FINAL Call for Papers: ANS 2021, ONLINE, January 22-25, 2021

The American Name Society (ANS) is  inviting proposals for papers for its next annual conference, January 22-25, 2021. After 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. All presentation sessions will be held online during the four days of the conference. 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. To submit a proposal, simply complete the 2021 Author Information Form.

Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome. The NEW DEADLINE for receipt of abstracts is AUGUST 1, 2020. 

Please email this completed form to ANS Vice President Laurel Sutton using the following address: <>. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2021” 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, 2020. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS. Please feel free to contact ANS Vice President Laurel Sutton should you have any questions or concerns.

A downloadable PDF of the REVISED Call for Papers can be found here.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

Nestlé loses ‘Incredible’ battle over burger name


Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé has been forced to rebrand its plant-based Incredible Burger as Sensational following a legal challenge from U.S. meat startup Impossible Foods.

The District Court in The Hague ruled that Nestlé had infringed on Impossible Foods’ trademarks and could confuse consumers and so must change the name of its Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger across the European Union. The Dutch court gave Nestlé four weeks to withdraw the old product name from retail shelves or face a daily fine of €25,000.

Nestlé’s Incredible Burger, made from soy and wheat protein, launched in April 2019 and is sold in 15 countries across Europe. In the U.S., Nestlé sells a meatless patty called “Awesome Burger,” which is largely made of yellow pea protein.

Call for Papers: 14th Biennial Conference of the High Desert Linguistics Society, November 20-22, 2020

UPDATE: In light of the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to host HDLS 14 as a fully virtual conference.

Extended Abstract Deadline: August 10, 2020

The High Desert Linguistics Society is pleased to announce our 14th biennial conference, HDLS 14. The conference will take place November 20-22, 2020 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. HDLS 14 will focus on research in cognitive and functional linguistics, typology, sociocultural linguistics, indigenous languages, and Hispanic linguistics. This conference will also highlight interdisciplinary research from the point of view of psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, education, and computer science, among others.

Along with other topics in linguistics, sociocultural research regarding language use are of interest for this conference, including research focused on language and identity, such as gender, ethnicity/race, social class, etc. With the rise of related issues in our society, we believe interdisciplinary studies have become more important than before. We learned that Gender and Language community also focuses on language-based research on gender and sexuality but from more than just a linguistic perspective. In this regard, we value research on the intersections between language and gender and hope our audience will be able to attend some talks on this topic and share ideas as well.

We are honored to announce that our keynote presenters for HDLS 14 are:

Barbara Dancygier, University of British Columbia
Ryan Lepic, Gallaudet University
Catherine Rhodes, University of New Mexico

Applicants can submit abstracts for presentations, posters, and themed panels. Abstracts for presentations and posters must be no more than 300 words excluding examples, tables, charts, and references (ASL submission; 2-4 minute video).

For themed panels, each presenter will have 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes of discussion for the panel as a whole. Presenters interested in this format are responsible for deciding who will be part of the suggested panel. Only one document should be submitted per panel. The document should include the proposed panel topic (300 words; 2-4 minutes), and how each presenter will contribute to it (500 words total; 4-6 minutes).

Abstracts may be submitted in English, Spanish, or American Sign Language. Applicants may submit one single-authored and one co-authored abstract. All written abstracts should be submitted to the EasyChair link below. Abstracts in ASL should be uploaded to a file-sharing website and shared with

EasyChair link:

For any further information please visit our website at or email us at


Nairobi’s street names reveal what those in power want to remember, or forget

The recent global events of civil and political unrest that started in the US have brought to the fore the complex dynamics of urban memorialisation. The protests have, in some places, led to renewed scrutiny of certain urban symbols such as commemorative statues – what they represent and how they are perceived and interpreted.

Unlike monuments and statues, place names (toponyms) are intangible, and less imposing, but nevertheless, an indispensable part of the urban symbolic landscape. Their inscription, erasure and re-inscription is highly political.

In a study of toponymy in Nairobi, Kenya, Kosuke Matsubara and Melissa Wanjiru (University of Tsukuba, Japan) analysed how streets got their names. It’s important to examine this as street naming and renaming allows to remember and forget events and people in history. It also articulates what values exist in pursuit of political or national interests.

Dreyer’s Will Change Eskimo Pie Name

Eskimo Pie announced it will be changing its name and retiring its eponymous character by the end of the year. The decision came within days of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Cream of Wheat, and Mrs. Butterworth’s announcing brand overhauls in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests and a broader racial reckoning across the United States.

