ANS Member Research: “To Translate or not to Translate: The Case of Arabic and Foreign Shop Names” by Reima Al-Jarf

Recently presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Name Society, Reima Al-Jarf’s work explores Arabic and foreign shop names in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. You can watch the presentation here:

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The translatability of shop names constitutes a problem for translation students. To find out the status of shop name translation in Saudi Arabia, a corpus of 500 shop names (clothing, accessories, beauty products, restaurants, cafes… etc.) was collected and analyzed to find out which shop names are translated, which are not, and which should be translated. Results showed that 24% of the shops have pure Arabic names, 25% have international brand names such as Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Monsoon, Zara, Sony which are not translated, i.e., used as they are. 39% have English names created by the shop owners such as أو ﺑ ﺮﯾ ﺸﻦ ﻓ ﻼﻓ ﻞ , ﺑﺮ اﻧﺪ ﺳﻨﺘﺮ , ﺑﯿﺒ ﻲ ﺷ ﻮ ب which were not translated. Some foreign shop names were transliterated using Arabic letters although such names have Arabic equivalents as in دﻛ ﺘ ﻮرﻧﯿ ﻮﺗ ﺮﯾ ﺸﻦ , ﻧﺎﺗ ﺸ ﺮ ا ل ﺗﺎﺗ ﺶ , ﻧﺴﻜﺎﻓﯿﮫ دوﻟ ﺲ ﻗ ﻮﺳﺘ ﻮ , أد ﻓﻨﺘ ﻮرا , ﺟﺎ رﻟﯿ ﺸﻮز ﻻو ﻧ ﺞ , أﻣ ﯿ ﺮﯾ ﻜﺎ ن إﯾ ﺠﻞ أ وﺗﻔﺘ ﺮز , ﻛﯿ ﺴﺮ ي ﻛﺎﻓﯿ ﮫ , إﺳ ﺒ ﺮﯾ ﺖ , أﻛﺴﺴﻮرﯾ ﺰ , ﺑﺎﯾ ﻠﯿ ﺲ , ﺑﺎر ﺑ ﻜﯿ ﻮﺗ ﻮﻧﺎﯾ ﺖ . Names in this category should be translated as they were difficult for the subjects to decode. However, subjects could decode ﻣﺎ ﻛﺪوﻧﺎﻟ ﺪ ر، ﺑﯿ ﺮﻏﺮ ﻛﯿﻨ ﺞ، ھﺎ ردﯾ ﺰ، ﻛﻮﺳﺘﺎ، ﺳﺎ رﺑ ﻜ ﺲ . . Shop workers believe that use of foreign names without translation is more prestigious, attracts shoppers’ attention more than Arabic names, and more customers can be reached. They also gave globalization factors that affect the preference for foreign words to Arabic equivalents and poor knowledge of Arabic equivalents, especially for new coinages. Guidelines for translating foreign and native shop names will be given based on the views of a sample of translation students and instructors.


Prof. Reima Al-Jarf is professor of English and translation studies. She has 700 publications and conference presentations in 70 countries. She reviews Ph.D. theses, promotion works, conference and grant proposals, and articles for numerous peer-reviewed international journals including Web of Science and Scopus journals. She presented at ANS and CNS twice.


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Call for Papers: The 2025 Annual Meeting of the American Name Society


Call for Papers

The 2025 Annual Meeting of the

American Name Society

ONLINE (via Zoom)

22 February 2025

The American Name Society is now inviting proposals for papers for its next annual conference. The one-day event will be held virtually via Zoom, allowing for the attendance of onomastics scholars from around the world. The 2025 ANS conference will not be held in conjunction with the Linguistics Society of America conference.

Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome: personal names, place names, business and institutional names, names theory, names in literature, among others.

Proposals require these elements:

  • Title of proposed paper
  • 250-word abstract
  • Shorter 100-word abstract suitable for inclusion in conference program
  • 50-word biography suitable for inclusion in conference program

To submit a proposal, complete the 2025 Author Information Form found here:

Email completed forms to Dr. Michel Nguessan at:

For organizational purposes, place “ANS2025” in the subject of your email.

The DEADLINE for receipt of abstracts is July 31, 2024.

