Lawyers need bartenders more than bartenders need lawyers. When it comes to cocktails and the names they’re given, a recipe can’t be copyrighted and a name isn’t usually trademarked, and there’s no governing body, no law of the liquor land that stops the duplication of a recipe or a cocktail name. Which makes cocktail naming—shall we call it mixonymics?—special among naming practices in the modern world: It’s the bartender tribe, not the law, that defines prior art. "Swizzle Me This,"
Michael Erard, The Morning News
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Sep 18, 2013 -
Fido and Spot weren't always generic dog names. Dogs and cats (and monkeys, birds, etc) have been kept as pets for a long time, and medieval pet names
can sound very strange or oddly familiar to modern ears. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel
on Jun 29, 2013 -
Historically the United States (on a state by state basis) has given almost complete freedom to parents to name their children, both first name and surname, with results like "Fly-fornication," "Mahershalalhashbaz," "Encyclopedia Britannia," "States Rights" (who was killed in battle as an officer for the confederacy), "Trailing Arbutus Vines" and many more. (Naming Baby: The Constitutional Dimensions of Parental Naming Rights
, Carlton F.W. Larson, 2011 [SSRN
]). In October 2012, however, New York courts made two interesting rulings that reflect limitations on renaming, if not naming, rights, for both adults and children. [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous
on Feb 27, 2013 -
Is your name linked to your life chances?
The Guardian's Data Blog examines the link between first names and life outcomes in a series of diagrams.
"The Guardian Digital Agency has looked at the first names of doctors, prisoners, football players, Guardian staff and other professions and mapped how often certain names occur."
posted by sundaydriver
on Feb 11, 2013 -
More than most literary phenomena, names in fiction seem very straightforward until you start to think about them. The simple question, ‘why does a name sound right?’ leads to a whole range of questions. Are there rules about how names are given to characters? Do naming practices differ in different periods? Are they specific to particular genres? Do different authors use names in entirely different ways? There are also anxieties to address: is discussion of names in fiction snagged in a feedback loop, in which we think James Bond is such a good name for a spy because that’s what we know it to be?
posted by Chrysostom
on Nov 16, 2012 -
"Looking back a year ago when conceiving this idea
, we thought it would be far too impossible to even attempt. We tried anyway. So, after months and months of recording/writing its finally finished: “Persongalize
”, a one of a kind personal song generator
, featuring thousands of different girl names available in the rock, pop and country genres. Yes, someone, (Karlton Tillman
), had to sing 1,816 names into these tracks, TWICE, since each name is sung
twice in each song."
posted by unSane
on Sep 30, 2012 -
Restaurant names are becoming more complicated and enigmatic. Christopher Hirst asks the experts what’s going on.
posted by Fizz
on Mar 19, 2012 -
Here are some old New Jersey maps, available online.
Take a look at this map of southern New Jersey made by Dutch settlers in 1669
. The Dutch labeled Cape May "Cabo May." Take a look at Delaware Bay. The Dutch called it Godyn's Bay. This 1709
map shows a division between east and west New Jersey. Probably most interesting of all is this
map from 1795. Here, you can see archaic names of towns. What is now Pennington was once called "Pennytown." Lawrenceville was once called "Maidenhead." What is today called Hightstown was once called "Hiatstown." How about that little island off the southwestern New Jersey coast, Egg Island? Is that even there anymore?
posted by candasartan
on Feb 10, 2012 -
on Ledasha, Legends, and Race
| Part Three
] "Why does it matter? We tell funny stories all the time without believing them. (Does anybody really think that a priest, a rabbi and a chicken walked into a bar?) I believe it matters in the case of urban legend names because they're not merely humor...and they're not random. They exist in a complex social setting, and they serve a subtle and consequential purpose. They are proxies for talking about race."
posted by ocherdraco
on Nov 1, 2009 -
A message from baby Emily.
Most popular baby names + Medicare advice + awful Elvis impersonation = EPIC FAIL. A single link video post from the Social Security Administration. You will laugh. Until you remember we (USians) paid for this. (via Andrew Sullivan)
posted by fourcheesemac
on May 17, 2009 -