Fourteenth International Conference on Jewish Names, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, June 3, 2019

On Monday, June 3 2019, the Fourteenth International Conference on Jewish Names will be held. The day-long conference will take place in the Midrasha (Building 405), Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. The conference is supported by the Faculty of Jewish Studies and the Koschitzky Fund, Bar-Ilan University.

The complete program may be downloaded here.

For information:

The Public is Welcome!

Call for Papers: KU-ICL Kuwait University International Conference on Linguistics, Kuwait, March 29-30 2020

The International Conference on Linguistics (ICL) at Kuwait University aims to bring together leading academics, researchers and students of Linguistics to explore and share current research findings and scholarly contributions in the field. Providing a much-needed forum in the region, keynote speakers, presenters and panelists will introduce and discuss current research trends, concerns and practical challenges in the diverse field of Linguistics.

Deadline for abstract submission: November 15th, 2019

Call for Contributions:

Contributions are welcome in various subfields of linguistics. ICL main language is English, but it accepts presentations of thorough research findings in Arabic and/or French. Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

  • Syntax
  • Morphology
  • Phonology
  • Phonetics
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
  • Discourse analysis
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Computational linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Bilingualism
  • Language acquisition
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Neurolinguistics

Languages of the Conference:

Although English will be the main medium of presentation, applicants are welcome to submit abstracts of research findings in Arabic and/or French.

Abstracts Format and submission guidelines:

Abstract are to be submitted online to Authors may submit the pdf’s of up to two abstracts. Applicants should indicate their presentation preference: plenary session, research presentation session (paper presentation), workshop session, poster or virtual paper session. Abstracts are expected to meet the following guidelines:

  • Up to 400 words (not counting references)
  • Times New Roman 12 points only
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • 1.5 cm left and right margins
  • 2.0 cm top and bottom margins
  • Up to seven keywords
  • No tables, charts, or graphics

For further information and enquiries on abstract submission, contact Dr. Amin Almuhanna at (

For general inquiries contact Dr. Khaled Albahri at (

What Happens When A Big Business Tries To Rename A Neighborhood

That happened to some Californians in 2017, when Google Maps changed the moniker of three San Francisco neighborhoods. Given the extensive reach that Google has in the transmission of geographic data, through Google Maps and its geospatial analysis software Google Earth Engine, the name quickly spread and was adopted by other businesses. But residents decried the change.

There are many reasons why someone might want to change their neighborhoods name, but what’s driving current name-changing initiatives carried out by big businesses with little or no personal connection to the places they rename? Raechel A. Portelli, as a geographer at the Michigan State University, discusses three main driving forces.

About Names: Cleveland Evans: Jackson, Sophia were most popular baby names in 2018

Sophia Loren

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 21st column, he looks at the United States’ top baby names for 2018.

Know anyone named Jackson or Sophia? Kindergarten teachers do. On May 10, the Social Security Administration released the United States’ top baby names of 2018. On SSA’s lists, Liam and Emma rank first. Emma’s been No. 1 since 2014. Liam became No. 1 in 2017, beating out Noah.

When Sofia and other spellings are added, 21,691 Sophias arrived in 2018. Sophia has been No. 1 since 2011. Last year, 10% more Sophias were born than Olivias, the No. 2 girls’ name. The rest of the girls’ top 10 are Emma, Isabella, Ava, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Riley and Evelyn. This is the same top 10 as last year, though Charlotte and Amelia moved up in the ranks.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about the top US baby names for 2018!

Call for NAMES Editorial Board Members

Onomastic Experts Sought for the NAMES Editorial Board

To compensate for the growing number of submissions NAMES is receiving, the number of article reviewers for the Editorial Board is being expanded.  Toward that end, NAMES Editor-in-Chief Dr. I. M. Nick is currently soliciting applications for new Board members.  Members of the Board are expected to critically assess submissions on the following points: 1) scientific contribution to onomastic studies; 2) interest for NAMES readers; and 3) adherence to the stylistic, grammatical, and formatting regulations of the NAMES Style Sheet.  Members of the board typically review two submissions per month by providing detailed evaluations of ca. 500 words.  Onomastic experts are particularly needed in the areas of place names, literary onomastics, brandnames, and trade names. Along with their reviewing duties, once a year, the members of the Editorial Board also vote to select the Best Article of the Year.  

If you are interested in applying to become a member of the Board, please complete and return the application via the following link: <>.  All members of the Board are expected to be members of the ANS in good-standing.  Should you have any questions about the Board, please do not hesitate to contact, NAMES Editor-in-Chief, Dr. I. M. Nick ( 

About Names: Winifred, rooted in a resurrection story, has often come back to life

Winifred Atwell, famous boogie woogie and ragtime piano player.

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 7th column, he looks at the history of the name Winifred.

