Seminar “The Names of the Gods! 4: Exploring the potentials of the name in images, in narratives”

The MAP project (Mapping Ancient Polytheisms. Cult Epithets as an Interface between Religious Systems and Human Agency; 741182) at the Université Toulouse 2 works on the systems of naming of the divine in the Greek and Western Semitic worlds (ca. 1000 BCE – ca. 400 CE). Its Seminar “The Names of the Gods! 4: Exploring the potentials of the name in images, in narratives” pursues the investigation on the systems of naming of the divine. By focusing on names, images and narratives, we will look for connections but also discrepancies, in order to highlight, from duly selected cases or files, the specifications of the different languages used to unfold the potentials of the divine names. In the spirit of the MAP project, we will pay special attention to the links that the names, the images and the narratives convey.

Call for papers: Personal Names and Cultural Reconstructions


This volume aims to explore, how names show and create this cultural background, within both historical and contemporary contexts. In the abstract, you should give the title and a brief description of your article: aim and focus, data and methods, possible preliminary results, and connection to the volume theme.

The abstract should be no longer than 300 words. Please send your abstract before November 1 st 2019 by filling in this e-form. The authors will be notified about the acceptance of their abstracts during November. Full article manuscripts should be submitted for the peer-review until the end of January 2020. The final volume will be published during the summer 2020.

Frome tops list of most difficult to pronounce place names in the UK

A market town in Somerset has topped a list of the 10 most difficult-to-pronounce place names in the UK.

Frome is the most mispronounced town in England, according to a team of linguists behind a language learning app. Ballachulish in Scotland, Beaulieu in Hampshire and Woolfardisworthy in Devon also made the top 10. The list’s makers said British English was “famous for some of the most confusing pronunciations on earth”.

‘How do you say?’: The Top 10 ‘most difficult’ place names

Frome, Somerset, England
Ballachulish, Highland, Scotland
Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, England
Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Woolfardisworthy, Devon, England
Beaulieu, Hampshire, England
Bicester, Oxfordshire, England
Ynysybwl, Cwm Clydach, RCT, Wales
Rampisham, Dorset, England
Quernmore, Lancashire, England

City of South Fulton considers name change for 2nd time in 2 years

For the second time in two years, the City of South Fulton is considering renaming the city — and officials are asking for the public’s help. In 2017, just months after incorporating, the city tried and failed to change its name to Renaissance. This time around, Mayor Bill Edwards says there will be more community input.

Councilwoman Helen Willis explained that anything negative that’s associated with the Fulton County region has been associated with the city. Each council member from each district will select two people, and those 14 people will be part of the task force. The task force will hold forums to get suggestions from people who actually live and work in the city.

The city plans to engage the community, to come up with five names that they will then solicit for their legislators to get a referendum to place on the ballot in 2020.

Netherlands drops the name ‘Holland’ in rebranding move

The Dutch authorities have decided to rebrand their country’s international image, with a switch from calling it ‘Holland’ to ‘The Netherlands’.

Ministries and sporting and cultural institutions, along with the country’s major cities, came up with a new strategy that aims to be “less promotional and more about content”, according to the Adformatie marketing magazine. The details will be published later in the year, but marketing professionals briefed on the change say the country will sell itself as “co-creating pioneering solutions to global challenges”.

Countries and cities have been taking branding more seriously in recent years, either to overcome cliches, present a more positive image, or simply raise awareness.

About Names: A Column on Gwyneth

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his September 27th column, he looks at the history of the name Gwyneth.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Most experts believe Gwyneth is an alteration of Welsh place name Gwynedd. The kingdom of Gwynedd was created in northwestern Wales around 450. After the Romans abandoned Wales around 383, Irish raiders settled there. Gwynedd is thought to be a Welsh form of either Irish “fían” (warrior band) or “Féni” (Irish people).

Native Welsh speakers defeated the Irish to found the kingdom. Then, in the ninth century, Gwynedd’s King Rhodri the Great united most of Wales under his rule. The letters “th” represent two different sounds in English. Teeth/teethe and Ethan/heathen contrast the two sounds. In Welsh, the former is spelled “th” and the latter “dd.” The final syllable of “Gwynedd” sounds like the middle of “weather.” It was natural for British parents to respell Gwynedd with “th” when giving the name to a daughter, ending it with the same sound as the familiar Elizabeth and Edith.

The first Gwyneth in the United States census was Gwyneth Williams, born in Rockland County, New York, in 1856 to Welsh immigrants David and Mary. Her younger sister was the first American-born Gladys.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Gwyneths in history! seeking experts for interviews! is seeking name experts to be interviewed on future episodes of The Baby Names Podcast. We’ve already had the pleasure of speaking with ANS members Cleve Evans and Laurel Sutton and have received a great response.

If you have an expertise in any of the subjects, below, or know someone who does – please contact us. If you have a recommendation for another subject that you’ve researched, also let us know!

The Baby Names Podcast receives approximately 10,000 listeners per month and growing. We promote it through our site and social media and are happy to link to your social accounts and/or research. Email Jennifer Moss,, to submit yourself for a topic…or to suggest one!
  • Spanish Names and Spanish Naming Conventions
  • Shakespeare Names
  • Biblical Names / Saint’s Names
  • Early American & Puritanical Names
  • Presidents, Prime Ministers and Political Names
  • Irish Names and Naming
  • Immigration and Naming (“Americanizing Names”)
  • Chinese Names

Registration opens for the 2020 ANS Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 2-5, 2020

American Name SocietyRegistration is now open for the 2020 ANS Conference in New Orleans, LA. The ANS conference will take place in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of American (LSA) Conference from January 2-5, 2020.

To register, you must join the ANS or renew your ANS membership.

LSA Registration is now open! Go to the LSA Meeting page to register. You must be a member of the LSA (as well as the ANS) in order to attend.

You can also reserve your room at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside via the LSA. Use the LSA link to receive a special discounted room rate.

Once your membership is up to date, you can register online here, or download a PDF of the Conference Registration Form and mail it to ANS Treasurer Saundra Wright, as per the instructions on the form.

For more information about the ANS Conference and the LSA Conference, including rate and hotel information, please visit our Conference Page.

About Names: Presidents, poets and TV cowboys have helped Tyler remain a popular baby name

Director/Writer Tyler Perry (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his September 13th column, he looks at the history of the name Tyler.

Tyler is an English surname indicating one’s medieval ancestor made or laid floor tiles. There were 66,056 people with the last name Tyler in 2010, making it the 509th most common surname in the United States. When the custom of turning surnames into first names began in the late 18th century, boys named Tyler appeared. In the 1840s, many were named after John Tyler (1790-1862), the 10th president.

Tyler had been elected vice president in 1841 under William Henry Harrison, the first President to die in office. Many thought Tyler should be “acting president,” but he insisted he was president, with all the powers of the office. Tyler remained a controversial figure after his term. He sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War, being elected to the Confederate Congress shortly before his death.

As a top name for men now in their 20s, Tyler is borne by scores of professional athletes — as well as Tyler Knott Gregson (born 1981), a poet famous through social media for posting daily haiku on Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter.

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