Call for Papers: XXV International O&L Conference, University of Pisa, 16-17 September 2022


The Society “Onomastica & Letteratura” (O&L) invites you to participate at theXXV International O&L Conference, University of Pisa (Department of Philology, Literature and Linguistics), 16-17 September 2022.

The topics it will focus on are the following:

  • Games, parodies, acknowledgments: the name to entertain and to reveal
  • Lists, sequences, lists, onomastic catalogs in literature
  • Names and identities
  • The name and the voices in the text (in literature and in particular in the theatrical genre)
  • Onomastics in some authors whose significant anniversaries occur: Hoffmann, Proust, Buzzati, Meneghello

Those who intend to participate in the Conference or who wish to submit their article to the editorial staff of the journal “il Nome nel testo” are requested to send Donatella Bremer ( no later than 30 July 2022 an abstract, not generic, but sufficiently indicative (about one page) of their contribution.

Please also attach a short resume.

The length of the articles to be submitted to the peer review process for a possible publication in the journal “il Nome nel testo” must be around 12 pages.

For more information about this Call for Papers, please visit:

About Names: “Exotic Ian found American popularity after the 1960s”

Photo of English-Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, best known for his role as Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) in the Star Wars (Official Star Wars Blog, CC-BY-2.0)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 5th column, he looks at the name Ian.

Ian will find a way to deal with dinosaurs again next Friday.

“Jurassic World: Dominion,” the sixth film in the hit “Jurassic Park” series, opens June 10. It features Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, an expert on mathematical chaos theory whose line “Life finds a way” is iconic for fans.

Ian is a simplified spelling of Iain, a Scottish Gaelic form of John, ultimately from Hebrew “God is gracious.”

Before 1880, Ian was very rare in written records. Back then names, like other words, were translated from one language to another. A Scottish Highlander called “Ian” in Gaelic would automatically be called “John” in written or spoken English. Only one man is listed as Ian in Scotland’s 1851 census, alongside 252,476 Johns.

Educated artistic parents often start new name trends. Scottish-born John Forbes-Robertson (1822-1903) was one of the first professional art and theater critics in London. Five of his eleven children became actors, including second son Ian (1858-1936), perhaps the first example of Ian’s use as an official name in England.

In 1894, Presbyterian minister John Watson (1850-1907) published “Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush” under pen name Ian Maclaren. This collection of sentimental tales whose characters spoke in heavy Scots dialect (“Wull ye no come wi’ me for auld lang syne? … it wud dae ye gude”) was a huge bestseller in both Britain and America. “Ian Maclaren” died in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, while on an American lecture tour.

The actor and the author inspired many namesakes. By 1935, Ian was a top 50 name for baby boys in England and Scotland. That year, Ian entered the top thousand in the United States, helped by the career of character actor Ian Wolfe (1896-1992).

NAMES Vol 70 Issue #2 is published!

The latest issue of Names: A Journal of Onomastics is now available online! Click here to read the latest in onomastics scholarship in volume 70, number 2 of Names. A table of contents appears below.

Names is published as an open access journal available to all via the Journal’s new home at the University of Pittsburgh. All journal content, including the content found in previous volumes, is now available for free online as downloadable PDF files.

Subscribers to the print version of the journal will receive their copies within the next few weeks.



Translating Character Names in Fantasy Literature: A Study of the Turkish Translation of Invented Names in Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast Triology, by Naile Sarmaşık

Gendering Urban Namescapes: The Gender Politics of Street Names in an Eastern European City, by Mihai S. Rusu

Cat Naming Practices in Saudi Arabia, by Muteb Alqarni

From Bonehead to @realDonaldTrump: A Review of Studies on Online Usernames, by Lasse Hämäläinen


Book Reviews

Grant W. Smith, Names as Metaphors in Shakespeare’s Comedies, by Dorothy Dodge Robbins

Alexander Avram, Historical Implications of Jewish Surnames in the Old Kingdom of Romania, by Brandon Simonson

Call for Editors, Onomastica Canadiana

Onomastica Canadiana is inviting applications for a new Editor. A team of two Co-Editors will also be considered. This voluntary position will be available from August 1, 2022. The initial term will be three years, with renewal upon mutual agreement.

Onomastica Canadiana was established in 1951 and moved to an online and open-access format in 2022. It is the official, bilingual, peer-reviewed journal of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names. Its principal objectives are to promote the study of names in Canada and abroad, as well as to exchange ideas among onomatologists, toponymists, and scholars in the related fields of literary onomastics and linguistic aspects of names. Onomastica Canadiana welcomes submissions such as research articles, review articles, opinion articles and commentaries, academic interviews, and book reviews in both English and French on all topics in the field of onomastics or name studies. For further information on the journal, please see

The responsibilities of the Editor include:
– Day-to-day management of journal activities
– Identifying and communicating with appropriate reviewers
– Making decisions on manuscripts
– Evaluating special issue proposals
– Liaising with authors and reviewers
– Working with the Editorial Team / Editorial Board and the Executive Committee of the
Canadian Society for the Study of Names

Selection Criteria
Essential skills
– Experience and knowledge in the field of Onomastics
– An understanding of the focus and scope of the journal
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
– Excellent organizational and time management skills
– Advanced proficiency in English or French

Desired skills
– Bilingual in English and French
– Experience with journal management
– Prior experience of editing a journal

Application Process
Interested candidates should send their abbreviated CV (2 pages) and a statement of interest in the position and vision for the journal (1 page) to Grace Gomashie ( by July 15, 2022. Please use ‘Application Editor Onomastica Canadiana’ as your email subject line. Applications will be evaluated by the Editorial Board, which will make its recommendation to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names, and all applicants will be notified of the results.

A downloadable PDF of the call can be downloaded here.