How To Pronounce Everything In Frank Herbert’s Dune

Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the well-known science-fiction novels of the 20th century. Set in a fictional feudal universe and centered on the conflict between two powerful houses, it’s a dense book full of terminology that Herbert crafted from many sources, but that feel almost impossible to pronounce unless you’re familiar with the languages he borrowed from to give Dune its unique tone.

If you’re curious how to pronounce some of the oft-repeated terms in Dune but have no idea where to start, you’re in luck! One clever fan compiled sound clips of Herbert himself saying the words of Dune on a blog called Usul’s Homepage.

Many of the words in Dune appear to come from Arabic root words, but Herbert doesn’t actually use the proper Arabic pronunciations in his reading. It appears he anglicized much of it, perhaps intentionally or perhaps from his own misunderstanding of Arabic.

(Original post at Nerdist)

Dr. Sara Louise Wheeler on the Baby Names Podcast, with Jennifer Moss

On the Baby Names Podcast, ANS Member Jennifer Moss interviews ANS Member Dr. Sara Louise Wheeler, Welsh Names academic, author, and poet. They also discuss the current celebrity baby news and take questions from our listeners.

Names mentioned in this episode: Justice, Blue, Sara, Rhiannon, Harri, Seren, Ffan, Jac, Macsen, Caerwyn, Dilys, Gwenhwyfar, Bran, Ebrill, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, and more!

Check out Dr. Wheeler’s Onomastic Blog.

About Names: Clark counts Superman and Gable among its famous names

Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent

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

Clarke is another spelling of Clark, an English surname derived from “clerk.” Originally from “cleric,” Latin for “clergyman,” by 1200 it meant “anyone who could read and write.” In the 2010 census, 562,679 Americans had the last name Clark, making it the 27th most common surname. The 68,281 Clarkes ranked 281st.

When around 1800 the custom of turning surnames into male first names developed, boys named Clark appeared. In the 1850 United States census, first listing everyone by name, 7,757 men had the first name Clark, and 542 Clarke. Admiration for Revolutionary War general George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) and his younger brother William (1770-1838), leader of the Lewis & Clark expedition, helped its popularity.

Clarke was almost nonexistent as a girl’s name before 1991. That year, Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” featured Cynda Williams as Clarke Betancourt, one of Denzel Washington’s two love interests. Critic Vincent Canby said, “No one with such a fancy handle can be trusted in slick-movie fiction.” There were 22 American girls named Clarke in 1991, the first year ever there were more than four. Between nine and 25 arrived between 1992 and 2013.

How Baltimore got its name?

Charm city in Maryland, U.S., founded 1729, named for Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), 2nd baron Baltimore, who held the charter for Maryland colony; the name is from a small port town in southern Ireland where the family had its seat, from Irish Baile na Tighe Mor, literally “townland of the big house.” In old baseball slang, a Baltimore chop was a hit right in front of the plate that bounced high.

It’s Official: ANS 2021 Conference will be Virtual

American Name SocietyAfter serious deliberation of an official proposal made on the 8th of May 2020, the Executive Council of the American Name Society unanimously voted to hold the 2021 Annual Conference online. The exact format and date of the conference will be announced by June 15, 2020. This means that our conference will NOT be held in conjunction with the LSA meeting, which is still slated to be held in January 2021 in San Francisco.

As stipulated in the proposal, there were several important reasons behind the decision to hold our upcoming annual conference virtually: 1) a significant number of our members are in high-risk groups because of their age and/or pre-existing health conditions; 2) the international and domestic travel restrictions that have been imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 will make it exceedingly difficult for members to attend the conference; and 3) the individual and institutional economic fallout of COVID-19 will no doubt make prohibitive the costs connected with a traditional conference (LSA/ANS registration fees, travel costs, hotel accommodation food, etc).  Of all these reasons, the most important is of course the first. It is important to bear in mind that the very factors which make the traditional conference enjoyable also make it high-risk (i.e., traveling to a major metropolitan area to join a large gathering of people—both the attendees and the other hotel guests—who meet for intensive discussions, often times over shared meals, in small crowded spaces for a prolonged period of time).

The ANS Executive Council agreed that a virtual format would allow members to share their work without the dangers mentioned above. Even if COVID-19 were not an issue, this format will also attract people who might otherwise not have been able to attend our conference. Finally, this decision offers the added bonus of holding a conference in manner that is more environmentally sound. Members who are interested in viewing the original proposal or the report on proposal made to the ANS-EC vote  are encouraged to contact the ANS Secretary, Dr. Star Vanguri.

A revised Call for Papers will be sent out as soon as the date and time have been finalized. In the meantime, we will continue to accept abstracts for the 2021 conference. If you have questions, please contact us at <>.

About Names: Where did the name Glenda come from? And where did it go?