Winifred is the English version of Gwenfrewi, a Welsh name combining “gwen” (“white” or “holy”) with “frewi” (“reconciliation” or “peace”). The English form came from confusion with the Old English male name Winfred, from “win” (“friend” or “joy”) and “fred” (“peace”). The original Gwenfrewi lived around 650 in northern Wales. Though she was venerated as a saint by 750, nothing was written about her until around 1130, when Robert, prior of the Benedictine monastery at Shrewsbury, England, began promoting her.

Babies named Winifred began turning up all over England after 1400. Though never very common, Winifred never disappeared. The 1851 British census found 2,272 Winifreds in England and Wales. Winifred wasn’t as popular in America, partly because the Puritans avoided saints’ names. The 1850 United States census found 934 Winifreds. A quarter were born in Ireland — the Irish adopted Winifred as an English equivalent of Irish “Una” when their British rulers banned Gaelic names.

Since 2011, avant-garde parents looking for retro names have rediscovered Winifred. There were 21 Winifreds born in 2010 — 168 arrived in 2017. If it keeps increasing at that rate, Winifred will be back in the top thousand names in 2021.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Winifreds in history!

About Names: Shirley’s star has fallen since Temple’s heyday

Shirley Temple wearing the Kennedy Center Honors, 1998

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his April 23rd column, he looks at the history of the name Shirley.

Shirley, Old English for “bright woodland clearing,” is the name of several English villages. As a surname, it shows that one’s ancestor lived in one of them. Several aristocratic English families are called Shirley. In 1403, Sir Hugh Shirley was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury, one of four knights deliberately dressed as King Henry IV to confuse the enemy.

When the custom of turning surnames into given names developed around 1700, boys named Shirley appeared in both Britain and America. Then in 1849, Charlotte Brontë published “Shirley,” her most famous novel after “Jane Eyre.” When wealthy heiress Shirley Keeldar first appears, it’s explained that “her parents, who had wished to have a son, finding that … Providence had granted them only a daughter, bestowed on her the same masculine family cognomen they would have bestowed on a boy.”

Shirley had a bit more staying power than many celebrity-inspired names, not leaving the top thousand until 2009. Two Shirleys named after Shirley Temple in 1934 — MacLaine and Jones — had huge film careers themselves.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Shirleys in history!

Here’s the Meaning Behind the Royal Baby’s Surprisingly Popular Name Archie Harrison

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have shared the news that they named their new royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, hours after introducing him to the public earlier in the day. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s choice in name marks a step away from royal tradition and symbolizes an effort by the royal family to become modern, says Cleveland Evans, a former president of the American Name Society and psychology professor at Bellevue University.

In 2017, Archie was no. 18 on the top 100 boys’ names in England and Wales, he says. Similar sounding names like Alfie, Charlie, Freddie and Teddy have also ranked in the top name choices on the list. “The choice definitely shows their personality, but also to a certain extent, the changes in the royal family as a whole, where things have become — especially since Princess Diana’s death — more open,” Evans says, referring to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “They probably want to modernize it and want the royal family to be seen as regular people, which is why they’d choose a name like Archie, which at the moment is a regular, everyday British boy’s name.”

Want to know more? Click through to read the rest of the article at Time, including more information from the ANS’ own Cleve Evans!

Seeking New ANS Officers for 2020

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 2020, 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.


Secretary (2020-2022)

The person in this position serves as a voting member of the ANS Executive Council and its various committees (e.g., the Nominating Committee).  Aside from these duties, the Secretary is responsible for taking and disseminating the official minutes from the ANS Business Meetings, creating the ANS newsletters, and sending our ANS members announcements regarding important events (e.g., the Nominating Committee’s Slate). The ideal candidate for this position must have outstanding writing and editing skills in English and be comfortable working with email mailing programs like MailChimp.

Membership Officer (2020-2022)

In addition to being a voting member of the ANS Executive Council (EC), the person in this office is responsible for managing the ANS membership database, both institutional and individual.  To accomplish this task, this officer must liaison with ANS members, the ANS Executive Council, the ANS Treasurer, and Taylor and Francis, the current publisher of the ANS Journal, NAMES. The person selected for this position must be computer literate and be comfortable working with spreadsheets.

Allied Conference Coordinator (2020-2022)

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.

Member-at-large (2020-2022)

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.


Los Angeles has renamed a street after former President Obama

The City of Los Angeles has renamed a nearly 4-mile stretch of road from “Rodeo Road” to “Obama Boulevard,” in honor of the country’s first African-American president.

The location is significant, the city said, because Obama held his first campaign rally in Los Angeles on February 20, 2007, at Rancho Cienega Park. The park sits on Rodeo Road, right across from W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Rodeo Road, which runs through a historic black neighborhood, is not the first strip to be named in honor of former presidents. The district where the road sits is also home to Washington Boulevard, Adams Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard.