Monday, December 31, 2012


 Choose your language:





Kαλή χρονιά

Athbhliain Shona

Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Šťastný Nový Rok

Godt Nytår

Boldog Új Évet

Feliz Año Nuevo

Hamingjusamur Nýtt Ár

Buon Anno Nuovo

La Mulţi Ani

Gott Nytt År

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Yeni Yılınız Kutlu Olsun

                                              Onomastically yours, Dr. Shokhenmayer

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Endangered Words, and Signs of Revival

Australex 2013

Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann is organizing (with Dr Julia Miller) Australex 2013 to be held at Adelaide on 25-27 July 2013, with the theme ‘Endangered Words, and Signs of Revival'. Australex 2013 will feature scholarly and emotional celebrations, marking
(1) Professor Peter Mühlhäusler's 20-year scholarship at the University of Adelaide,
(2) Dr Luise Hercus's 50-year work on Aboriginal languages, and
(3) 175th anniversary of Lutheran Missionaries' lexicography in South Australia.

Original papers may address a wide range of areas associated with lexicography, lexicology, endangered languages, Revival Linguistics, semantics, endangered meanings, extinct concepts, contact linguistics, social empowerment through language, and words, culture and identity. Topics may include dictionaries in Indigenous, minority and other endangered communities, dialectal lexicons, the educational and cultural roles of dictionaries, talknological dictionaries, dictionaries and Native Tongue Title, lexical engineering, and language policy and lexicography. Papers can address controversies such as the ‘Give us authenticity or give us death' argument and the descriptive/prescriptive debate. Other topics may include learners' dictionaries, specialist dictionaries, phraseology, proverbs, onomastics and terminology. All welcome!

Literary Onomastics

American Name Society Panel at Linguistic Society of America Annual Conference

Boston, MA, 3-6 January 2013

In conjunction with the M.L.A., the American Name Society is pleased to announce its first call for critical papers on literary onomastics (the study of names and naming in literature). From character names, place names, author names, and literary pseudonyms, to the names of literary works themselves (e.g. novels, novellas, plays, poetry, autobiographies, etc.), paper proposals dealing with names of any and all types are warmly welcomed. Furthermore, as we are committed to representing the international diversity of modern literary onomastics, the call is open to all periods, genres, and literary works from around the world. Proposed papers may either focus on a single work or on a body of work by one or more authors.

Possible topics for discussion:
• comparative literature, names, and naming
• the importance of names and naming in children’s literature
• critical theory and the analysis of the literary form and/or function of names
• literary translation, names, and naming
• the etymology of names in literature
• name symbolism in literature
• pedagogical strategies for heightening students' appreciation of literary names and naming
• the issue of (re)naming and the rewriting classics for modern audiences
• fact vs. fiction: the legal and moral issues involved of naming names within (auto)biographical works
• social, political, and historical importance of names and naming in literature
• the effect of names and naming in combating and//or reinforcing readers' stereotypes

Women, Naming, and Academia

American Name Society Panel at Linguistic Society of America Annual Conference

Boston, Massachusetts, USA  -  3-6 January 2013

In conjunction with the L.S.A., the American Name Society (ANS) is pleased to announce its first call for critical papers on WOMEN, NAMING, AND ACADEMIA.

Despite the many new challenges which face scholars today, one has remained largely unchanged: making a substantive contribution to one's chosen field through a long and distinguished record of innovative teaching, researching, and publishing. In short, making a name for one's self. But what happens when that name changes through any one of life's many surprises (e.g. marriage, divorce, re-marriage, widowhood)? 
For many women in academia, the prospect of altering one’s name is not only personally, but also professionally daunting.  Does she keep her original name? Abbreviate the first but double or hyphenate the last? Should the name she uses at work be the same as the one she uses at home? What legal options does she have? Such questions are far from trivial.  As research has already demonstrated, the name a woman uses today can influence her career tomorrow. 

Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (Faculty of Humanities, the Institute of Polish Philology) is hiring an Associate Professor in Onomastics

POSTED:  20 December 2012 
EXPIRES: 30 January 2013

KEYWORDS: onomastics, anthroponomastics,  toponomastics, lexicology, lexicography, idiolectics, style, stylistics, artistic language, artistic style in specific literary periods. 