British actor Glenda Jackson

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 9th column, he looks at the history of the name Glenda.

Glenda is a modern name with obscure origins. Most baby name books claim it’s from the Welsh words glân, “clean, pure,” and da, “good”. Welsh pride created many names from Welsh words in the early 20th century. Delwyn (“pretty and fair”) and Tegan (“lovely”) are two examples.

The problem with the Welsh theory is that the earliest examples of Glenda in census records aren’t related to Wales. The first example in Britain, Glenda Day, was born in 1864 in Somerset, with most other early examples near London. The first Welsh Glenda doesn’t show up until 1910. It’s probable Glenda was originally created another way and reinterpreted with the Welsh meaning.

Glenda skyrocketed 136% between 1932 and 1933, when 680 arrived. Its boom continued until 1944, when the 3,366 born ranked it 79th. Glenda stayed among the top hundred through 1952.

Glinda, the good witch in L. Frank Baum’s famous 1900 children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (played by Billie Burke in the 1939 film), often is misremembered as “Glenda.” Glinda was ignored as a baby name, however, until Linda became popular. Glinda was in the top thousand between 1944 and 1955, peaking at 733rd in 1951. Glinda is nonexistent as a baby name today, despite the popularity of Oz spinoffs like “Wicked.”

Surnames dictionary in the UK goes free for a week

An online dictionary explaining the meanings and origins of more than 45,000 British and Irish surnames is being made accessible to all in the hope that it might help bring families separated by Covid-19 closer together.

For the next week – until May 21 2020 – people will be able to tap into the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland for free and find out where their surnames – and thus perhaps their ancestors – came from. The dictionary was compiled by a team of researchers from UWE Bristol. It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers, and all those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census.

ANS member Richard Coates, a professor emeritus of onomastics at UWE Bristol, who led the research, said he thought it was a “splendid” idea to open it up. “There seems to be perpetual interest in where surnames come from. It can be an excellent way of helping people begin to trace their family histories.”

The dictionary suggests nearly 40,000 family names are native to Britain and Ireland, while the remainder reflect the diverse languages and cultures of immigrants who have settled since the 16th century.

The dictionary can be accessed here. Families are being invited to post a photo or image that sums up what their name means to them with the hashtag #familynames202.

The coronavirus has inspired a wave of virus-related baby names

While parents are often inspired by their favourite film character or the names of lost loved ones when choosing the perfect moniker, the coronavirus outbreak has influenced couples around the world to chose novel names related to the crisis.

After giving birth to twins during lockdown on 27 March, a couple in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh named their babies Covid and Corona. In a similar vein to other virus-themed names, another Indian couple chose to call their child Lockdown. In a bid to raise awareness of the importance of hygiene during the pandemic, a father from Uttar Pradesh, India, named his newborn baby Sanitiser on Sunday 19 April. Describing the choice as a “contribution” to the fight against Covid-19, Omveer Singh told India Today Television: “We have named our baby ‘Sanitiser’ because it is being used by everyone at present to deter the spread of germs on our hands.”

Call for papers: Revista Onomástica desde América Latina (2021)

Revista Onomástica desde América Latina (Onomastics from Latin America) is a semiannual publication dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of onomastic research at national and international level. The journal is receiving articles in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Articles received from April 2020 to November 2020 will be evaluated for number 3, with publication scheduled for the first half of 2021. Those submitted from December 2020 to June 2021 will be evaluated for number 4 of the journal, with publication scheduled for the second half of 2021. There is more information about the journal on the journal’s website.

About Names: Hollywood stars helped deliver a rebirth for the French name Renée

Professional tennis player Renée Richards

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his April 25th column, he looks at the history of the name Renée.

Renée is the feminine of René, French form of Renatus, Latin “born again.” The name was created by early Christians to commemorate their symbolic rebirth in baptism. By 1300, French girls were being named Renée. In 1510, King Louis XII gave his second daughter the name.

Despite Renée of France’s fame as a Protestant heroine, before 1864, Renée was nearly nonexistent as a baby name in the United States. Then French brothers Edmond and Jules de Goncourt (for whom the Prix Goncourt, France’s most important fiction prize, is named) published “Renée Mauperin,” the tragic tale of a young woman who wastes away from heart disease after her beloved brother is murdered by a French nobleman. It went through several English-language editions the next 30 years.

Renee first became a Top 1,000 baby name in 1905. It got a big boost from French-born silent film star Renée Adorée (1898-1933). Adorée moved to Hollywood in 1920. She became a star in 1925’s “The Big Parade” as Melisande, a French girl loved by American soldier Jim (John Gilbert). The film, rated by critics as one of the best silents, was a box-office smash.

Renee left the Top 1,000 list of first names in 2018. As the typical Renee turns 53 this year, that’s to be expected. In another 40 years, Renée can be reborn again for babies.