All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Notification of proposal acceptances will be sent by September 30, 2024. Authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of ANS and must register for the annual meeting. Please contact Dr. Michel Nguessan at the above email address if you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

Download a PDF copy of this call for papers here.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of NAMES on “Name Bias and Prejudice”

Call for Papers: Special Issue of NAMES


The American Name Society (ANS) is now issuing its first call for abstracts for an upcoming Special issue of the Society’s journal, NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics.  The theme for the 2024 Special Issue is “Name Bias and Prejudice”.  From anthroponyms to commercial names, toponyms to zoonyms, proposals focusing on any name type, in any language or culture, from any time period, and utilizing any analytical method are welcome. Proposals examining name bias and prejudice in the arts (e.g., literature, music, film, etc.) are also strongly encouraged.    However, all proposals must include a clearly articulated theoretical framework, research question(s), and a preliminary reference list.  All submissions will be subjected to blind review. The following criteria will be used in the review process: innovation; writing style and organization; argumentation; potential to make a substantive contribution to onomastic research; and adherence to the NAMES Style Sheet.  Detailed instructions for the submission process are provided below.

Proposal Submission Process

  • Abstract proposals (max. 800 words, not including references) should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Professor I. M. Nick (;
  • Proposals must include a preliminary reference list that follows the formatting regulations of the NAMES Style Sheet;
  • Proposals must include “Bias” in the subject line of the email;
  • All proposals must include an abstract, a tentative title, the full name(s) of the author(s), the author(s) affiliation(s), and email address(s) in the accompanying email and NOT within the body of the abstract;
  • DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 15 July 2024. Authors will be notified about the results of the blind review on or by 15 August 2024.

For further information about this call, please feel free to contact Professor I. M. Nick (


We look forward to receiving your submission.

About Names: Dr. Cleveland Evans on the top Baby Names of 2023

Photo of a newborn (Photo by Kimberly Vardeman, CC-BY-2.0)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 19th column, he discusses the name the top Baby Names of 2023.

Sophia, Liam and Noah cemented their baby name popularity in 2023, while a soccer star and a country singer helped their names soar.

May 10 the Social Security Administration released the United States’ top baby names of 2023.

On SSA’s lists, Liam and Olivia have been No. 1 since 2019.

SSA counts every spelling separately. I add together spellings pronounced the same, creating lists I believe show popularity more accurately.

When alternative spellings like Jaxon were added, Jackson was first on my list from 2013 through 2020. Jackson’s now swiftly declining, only ranking fourth in 2023. Liam, Noah and Oliver are the top three on both my “combined spellings” list and Social Security’s single spelling version.

Liam rose 1.8% and Noah 2.2% last year, despite the total number of births declining 2.3%.

Liam and Noah are international hits. Both rank among the top 11 in Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Quebec, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Argentina. Noah’s now No. 1 in England, Australia and New Zealand, where Liam had its heyday back in the 1990s.

After Jackson, the rest of my 2023 male top 10 were Mateo, Lucas, Elijah, Luca, James and Aiden. All were on the list in 2022, though Mateo, Lucas and Luca rose in rank.

Mateo increased 11.6%, fourth biggest percentage among the top 100. This Spanish form of Matthew is Liam and Noah’s counterpart in the Spanish-speaking world, ranking No. 1 in Chile and Argentina, and No. 2 in Mexico, Spain and Uruguay.

Thiago had the quickest rise among the top 100, soaring 28.3% from 112th to 84th. Thiago’s a Portuguese form of Santiago, “St. James” in Spanish. Much of Thiago’s popularity stems from international soccer star Thiago Alcântara, born 1991 in Italy to Brazilian parents. Like many soccer greats — including his father, Mazinho, who helped Brazil win 1994’s World Cup — Thiago is a one-name celebrity. He plays for Liverpool in England’s Premier League as well as the Spanish national team.

Another example of soccer fandom influencing baby names is that Kylian, French form of Irish saint’s name Cillian or Killian, is now the most common spelling for American newborns. Kylian Mbappé is captain of the French national team.

With Sofia and other spellings added, 19,836 Sophias arrived in 2023, 156 more than in 2022. Sophia’s been No. 1 since 2011. Traditional Spanish spelling Sofia accounted for 37% in 2022 and 38.5% in 2023.