DESCRIPTION (field, expectations, comments):
Applications accepted from individuals who meet the requirements outlined in the Polish Higher Education Act (Law of 27 July 2005, Journal  of Laws no. 164, pos. 1365 and subsequent changes) as well as those who meet the following requirements: 
- well-documented record of significant reserach in the following areas: onomastics, anthroponomastics, toponomastics, lexicology, lexicography, stylistics, idiosyncratic language (scholarly experience should include authorship and co-authorship of books and articles, as well as direct experience as an editor of edited volumes). 
- rich experience (at least ten years) teaching at least one of the following subjects (multiple preferred): lexicology and lexicography, stylistics and varieties of contemporary Polish, onomastics, as well as experience leading BA and MA seminars.  
- experience working in academic teams; ability to lead team projects; 
- fluent mastery of Polish (spoken and written). 

A candidate applying for the position of an associate professor is obliged to submit the following documents: 
- a letter of application addressing employment in the research post, 
- an academic curriculum vitae, 
- a personal questionnaire form, 
- a copy of diploma of a holder of the postdoctoral degree or a letter confirming granting of the postdoctoral degree, 
- a list of scientific achievements including all publications, conference papers and other scientific works, 
- a statement by the candidate that the Kazimierz Wielki University will be her/his main place of employment. 
The documents should be submitted to the Office of the Institute of Polish Philology, Faculty of Humanities, Jagiellońska Street 11 (room 23), 85-064 Bydgoszcz, Poland 
The decision of the contess: 12.02.2013 r.

I don't speak Polish... neither I haven't taught onomastics at least 10 years... so, I can't apply... 

Google+ community on ONOMASTICS

Your obedient servant has started a community devoted to onomastics. Please, feel free to join us!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Name Is the Game, still

European company directors onomastics mille-feuille (2012)

from here:

This arty colourful picture is a graphical view of the onomastics of about half a million company directors in the European Union (plus Switzerland). Only the 5K largest companies of each country were considered, so that excludes SMEs and restaurants. What does it say about European big business? Basically, that large companies in Greece (GRC) -for example- have Greek company directors, etc. Each line above the country ISO3 code corresponds to similar pie chart.

Obviously, European economic integration and the mobility of European top executives are still a work in progress.

By the way, I was told that there is a new project or program which allows sorting the names.

The website is not finished yet, but I hope wi will get more information later.
They noticed:

Data mining and analytics
We use sociolinguistics to structure information, according to your business and reporting needs.

Profiling and targeting
We provide flexible data filtering solutions to match your business and targeting needs.

Social graphs dataViz
We cluster and colourize social graphs according to your business and visualization needs.

Check it out:

Call my name

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Name Consultant

Article about Mark Gunnion, Name Consultant

Researcher bemoans dearth of new names

What can a name developer do for you?

Onomastics in business

Business onomastics

Today I'd like just to enumerate how onomastics can be applied to the business and within a business project. It can be useful for those who are not so lucky at the university career.

If you are an onomastician with a bachelor, master or doctoral degree in name studies, then you may work as:

  1. semanticist;
  2. name developer;
  3. name analyst;
  4. name researcher;
  5. name manager;
  6. name consultant;
  7. genealogist;
  8. one-name investigator;
  9. naming strategist;
  10. name marketing expert;
  11. name specialist.

Most of them concern the branches of strategic name development, name-giving process, brand naming company, product naming, company naming, brand name research, naming resources, etc. They do provide the opportunity to work on major international brand, products' names and on the name-giving process.

Product naming 
(based on
The naming process begins with a thorough review and understanding of the target market and competitive landscape. You should understand your consumer and the competition.
Next comes a deep dive into the brand strategy to isolate the relevant, enduring and emotive points of difference for creating a memorable brand name. As naming consultants, what you know about building brand strategy for product names, you learned from the companies who perfected it.
Building on the brand strategy, seasoned linguistic, creative and marketing professionals bring their expertise and passion to the table.
It's an iterative naming process that incorporates team's feedback and ideas all along the way. This often includes an exercise in qualitative target market and employee feedback that utilizes proprietary methodologies.
Throughout naming process you also employ a rigorous trademark pre-screening of name candidates using sophisticated trademark screening techniques.
And for product names that cross borders, Global Linguistic Analysis protects you from the embarrassment of a cultural or linguistic "faux pas".
Completing the product naming process, proprietary validation marketing research technique uses normative data to help determine which of several product name finalists resonates best with the target market.

Some examples of this activity may be found under:

Company naming
(based on

Every day more than 6,000 new company names enter the global marketplace. When it comes to company naming, each entity is competing for a piece of the pie, a slice of attention, a sliver of immortality.
Some of these company names are good. Some are just okay. But very few company names can claim the mantle of greatness.
Here's why:

  • Great company naming tells a story that engages and compels
  • Great company naming glides off the tongue and lands gracefully on the page
  • Great company naming stakes a claim that is distinctive and trademarkable
  • And great company naming must do all of this in just a few short syllables

Whether the new company name is for a start-up, spin-off, merger, acquisition or a strategic re-branding, the right name matters. That's because the difference between a good enough name and a great name is often the difference between organizational success and failure.

