About Names: Jamal Khashoggi chosen as 2018’s Name of the Year

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his January 15th column, he looks at the ANS Name of the Year, Jamal Khashoggi.

Do you know how to say “Khashoggi”?

At its meeting in New York City on Jan. 4, the American Name Society voted Jamal Khashoggi 2018’s Name of the Year. Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post journalist and critic of the Saudi regime assassinated in Istanbul on Oct. 2. His name is associated with increasing threats journalists face in an atmosphere branding them “enemies of the people.” President Donald Trump’s dismissal of CIA reports strongly concluding the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder have kept Khashoggi’s name in the news.

“Khashoggi” also illustrates modern media’s more careful treatment of non-English names. Initially, reporters rhymed it with “soggy.” Over time, most switched to “Ka-SHOG-zhee,” closer to the Arabic pronunciation.

“Gritty” won as 2018’s trade name of the year. Gritty is the new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, a hairy orange monster debuted on Sept. 24. Left-wing activists interpreted Gritty as a blue-collar hero, fighting against the absurdities of capitalism. On Oct. 24, the Philadelphia City Council passed a formal resolution honoring Gritty, declaring he honored the city’s spirit and passion. Sports blog network SB Nation wrote: “The name ‘Gritty’ itself is an inside joke used as a descriptor by fans for any player who isn’t the most athletically talented.”

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about the ANS names of the year! Note that because of the limitation on the length of the column, this report does not include every nominee that was not a winner. A full report will come out later in the ANS journal, Names.