Call for Nominations for the 2021 Names of the Year

The American Name Society requests nominations for the “Names of the Year for 2021”. The names selected will be ones that best illustrate, through their creation and/or use during the past 12 months, important trends in the culture of the United States. It is not necessary, however, for a nominated name to have originated in the US. Any name can be nominated as long as it has been prominent in North American cultural discourse during the past year.

Nominations are called for in the following categories:

  • Personal Names: Names or nicknames of individual real people or individual animals.
  • Place Names: Names or nicknames of any real geographical location, including all natural features, political subdivisions, streets, and buildings. Names of national or ethnic groups based on place names could be included here.
  • Trade Names: Names of real commercial products, as well as names of both for-profit and non-profit incorporated companies and organizations, including businesses and universities.
  • Artistic & Literary Names: Names of fictional persons, places, or institutions, in any written, oral, or visual medium, as well as titles of art works, books, plays, television programs, or movies. Such names are deliberately given by the creator of the work.
  • E-Names: Names of persons, figures, places, products, businesses, institutions, operations, organizations, platforms, and movements that exist in the virtual world.
  • Miscellaneous Names: Any name which does not fit in the above five categories, such as names created by linguistic errors, names of particular inanimate objects, names of unorganized political movements, names of languages, etc. In most cases, such items would be capitalized in everyday English orthography.

Winners will be chosen in each category, and then a final vote will determine the overall Name of the Year for 2021. Anyone may nominate a name. All members of the American Name Society attending the annual meeting will select the winner from among the nominees at the annual ANS meeting on January 21-23, 2022.

Survey Link

Advance nominations must be received before January 15, 2022. Nominations will be accepted from the floor at the annual meeting. You can also send your nominations, along with a brief rationale, by email to Deborah Walker:

Thank you for your nominations!


Registration opens for the 2022 ANS Conference, Online, January 21-23, 2022

Registration is now open for the 2022 ANS Conference. The ANS conference will take place online, on Zoom, from January 21-23, 2022.

You can register online here, or download a PDF of the Conference Registration Form and mail it to ANS Treasurer Saundra Wright, as per the instructions on the form.

The schedule will be available as soon as possible.

For more information about the ANS Conference, please visit our Conference Page.

Publication Announcement — “Name as National Archive Capturing of Yoruba Masculinist Names”

American Name Society member Ayokunmi Ojebode recently published the essay “Name as National Archive Capturing of Yoruba Masculinist Names” in the edited volume The Cinema of Tunde Kelani: Aesthetics, Theatricalities and Visual Performance.

The book is described as follows:

“This book is the first definitive publication on Tunde Kelani, and represents a mine of divergent scholarly approaches to understanding his authorial power. A collection of articles on the cinematic oeuvre of one of the important and finest filmmakers in Africa, it addresses diverse areas that are crucial to Kelani’s filmic corpus and African cinema. Contributors articulate Kelani’s visual crafts in detail, while providing explications on significant markers. The book offers an understanding of how Kelani’s works represent the African worldview, science, demonstrative law, politics, gender, popular culture, canonized culture and history.”

Read more on the publisher’s website here.

Publication Announcement — Names and Naming: Multicultural Aspects

Several members of the American Name Society have contributed to a new publication at Palgrave Macmillan titled Names and Naming: Multicultural Aspects. The book is further described:

“This edited book examines names and naming policies, trends and practices in a variety of multicultural contexts across America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In the first part of the book, the authors take theoretical and practical approaches to the study of names and naming in these settings, exploring legal, societal, political and other factors. In the second part of the book, the authors explore ways in which names mirror and contribute to the construction of identity in areas defined by multiculturalism. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to onomastics, and it will be of interest to scholars working across a number of fields, including linguistics, sociology, anthropology, politics, geography, history, religion and cultural studies.”

Purchase a copy at the publisher’s website by clicking here!


Publication announcement: Names: A Journal of Onomastics 69, no. 3 is now available

The latest issue of Names: A Journal of Onomastics is now available online! Click here to read the latest in onomastics scholarship in volume 69, number 3 of Names. A table of contents appears below.

Volume 69 marks the first year that 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.


Table of Contents


A Note of Remembrance in Honor of Edwin David Lawson (December 23, 1923—July 3, 2021)“, by Aaron Demsky


Usernames on a Finnish Online Marketplace for Illegal Drugs“, by Lasse Hämäläinen, Ari Haasio, and J. Tuomas Harviainen

Corpus-Based Methods for Recognizing the Gender of Anthroponyms“, by Rogelio Nazar, Irene Renau, Nicolas Acosta, Hernan Robledo, Maha Soliman, and Sofıa Zamora

“Boundary-Maintenance” or “Boundary-Crossing”? Name-Giving Practices among Immigrants in Germany“, by Jurgen Gerhards and Julia Tuppat

The Use of a Matching Preference Index to Empirically Examine Distribution Imbalances in Beijing Citizens’ Names“, by Ziming Zhao, Xiaomeng Li, and Qinghua Chen

Book Reviews

Naming, Identity, and Tourism“, by I. M. Nick

Dictionary of French Family Names in North America“, by André Lapierre


In Memoriam: Edwin D. Lawson (1923-2021)“, by Thomas Gasque

View All Issues 

Two New Publications on Anglo-Indian Names, Christian Names in India by ANS Member Smita Joseph

ANS Member Smita Joseph published two books recently: The Anglo Indians In Hyderabad: Socio-Linguistic, Historical And Anthropological Perspectives (2020) and A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Indian Christian Names: The Case of Telugu Catholics and Syrian Christians (2022).

The Anglo Indians In Hyderabad: Socio-Linguistic, Historical And Anthropological Perspectives is described as giving “a fascinating account of how the Anglo-Indians of Hyderabad maintain their ethnic identity through the use of proper names and slang. The data on slang and names has been elicited through a combination of interview, survey and ethnographic methods.”

Due out in 2022, A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Indian Christian Names: The Case of Telugu Catholics and Syrian Christians “gives a sociolinguistic account of Syrian Christian and Telugu Catholic personal names. Unlike previous works on the linguistic or sociolinguistic analysis of the personal names of Indian Christians, which have mainly used a reflexive approach to analyse names, this book takes a constitutive approach by analysing the personal names of two Indian Christian communities (Telugu Catholics and Syrian Christians) from the perspective of community members. This novel approach provides greater insights into individuals’ motivations for naming and how names are used to create social identities.”

Both books can be purchased on Amazon India or via the publisher’s links above.

Call for Papers: ANS 2022, Online, 21-23 January 2022

The American Name Society is now inviting proposals for papers for its next annual conference. After serious deliberation of an official proposal made on the 5th of May 2021, the Executive Council of the American Name Society unanimously voted to hold the 2022 Annual Conference online. All presentation sessions will be held online during the three 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 person, January 2022 in Washington, DC.

Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome. The DEADLINE for receipt of abstracts is July 31, 2021. To submit a proposal, simply complete the 2022 Author Information Sheet (AIS) found here:

Please email this completed form to ANS Vice President Luisa Caiazzo using the following address: <>. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2022” 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, 2021. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS. Please feel free to contact ANS Vice President, Luisa Caiazzo, <>, should you have any questions or concerns.

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

We look forward to receiving your submission!