Check out the 9 Company Naming Principles videos to learn more (from here: )


A company's name makes a first impression that lasts for the long-term. When company naming makes the wrong impression, it's time for a change.
Every year, more than 1,900 companies change their names in response to a change in their business environment. Just as consumers adapt to new technology and a changing economy, companies must transform themselves to capitalize on new growth opportunities and markets.
Some of these changes are the result of introducing innovative products or services, while others completely alter the direction of the company. These new company identities require names that speak to the target market and linguistically reflect their new image.
It's critical for a company that is transforming itself to make sure its B2C or B2B customers and investors get a better idea of who they are and where they are going.

Maybe later I will introduce some of the above mentioned professions.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Onomastic humour

from here:

Name maps for U.S.


from here:

Great Britain Family Names Profiling

If you want to map your family name within UK, then you are welcomed to this website which presents the findings of a project based at University College London (UCL) that is investigating the distribution of surnames in Great Britain, both current and historic.

It allows users to search the databases that they have created, and to trace the geography and history of their family names.

What differs this website from other mapping projects, is the possibility to map the distribution of surnames not only in the UK of today (1998) but in the Great Britain of 1881 thanks to the digitised Census. I have already mentioned the FaNUK project, and in this respect I should point out that in the UK the majority of sources and data, even from the Middle Ages, have been digitised and are available to the public.

Data Sources:

UK and Ireland data: Experian International Ltd
Great Britain Census of 1881: Economic and Social Research Council Data Archive

Project Acknowledgements:

Professor Paul Longley (Professor of Geographic Information, Department of Geography, Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences)

(from here:

Alex Singleton (Lecturer in Geographic Information Science at the University of Liverpool)

(from here:

Richard Webber, UCL Visiting Professor

(from here:

Dr Daryl Lloyd, UCL researcher (from here:

Here is the article about this cool project: (from here:

Surname Profiler: one of top 2006 research projects

29 September 2006

A surname-profiling tool developed by Professor Paul Longley, Professor Richard Webber and PhD student Daryl Lloyd of the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Research Project of the Year Award.

The researchers, from the Spatial Literacy Team at CASA, devised a quantitative analysis of surnames from two snapshot years – 1881 and 1998 – to uncover the effects of migration and changes in the workforce on Britain’s social structure.

Most surnames in Britain are concentrated geographically. Mapping where they end up gave a unique picture of migration patterns across the UK and Ireland, while present-day data for each of the 25,000-plus surnames allowed the team to measure socioeconomic status and lifestyle.

The project demonstrates how the most common British surnames are distributed across North America, Australia and New Zealand, providing insights into migratory patterns.

The research confirmed that at over 500,000 instances, Smith is the most popular surname in the UK, with the highest concentration in Lerwick, Shetland Islands – just as it was in 1881.

Members of the public can now trace the geographic origins and status of their names for free through a website and see where others with the same name have ended up. Following a mention on the BBC website, the Surname Profiler site received 200,000 hits in a day.

UCL features twice in this year’s Times Higher Awards: Dr Nick Lane (Royal Free & UCL Medical School) is on the shortlist for the Young Academic Author of the Year Award for his book ‘Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life’.

The award winners will be announced at a dinner at the Hilton, Park Lane on 15 November 2006.

Coates mapping

Let's chart the surname of Professor Richard Coates (University of West of England):

Then we can compare it with its diffusion in 1881:

As we may conclude, it probably stems from the areas of York, Harrogate or Darlington. By the way, Professor Coates says: "My own name 'Coates', for example, literally means 'cottages' in Middle English. It is also applied as a place-name, and in my research, I have discovered that 'Cotes' is the name of a small place in my grandfather's ancestral county of Staffordshire, so that's probably where my surname comes from." (from here:

Staffordshire is situated here:

While it's not so far from the concentration of that surname in 1881, however it's not the same...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Adam's naming

e-Onomastics in Sweden (part 3)

Names in the older industrial environment

From here:

The project "Names in older industrial environment" (Namn i äldre bruksmiljö) aims to analyse personal names around Uddeholm companies in Värmland during 1700s - 1800s. The intention here is to reach new knowledge on naming and name conditions in the area marked by the encounter of an older agrarian culture and a modern industrial society.

