Call for Papers: 9th International Symposium on Investigations into Romanian and European Biblical Traditions, Iasi, Romania, May 9-11 2019

The International Symposium “Explorations in the Romanian and European Biblical Traditions” (IXth edition), organized by the Monumenta linguae Dacoromanorum Biblical and Philological Studies Center of Alexandru Ioan University, together with the Biblical Philology and Hermeneutics Association in Romania, the A. Philippide Institute of Romanian Philology, and the Metropolitan Church of Moldavia and Bukovina, will take place in Iaşi from May 9 to 11, 2019

The Symposium aims to encourage multi- and interdisciplinary debates on the issues raised by the publication, translation, interpretation, dissemination and reception of sacred texts into Romanian and other modern languages. The conference will include both plenary lectures and separate sessions.

The official languages of the Symposium will be Romanian, English, and French. The aim of our Symposium is to encourage multi- and interdisciplinary debates on the complex issues raised by the publication, translation, interpretation, dissemination and reception of the sacred texts into Romanian and other modern languages. The deadline for submission is February 15, 2019.

You can download a PDF of the call for papers in English here.

Selected papers will be published in a collective volume by the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press, Iaşi.

Macaulay Culkin’s new middle name: Macaulay Culkin

Macaulay Culkin’s middle name is currently “Carson.” But, starting in 2019, it will be “Macaulay Culkin,” as in Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin.

The Home Alone actor has been polling his fans on what his new middle name should be. The other choices were “Shark Week,” “Kieran” (his younger brother’s name), “TheMcRibisBack,” and “Publicity Stunt.” Ultimately his fans went with the meta choice of his own first and last name.

On Christmas day he made the big announcement.

Finland relaxes given name laws

Finnish names in the late 1800s. Image: Severin Falkman (1880) / Museovirasto, Musketti / Yle

Finland will update name laws at the start of 2019 to provide residents with a wider range of options for their own names as well as their children’s. The new laws will create more space for foreign-background names and families. First names will no longer have to conform to Finnish tradition. That said, many foreign-background names that have become widespread as a result of immigration already comply with Finnish naming practice.

But civil servants will still regulate name-giving in Finland to some degree. Last year, the names committee maintained by the Ministry of Justice nixed parents’ plans to name baby boys Alcapone, Enikko, Monck, Weicca, and Topelius. Officials also shut down Poon, Wolf, Fafnir, Marj-Linn, Paulii, and Tuhka (’ash’) for girls.

Renaming “Sausage Street” in France

The association asks Jean-Paul Durand, mayor of Villers-sur-Mer, to rename the rue Saucisse the “rue Soycisse”. (© Pays d’Auge)

In Dordogne, France, the animal rights organization, PETA, has petitioned the local mayor to alter the name of a main street in the medieval village. According to PETA, the street currently known as “Rue de la Saucisse” (Sausage Street) should be changed to something less offensive to animal-lovers.  What was initially viewed by public officials as a joke has now sparked considerable controversy. Interestingly, according to some townspeople, the place name was actually inspired by the nickname given to a long-deceased villager who carried the moniker “Saucisse” with pride.

The group has officially requested that the town’s mayor steps in and renames it “Rue de la Soycisse” after soy, a common ingredient in vegan meals. Unfortunately for PETA, the request has already been poo-pooed by Mayor of Issigeac Jean-Claude Castagner. Castagner told Le Parisien that he initially thought the letter from PETA had been sent as a “gag”, but “after checking, I realized that it was an official [request].”

Finding The Families of Korean War MIAs/POWs: Names and DNA

From 1990 to 1994, the North Korean government exhumed and returned the remains of US American soldiers who had died during the war. Those remains were placed in 208 boxes. According to Department of Defense officials, as many as 400 different soldiers may be represented in those boxes.  For decades now, military forensic scientists have been attempting to identify the names and identities of these Missing in Action/Prisoners of War.  A crucial key to unlocking this mystery has not only been the use of DNA technology, but the recovery of an incredible list of MIA/POWS who died while being held captive.  Composed in secret by a surviving POW John Johnson, this list contains the names of 496 fellow soldiers. In a project called Finding the Families, researchers are using this onomastic data to help finally put a name to soldiers who valiantly fought and died while serving their nation. To date, military officials estimate that more than 7,800 US American soldiers from the Korean War remain unaccounted for. Click here to view the names on the “Johnnie Johnson List” or to learn more about the government’s continuing efforts to locate the names of Korean War POW/MIAs.


What’s In A Name – More Algonquian Place Names

“What’s in a Name?” is a new original YouTube series from 1623 Studios in partnership with the Gloucester Historical Commission. On this episode, Mary Ellen Lepionka explains the history behind place names on Cape Ann and their Algonquian roots. Mary Ellen is an independent scholar researching the history of Cape Ann from the last Ice Age to around 1750 for a book on the subject and is a trustee of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and co-chair of the Gloucester Historical Commission. Visit her website at and view the video below!

About Names: Jamal Khashoggi chosen as 2018’s Name of the Year

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his January 15th column, he looks at the ANS Name of the Year, Jamal Khashoggi.

Do you know how to say “Khashoggi”?

At its meeting in New York City on Jan. 4, the American Name Society voted Jamal Khashoggi 2018’s Name of the Year. Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post journalist and critic of the Saudi regime assassinated in Istanbul on Oct. 2. His name is associated with increasing threats journalists face in an atmosphere branding them “enemies of the people.” President Donald Trump’s dismissal of CIA reports strongly concluding the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder have kept Khashoggi’s name in the news.

“Khashoggi” also illustrates modern media’s more careful treatment of non-English names. Initially, reporters rhymed it with “soggy.” Over time, most switched to “Ka-SHOG-zhee,” closer to the Arabic pronunciation.

“Gritty” won as 2018’s trade name of the year. Gritty is the new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, a hairy orange monster debuted on Sept. 24. Left-wing activists interpreted Gritty as a blue-collar hero, fighting against the absurdities of capitalism. On Oct. 24, the Philadelphia City Council passed a formal resolution honoring Gritty, declaring he honored the city’s spirit and passion. Sports blog network SB Nation wrote: “The name ‘Gritty’ itself is an inside joke used as a descriptor by fans for any player who isn’t the most athletically talented.”

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about the ANS names of the year! Note that because of the limitation on the length of the column, this report does not include every nominee that was not a winner. A full report will come out later in the ANS journal, Names.

Winter Storm Names For 2018-19 Revealed

Avery, Bruce, Carter, and Diego, Vaughn, Wesley, Xyler, and Ulmer. What do all of these names have in common? According to the Weather Channel, these names are on the list of Winter Storm Names 2018-2019. The names will be used in alphabetical order to identify winter storms that meet objective naming criteria based on National Weather Service winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings and ice storm warnings. Want to see the other names on the list? Check out more information at the Weather Channel!

Coon Street? Yes, it’s a Cincinnati street name, but not for much longer

In Cincinnati, Ohio, if you happen to travel down “Fox Street” and then take a sharp turn to the right, a few years ago, you might have found yourself on a short byway named “Coon Street”.  Given the proximity to “Fox Street”, it may well be that the intersecting street was simply given a completely tame animal name: Coon as in Raccoon. However, the origin of the mysterious place name might, of course, be completely different.  Despite research conducted by the Cincinnati Committee of Names, the source of the toponym remains unclear.  The long-standing federal mandate to avoid public derogatory place names is nevertheless quite clear.  For this reason, the City Planning Commission has announced that it will take steps to replace this street name with something less offensive. Check out this article at the Enquirer at to learn more!