The rest of the girls’ top 10 are Olivia, Emma, Amelia, Charlotte, Isabella, Mia, Evelyn, Camila and Eliana. Eliana nudged Ava out of the top 10. A saints’ name from a Roman family name meaning “sun,” Eliana’s also used in Israel, where it’s interpreted as Hebrew “God has answered.” Its sound fits in with other fashionable names like Isabella and Amelia.

Lainey was the fastest riser among the girls’ top 100, skyrocketing 91.4% to 55th from 140th. Lainey Wilson was the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year for 2023.

ANS Member Research: “The Concept of ‘UL’ (son, child) in Kazakh Anthroponomy” by Zhazira Agabekova

Recently presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Name Society, Zhazira Agabekova’s work explores the concept of “UL” (son, child), in Kazakh anthropology. You can watch the presentation here:

Watch this video on YouTube here:



In the Kazakh language, there are many names with the root “ul” (meaning “son”, “child”), such as Ulbosyn (let it be a son), Ulzhalgas (next will be a son), Ultusyn (wishing to give birth to a son). These names are given if a family had only daughters, and with the intention that after several girls born in a family, the next child will be a boy (names that indicated the family’s expectation of having boys). This is because historically, the boy was treated as the main breadwinner of the family and the protector of the people, the continuation of the generation, and the birth of a son in the family was important. This shows that the concept of patriarchy still prevails in Kazakh culture. Beyond that lies gender inequality. Although the number of names in the “ul” (son) context has decreased somewhat, the process has not stopped. This article hypothesizes that the use of names in the context of “ul” indicates that the role of men in the Kazakh society is higher than that of women. In order to prove it, linguistic lexemes and proverbs in the culture of the people are considered as the main linguistic facts. The number of these names changes in the different regions of Kazakhstan. These differences (frequency) are based not only on the population density, but also depends on the fact of observing Kazakhs traditions. The findings of this research will help better understand the concept of “ul”, and the analysis shows the importance of studying Kazakh names with root “ul”, which refers to existing gender inequality and gender norms in Kazakh society.


Zhazira Agabekova is Assistant Professor of Nazarbayev University, Candidate of Philological Sciences. Her scientific area is Turkic Studies, Linguistics, Onomastics, Gender studies. Currently, Zhazira is focused on gender issues in onomastics. She is a member of the Onomastic Commission under the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


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About Names: Dr. Cleveland Evans on the name “Stacy”

American politician Stacey Yvonne Abrams (Photo: Public Domain)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 4th column, he discusses the name “Stacy”.

Remember private eye Mike Hammer on “The New Mike Hammer” (1984-1987)? “Papa” Ken Titus on the sitcom “Titus” (2000-2002)? Ed Pegram, Woody’s former business partner in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” (2013)?

Stacy Keach, who played them all, was born Walter Stacy Keach Jr. 83 years ago today.

Stacy and Stacey are surnames derived from a short form of Eustace, the English form of the Latin Eustachius, combining the Greek Eustathios “well-built” and Eustachys “fruitful.”

Eustace was common in medieval England in honor of St. Eustace, a Roman general martyred after refusing to sacrifice to idols.

Stacy became an official first name when the custom of giving surnames as first names began around 1700. England’s 1851 census found 51 men with Stacy or Stacey as a first name.

The 1850 U.S. Census, first listing all free residents’ names, found 603 male Stacys and Staceys. There were 243 (40%) born in New Jersey, which then had 2.1% of the total population.

In the 17th century, Quakers in England wanted to find somewhere to practice their religion freely. In 1676, Mahlon Stacy (1638-1704), a wealthy Yorkshire Quaker, bought shares in the West Jersey settlement. He sold part to his brother Robert Stacy, who founded Burlington, New Jersey, in 1677.

In 1679, Mahlon Stacy settled on the Delaware’s east bank at what later became Trenton. Though today the fame of William Penn, granted the west bank as Pennsylvania in 1681, eclipses that of the Stacys, it’s clear in 1850 their memory was still honored in New Jersey.

As a female name, Stacy was either from Eustacia, feminine of Eustace, or Anastasia, a saint’s name from Greek “resurrection.”