                                                                          Lennartsfors. Woodcuts from the 1860s.

The project indetifies forenames' and surnames' portfolio during the surveyed period, as well as the emergence of new naming models. The naming patterns determined by the project proves that name-giving processes have been mostly based on "naming after" tradition with a limited number of names with a greater freedom in naming choice. The increased use of family names versus patronymics has been examined from a social perspective, with particular focus on women's names.

In connection with this project, a study of names of Värmland ironworks and foundries has also been published.

The project was conducted by Katharina Leibring:

From here:

Published articles (Swedish only!!!)
1) Names in the older industrial environment. Project Presentation and some early results. In: Dynamics of Names. Trends and driving forces in the Nordic naming. Documents from the thirteenth Nordic names Congress in Tällberg 15-18 August 2003. Red. Staffan Nyström, pp. 205-216. Uppsala, 2005.

2) Lennartsfors, Rottne Holm Likanå. Names usage in Värmland. In: Names and runes. Uppsala Studies in onomastics and runology, in honour of the Lennart Elmevik's 70th anniversary, 2 February 2006. Red. by Lena Peterson, Svante Strandberg & Henry Williams, pp. 75-86. Uppsala, 2006.
3) State of names in North Rada and Gustav Adolf, 1730-1837. In: Studia Anthroponymica Scandinavica 24, 2006.
4) Lena Eriksdotter or Helena Gewert? Personal names in a Swedish parish 1730-1830. In: Proceedings of the 22nd ICOS Conference in Pisa, 2005.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Are you going to call me what?

From here:

e-Onomastics in Sweden (part 2)

e-Onomastics in Sweden (part 2)

Onymic Phrases in Early Modern period

This interesting project on the semantics, syntax and morphology of the Old Swedish and Early Modern Swedish name phrases is conducted by Lennart Ryman:

From here:

The project examines how individuals are mentioned from the 1200s to the 1700s. Manuscripts reveal a lot about how people were identified and categorized in that time. A hypothetical person in different contexts could be called a wife Anna, Anna Larsdotter or Olaf shoemaker's wife. Such phrases are called here name phrases or onymic phrases.

The project aims to identify the name phrases in time and space. The investigation focuses on the period between 1450 and 1520. The following questions should be investigated:

· How a person had been identified people by name phrase?

· What determines whether an individual is named or not?

· What determines whether an individual is mentioned with the forename or with a more developed name phrase?

· Which parts of name phrases are closely linked to the first name and which are more or less related to descriptions?

· Which parts of name phrases are proper names and which parts are not?

Among others the author endeavours to elaborate the typology of names on the ground of the chronological, geographical, social, gender terms from the onymic phrases?

Examples of name phrases:

discretus vir dominus Bero Longus canonicus eiusdem (1304)
Fulko Jonsson (1311)
hedhirlekin wife wife Ramfrydh Bændiczdottyr (1359)
Joni in Svartenø (1420)
Mans [Måns] køpmantz maid (1493)
Peder Green Skull (1558)
wife Karin fiskeblöterske (1558)
M [aster] Lars (1606)
Mr. Akerman (1666)
Brita Lundholm (1730)

The first name phrase can be translated as 'reasonable man Mr. Bear Long, a canon'.
The second phrase comes from a Latin text, the first name Folke is Latinized but Jonsson is written in Swedish manner.
A fiskblöterska (7) was a woman who soaked and sold dried fish.
Master Lars (8) is better known as Laurentius Paulinus Gothus, later Archbishop.
Name phrases 9 and 10 illustrate the propagation of modern hereditary names  from the 1600s. Akerman was a professor, Brita Lundholm was the maid.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

e-Onomastics in Sweden (part 1)

e-Onomastics in Sweden (part 1)

e-Onomastics in Sweden is concentrated mostly in Uppsala around the Swedish Institute for Language and Folklore

From Wikipedia: 

The Institute for Language and Folklore (Swedish: Institutet för språk och folkminnen, but commonly referred to by the acronym SOFI) is a Swedish government agency with the purpose of studying and collecting materials concerning dialects, folklore and onomastics.

In June 2006 the Swedish government decided to centralize the Swedish language preservation institutes, starting on the July 1, 2006. The former name, Swedish Institute for Dialectology, Onomastics and Folklore Research (Swedish: Språk- och folkminnesinstituet) was changed to the current name.

The institute consists of several, originally independent, units, located in different Swedish university towns. The central unit of the institute is located in Uppsala, with other departments located to Lund, Gothenburg, Umeå and Stockholm.

