whether the name change will stick is another question. In 2016, Czech officials put forward Czechia as the preferred short version of the name of their country. The United Nations, the United States government and — crucially, in the digital age — Google Maps and Apple have complied, but the name Czech Republic remains in widespread use in English. To find out more, click through to this article at the New York Times.
The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for a panel on Literary Names for the 2019 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America. The purpose of the panel is to highlight research in, and study of, names in works of fiction.
All professional names enthusiasts are invited to submit an abstract for a 20-minute presentation. Abstract proposals should answer one or more of the following questions:
- How do the texts under analysis make use of onomastics to establish and convey character and/or plot?
- How does linguistic analysis bear on the reading of these texts?
- How is the field of onomastics enhanced by your research?
To submit a proposal, simply send a 250-word abstract proposal and a 100- word professional biography to Susan Behrens [email@example.com] by the 15th of July 2018. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2019 Panel” in the subject line of your email.
All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2018. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and need to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America. Please feel free to contact Susan Behrens should you have any questions or concerns.
We look forward to receiving your submission!
Here is a quiz for you. What is the name of the country with these four official languages (no, it’s not Switzerland…): Albanian, Turkish, Romani, and Serbian? Its capital city is called Skopje. It achieved independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in September of 1991. Its international calling code number is “389” and it is located in the Balkan peninsula of southeastern Europe. If you guessed Macedonia, you could be right. But then again, maybe not. Confused? Irritated? Asking yourself what is going on? So are the inhabitants of the country who call themselves Macedonians. That is, the Macedonians who live in Macedonia and not in Greece – and that is precisely the point of contention. Read more about this complex political situation at Foreign Policy.
The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for a panel on Names and Tourism for the 2019 annual conference, to be held in New York in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America. The purpose of the panel is to highlight research in and the study of names in relation to tourism discourses. More specifically, naming practices in tourism are relevant as they suggest distinction, originality, authenticity or even romance for a number of reasons. The range of issues at stake is quite broad as it may include linguistic, literary, historical and archeological references to local traditions as well as the strategies adopted to rebrand places to make them more appealing to potential visitors.
All names enthusiasts are invited to submit an abstract for a 20-minute presentation. Abstract proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas of interest:
- archaeological sites and tourism
- film/documentary-induced tourism
- history, collective memory and tourism discourses
- literature-induced tourism
- tangible/ intangible heritage tourism
To submit a proposal, simply send a 250-word abstract proposal and a 100- word professional biography to Luisa Caiazzo [firstname.lastname@example.org] by the 15th of July 2018. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2019 Panel” in the subject line of your email.
All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2018. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and are expected to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America. Please feel free to contact Luisa Caiazzo should you have any questions or concerns.
A downloadable version of the call for papers can be found here.
We look forward to receiving your submission!