Winifred Atwell, famous boogie woogie and ragtime piano player.
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his May 7th column, he looks at the history of the name Winifred.
Winifred is the English version of Gwenfrewi, a Welsh name combining “gwen” (“white” or “holy”) with “frewi” (“reconciliation” or “peace”). The English form came from confusion with the Old English male name Winfred, from “win” (“friend” or “joy”) and “fred” (“peace”). The original Gwenfrewi lived around 650 in northern Wales. Though she was venerated as a saint by 750, nothing was written about her until around 1130, when Robert, prior of the Benedictine monastery at Shrewsbury, England, began promoting her.
Babies named Winifred began turning up all over England after 1400. Though never very common, Winifred never disappeared. The 1851 British census found 2,272 Winifreds in England and Wales. Winifred wasn’t as popular in America, partly because the Puritans avoided saints’ names. The 1850 United States census found 934 Winifreds. A quarter were born in Ireland — the Irish adopted Winifred as an English equivalent of Irish “Una” when their British rulers banned Gaelic names.
Since 2011, avant-garde parents looking for retro names have rediscovered Winifred. There were 21 Winifreds born in 2010 — 168 arrived in 2017. If it keeps increasing at that rate, Winifred will be back in the top thousand names in 2021.
Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Winifreds in history!
Shirley Temple wearing the Kennedy Center Honors, 1998
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his April 23rd column, he looks at the history of the name Shirley.
Shirley, Old English for “bright woodland clearing,” is the name of several English villages. As a surname, it shows that one’s ancestor lived in one of them. Several aristocratic English families are called Shirley. In 1403, Sir Hugh Shirley was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury, one of four knights deliberately dressed as King Henry IV to confuse the enemy.
When the custom of turning surnames into given names developed around 1700, boys named Shirley appeared in both Britain and America. Then in 1849, Charlotte Brontë published “Shirley,” her most famous novel after “Jane Eyre.” When wealthy heiress Shirley Keeldar first appears, it’s explained that “her parents, who had wished to have a son, finding that … Providence had granted them only a daughter, bestowed on her the same masculine family cognomen they would have bestowed on a boy.”
Shirley had a bit more staying power than many celebrity-inspired names, not leaving the top thousand until 2009. Two Shirleys named after Shirley Temple in 1934 — MacLaine and Jones — had huge film careers themselves.
Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Shirleys in history!
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have shared the news that they named their new royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, hours after introducing him to the public earlier in the day. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s choice in name marks a step away from royal tradition and symbolizes an effort by the royal family to become modern, says Cleveland Evans, a former president of the American Name Society and psychology professor at Bellevue University.
In 2017, Archie was no. 18 on the top 100 boys’ names in England and Wales, he says. Similar sounding names like Alfie, Charlie, Freddie and Teddy have also ranked in the top name choices on the list. “The choice definitely shows their personality, but also to a certain extent, the changes in the royal family as a whole, where things have become — especially since Princess Diana’s death — more open,” Evans says, referring to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “They probably want to modernize it and want the royal family to be seen as regular people, which is why they’d choose a name like Archie, which at the moment is a regular, everyday British boy’s name.”
Want to know more? Click through to read the rest of the article at Time, including more information from the ANS’ own Cleve Evans!
The City of Los Angeles has renamed a nearly 4-mile stretch of road from “Rodeo Road” to “Obama Boulevard,” in honor of the country’s first African-American president.
The location is significant, the city said, because Obama held his first campaign rally in Los Angeles on February 20, 2007, at Rancho Cienega Park. The park sits on Rodeo Road, right across from W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Rodeo Road, which runs through a historic black neighborhood, is not the first strip to be named in honor of former presidents. The district where the road sits is also home to Washington Boulevard, Adams Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard.
The waiting game is over. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have named their first child, a son born on the 6th May 2019, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The royal couple made the announcement today via their official Instagram account, ending several days of feverish speculation about the baby’s name.
Archie became the 7th in line to the British throne the instant he was born, but he won’t be called “his royal highness,” as the rules around the granting of royal titles were tightened up about 100 years ago. Britain’s booming betting business had shown before Wednesday’s announcement that a lot of punters expected the new baby to be named Alexander, Arthur, Philip or a handful of other go-to historical British royal names.
Many of our towns and geographical features have names to match. Some of these names, although blunt, really tell their own story: Mount Terror, for example, or Foulweather Bluff.
A lot of those origins seem weather-related. In one case, an explorer couldn’t find something because of the fog. In a few cases, an expedition – or a group of cattlemen – got stuck somewhere kind of miserable and inconvenient during a harsh winter. Others are almost a personal vendetta towards the places themselves: Deception Pass, Mount Horrible, Useless Bay.
It’s notable that most of these places had perfectly serviceable names before white explorers came along and gave their own bummer spin while drawing their maps. Find the map and all names here.
In public radio they do our utmost to get things right, including the pronunciation of names and places. It shows they know their stuff and conveys respect — for the people they report about and the people who make up audiences.
But words in other languages can be difficult to say on air, and some public radio listeners bristle at hearing names enunciated with non-English accents. As a multilingual journalist who spent nearly two decades reporting from overseas, Jerome Socolovsky has thought a lot about how to name people and places in a way that is accurate and understandable to listeners. What do you do? Here’s a guide.
Last year, officials from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj — a word that references the Hindu pilgrimage site there. The name Allahabad dated to the 16th century, a legacy of a Muslim ruler, the Mughal Emperor Akbar.
Allahabad’s renaming has made headlines not for the hassles of changing signs, but for a growing trend of Hindu nationalism in Indian politics. Over the past five years of Modi’s term as prime minister, Hindu nationalist politicians from the BJP have renamed Indian towns, streets, airports and one of the country’s biggest train stations, swapping names that reflect Muslim heritage for Hinducentric ones.
The Los Angeles City Council is expected to change the name of a South L.A. intersection to honor late rapper Nipsey Hussle. Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said he will officially submit a motion to rename the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue to “Nipsey Hussle Square.”
Nipsey Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, had a song called “Crenshaw and Slauson (True Story)”. A nearly 12-minute documentary-style music video for the song features real people from the Crenshaw neighborhood, where Nipsey Hussle grew up. His store, Marathon Clothing, is also located at this intersection. The Grammy-nominated rapper was shot, along with two other people, while standing outside of his store.
In today’s digital world, standardized geographical names are vital. They help us find our way in society and they also help us organize the world we live in. They also play a key role in our efforts to achieve sustainable development, providing fundamental channels of communication, facilitating cooperation among local, national and international organizations.
This month, the “new” United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) will convene for its 2019 Session from 29 April to 3 May 2019 at UN Headquarters in New York. The session, organized by UN DESA’s Statistics Division, brings together over 150 experts from national naming authorities and academia to discuss strategies and methodologies by which the standardization of geographical names can be advanced.