The institute is, among other things, responsible for the ongoing publication of Sveriges ortnamn (a dictionary of all Swedish placenames) and Sveriges medeltida personnamn (a dictionary of medieval Swedish personal names).

Units of the Institute:

Administrative Unit (Uppsala)
Department of Dialectology, Uppsala (Dialektavdelningen, DA)
Folklore Department, Uppsala (Folkminnesavdelningen, FA)
Phonogram Unit, Uppsala (Fonogramenheten)
Department of Onomastics, Uppsala (Namnavdelning, NA).
Archive for Dialects, Placenames and Folklore in Gothenburg (Dialekt-, ortnamns- och folkminnesarkivet i Göteborg, DAG)
Archive for Dialects and Placenames in Lund (Dialekt- och ortnamnsarkivet i Lund, DAL)
Swedish Language Council (Språkrådet)
Archive for Dialects, Placenames and Folklore in Umeå (Dialekt-, ortnamns- och folkminnesarkivet i Umeå, DAUM)

Therein we can find very interesting projects concerning among others antroponyms. 

Dictionary of Proto-Norse personal names (ca. 0 - 700)

from here: 

Dictionary of Proto-Norse personal names is an alphabetical dictionary of the personal names found in sources from the period around the birth of Christ to about 700 AD.

The sources are:

Primitive Norse runic inscriptions
Nordic - lev - names
the Old English from the poem Beowulf

The dictionary is only available as electronic version:

Runestone from Northern Vånga rectory, Vara Municipality (vg65). 
Photo: Hakan Dahlin, Mariestad. 

Lexicon of Runic Names (ca. 700-1100) 

This database contains the names of the Viking Age people.

The number of entries is about 1.880, including references.

The number of articles on individual names is approximately 1530, of which about 130 are alternative interpretations. The ratio between male and female names are about 3:1. In addition to articles on individual names the dictionary provides articles on names with lists of testified compositions. The number of such items is about 160. There are also some names for which the articles are not given as they occur with only occasional evidence of properhood.

Dictionary of Swedish Medieval Personal Names (ca. 1100-1520)

From here (translated by me)

Project Swedish medieval personal names (SMP) has two main objectives: first, to create a database for research, and second, to make it available for the public as a part of the historical heritage. This is done primarily through the issuance of a dictionary of the Swedish medieval personal names. The dictionary is provided both as a printed book and online publication.

The dictionary deal with all personal names, both first name and bynames, which in the Middle Ages have been used in Sweden within its present borders and in Finland, with the exception of pure Finnish names. Even the names of such old Norwegian provinces as Bohuslän, Jämtland, Härjedalen and Gotland have been included. As well as Denmark's old names from Skåne, Blekinge and Halland.

Detail from a mediaeval tomb (ca. 1330) in the Västeråkers Church (Uppland)
Detalj från Ramborg Israelsdotters grav, Västeråkers kyrka, Uppland. Foto: Maria Ohlsson.

The project is based on the extensive collections of medieval personal names. Since 1943, several generations of students and staff of the project in question have collected nearly a million names from all known historical documents (manuscripts, letters, land records and church rolls from 1100 until about the 1520th) After the late Middle Ages tax rolls were full with a myriad of names because citizens came to pay their taxes. In addition, there is a representative selection from the 1500 century land records. The main focus has consistently been to collect various onomastic forms from manuscripts of that time.

SMP began in 1943, from 1947 the project has been carried out by the Royal Academy of Literature, History and Antiquities and became a governmental project only in 1984. Since 1998, SMP Name Archives are to be found in Uppsala within the Institute for Language and Folklore. For example:

Team working on the Dictionary of Swedish medieval personal names is looking like that:

Mats Wahlberg (Chair), Director of Research
Names Archives in Uppsala, Institute for Language and Folklore
tel: 018-65 21 80

Thorsten Andersson, Professor Emeritus
Seminar for Nordic names Research, Uppsala University

Roger Axelsson, Editor
National Archives, the Swedish biographical dictionary, Stockholm

Goran Dahlbäck, Professor Emeritus
Department of History, Stockholm University

His Gillingstam, file. PhD, former editor of
National Archives, the Swedish biographical dictionary, Stockholm

Lena Peterson, professor emeritus
Seminar for Nordic names Research, Uppsala University

Sara Risberg, File. Dr.
The National Archives, Swedish Diplomatarium, Stockholm

Svante Strandberg, professor emeritus
Seminar for Nordic names Research, Uppsala University

Per-Axel Wiktorsson, Professor Emeritus
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University