Eskimo Pie, the chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar, was invented about a century ago under the name I-Scream Bar, but was renamed Eskimo Pie after founder Christian Kent Nelson partnered with chocolate maker Russell C. Stover. The brand’s character — a little boy with dark hair and a fur-lined parka, sometimes depicted riding a qamutiik-like sled in the past — and name were meant to evoke the chilly north and the indigenous people who lived there. The term “Eskimo” is widely considered to be a derogatory name for native peoples of the Arctic regions.

Baby’s name of Elon Musk is “X AE A-XII”

Elon Musk and Grimes really followed through with their outer this world baby name … but they had to play a little ball to comply with California law. According to the newborn’s birth certificate, Elon and Grimes seriously named their first child, X AE A-XII Musk.

Mom and Dad had to get a little creative to make their tyke all legal and stuff. As you know, Elon and Grimes’ baby boy was born on May 4th 2020, and they wanted to name him X Æ A-12 Musk. As it turns out, the aeronautic name hasn’t been accepted in California, where birth names must be limited to the English alphabet – no numbers or special signs. The result is a first name X, middle name AE A-XII and last name Musk.

Revised Call for Papers: The 25th International Symposium on Onomastics and Literature, Cagliari, Italy, October 2021

The Society “Onomastica & Letteratura” (O&L) invites you to participate at the Twenty-Fifth International Symposium on Onomastics and Literature (Cagliari,  October 2021). Because of the current global COVID-19 pandemic, they have decided to postpone the O&L Conference to October 2021. The conference will be held in Cagliari as planned and the topics tackled will be the same.

Themes that can be addressed include:

  • Inadequate, alienating insulating or insulting names
  • Proper names in the titles of literary works
  • Names in dedications
  • Methodological issues
  • Regional literary onomastics (Sardinia: the region hosting the conference)

Abstract proposals (350 words) should be sent as an email attachment to Dr. Donatella Bremer <> along with a short biosketch (100 words). Considering that many library locations are likely to be still closed to public access in the upcoming months, the deadline for sending your contribution is February 28, 2021.

Meanwhile, research activity will go on. Therefore, we would like to invite you to participate in the upcoming issue of our journal il Nome nel testo, XXII (2021). This issue has no specific theme, so they welcome articles presenting any topic that falls within Literary Onomastics.

If you wish to submit your paper to the Editorial Board of the journal, il Nome nel testoplease send it to Donatella Bremer (

For further information, please contact Maria Giovanna Arcamone: magiarc@gmail.comGiorgio Sale:


About Names: Hawthorne’s work has helped keep the name Nathaniel famous

Author Nathaniel Hawthorne

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his July 4th column, he looks at the history of the name Nathaniel.

Nathaniel is the modern form of a Hebrew name meaning “gift of God.” Ten minor Old Testament characters bear the name, spelled “Nethanael”. In the New Testament’s Gospel of John, Nathanael is one of Jesus’s 12 disciples. In the other three gospels, one of the disciples is Bartholomew (“son of Talmai”). Since the ninth century, Christians have believed Bartholomew and Nathanael were the same person.

In medieval England, the disciple was almost always called St. Bartholomew, and men named Nathanael hardly existed. After the Protestant reformation, parents searching the Bible for new names took it up.

The connection with Nathan is reinforced by many Nathaniels born since 1990 using Nate as their nickname instead of Nat or Natty, common in earlier generations. Nathaniel Turner (1800-1831) led Nat Turner’s Rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, the most famous slave insurrection before the Civil War. Lithographer Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) founded famous printmakers Currier & Ives.

Scrabble Tournaments Move Toward Banning Slurs

The New York Times reports on the movement to remove many types of slurs from Scrabble tournaments. Some players have objected, because many slurs are short words and therefore have a high point value:

Hasbro, which owns the rights to Scrabble in North America, said the Scrabble players association had “agreed to remove all slurs from their word list for Scrabble tournament play, which is managed solely by NASPA and available only to members.”

Julie Duffy, a spokeswoman for Hasbro, also said the company will amend Scrabble’s official rules “to make clear that slurs are not permissible in any form of the game.”

The game that Hasbro sells in retail stores has not included slurs in its dictionary since 1994. But the players association, one of the most prominent governing bodies in competitive Scrabble, had still allowed them. The agreement could also affect what words may be played in online versions of the game.

Interestingly, the author of the article, , manages to write about slurs without actually citing any of them; the closest is “n-word”, which appears in a direct quote. Quite a linguistic feat!

A PDF version of the article is available here.




The next version of macOS will be called Big Sur

At its virtual WWDC keynote on June 22, Apple unveiled a ton of updates for iOS 14, watchOS, AirPods and iPads, but the company also had news to share for its laptop products. We’re not just talking about the much-anticipated adoption of Apple’s own processors for Macs, either. Today, Apple announced that the next version of its desktop software will be macOS Big Sur, and it introduces a new design and major updates to important apps.