"On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, offering the first close-up look at that small, distant world and its largest moon, Charon. These denizens of the outer solar system will be transformed from poorly seen, hazy bodies to tangible worlds with distinct features." Who gets to name those features? You do. Via Bad Astronomy.
A list of shibboleth names, with correct pronunciations.
Don’t Even Try to Pick the Perfect Baby Name: "I was left with the same old words I’d had before, the same short list of names worn thin by the lives of other men ... For every boy name there is a man in the world who has ruined it."
"For any given profession, it turns out that there are certain names that appear more often in that profession than in the general population. Here's a chart with 6 of the names that are the most disproportionately common in 37 professions." [more inside]
Your wrought iron gate lacks that identifying touch, your wax seal seems a little anonymous, and your handkerchief might as well belong to anyone: you definitely need a monogram. Perhaps one of these 1200 gorgeous public domain examples drafted by A. A. Turbayne, famed Art Nouveau designer, will do the trick. [more inside]
How Liberal or Conservative is your name? A rare "what x are you?" online tool which is apparently based on real data. There is no need to search for the most liberal of all (past and present) MeFi moderator names, I've already done that for you.
Tobias Frere-Jones (creator of the Gotham typeface) explores the history of font names. [more inside]
Japanese women, when they marry and have children, often are no longer called by their given names. Instead they are addressed as Okaasan "Mother, Mom," Okusan "Mrs," or Mama. This video shows the reactions of several women when they are once again called by their first names. (SLYT) [more inside]
The median living Brittany is 23 years old. Nate Silver (and Allison McCann) perform some pretty impressive data wrangling and graphical analysis on the age of living Americans with a given name.
Why do so many women bear the middle names Ann, Marie, or Lynn? And what's up with all the middle Michaels, Johns, James, and Lees?
Native Americans call themselves many things. (YouTube). An ad you won't see during the big game, "Proud to Be." From changethemascot.org.
You named me... WHAT? Nine baby-naming rules.
Ashkenazic Jews didn't originally have family names until compelled to do so starting in the 17th century. Bonus: Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island. [more inside]
Mike Duffy has unique, personalized greetings for the Gregg, Greg, Elisabeth, and Elizabeth (among many others) in your life
Name this mouthwash. Name this winter coat. Name this urinal. Name the herb garden. Name this salt and pepper. Name this fire extinguisher. Name this Case Manager. Name this pie. [more inside]
A wonderful animated state-by-state map of the most popular names for girls since 1960. Watch the Jennifer Takeover of 1970! Thrill to the doomed Appalachian Amanda Insurgency of the late 1970s! Cower before the great Jessica-Ashley Battles! Sigh with relief at the arrival of Emma, Isabella, and Sophia as we approach the world of today! Regret naming your child the same thing as everyone else! Bonus, also from Jezebel: How to pick a weird name for your kid
The Strangest Names in American Political History is a compendium of ludicrous nomenclature among America's political figures, from Arphaxed Loomis to Zerubbabel Snow (with stops for Outerbridge Horsey, Supply Belcher, and Odolphus Ham Waddle).
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 (single link)
Last weekend a judge in Tennessee changed a baby's name from Messiah to Martin. Following this, Dahlia Lithwick looked into what level governments restrict baby names around the world and the U.S.
"A Day at the Park", a long scrolling comic that features two interestingly designed characters having a discussion of their respective collections: one of questions, the other of answers. By illustrator Kostos Kiriakakis as the start of a series titled "Mused", along with "Lost and Found", about names and games and stuff...
(thanks to Fleen, which just yesterday scooped us on Boulet's Long Journey).
(thanks to Fleen, which just yesterday scooped us on Boulet's Long Journey).
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]
How to pronounce Chicago street names. How to pronounce London street names. How to pronounce Austin street names. How to pronounce New Orleans street names (and a whole lot else). How to pronounce "Spuyten Duyvil," "Kosciuszko" and "Goethals." How to pronounce "Van Nuys," "Sepulveda," "San Pedro," and "Los Angeles." [more inside]
“Amory” was too F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Enzo” too Europhilic. “Selby” was too Brooklyn, “Roman” too Polanski. And those are just the boy names. [more inside]
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/PDF]). 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]
"In the records of the more or less illustrious dead, there are many who are remembered for only one thing - but there can be few whose sole claim to posthumous fame is the extravagantly bizarre naming of their children..."
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."
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?
"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."
Towns with number names: Six, Eight, Twenty, Fifty-six, Seventy-six, Eighty-four, Eighty-eight, Ninety-six, Hundred and 1770. Honorable mention for Wonowon.
"My friend traded me a Duskull and he called it 'Dudeskull'," or, Pokemon troubles
Falsehoods programmers believe about names and time shows how difficult it can be to represent basic concepts in code.
Alphabet Soup: Restaurant names are becoming more complicated and enigmatic. Christopher Hirst asks the experts what’s going on.
Tollemache, Ralph William Lyonel Tollemache- (1826–1895), Church of England clergyman and bestower of eccentric names.
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?
The Academy of Saint Gabriel's Medieval Names Archive: for all your period-accurate onomastic needs.
Congrats, Peer Fish. And you too, Covington Stanwick. Inside Lacrosse announces the 2012 All-Name Lacrosse Men's and Women's teams. [more inside]
Why leave name choosing to the whim of marketing consultants, grandparents and significant others? Wordoid will name your company or designer drug so as to sound natural in a range of languages. Wordmixer and Company-Name-Generator may help too. Babynamegenie will conjure up a tag for your offspring. This dog name generator accounts for your pet's size and physique. FakenameGenerator (see previously) will surround you with credible sounding friends and colleagues. Thenameinspector blog may be able to help with find something unique.
The Eternal Shame of the Online Handle asks prominent digirati about the source of their original online name (and features mathowie). Aside from embarrassment, those who chose their handles or avatars lightly may ultimately suffer, since research suggests that you may become more like your avatar. With the decline of the pseudonym, including for those who might rather be anonymous, online handles may be turning into a thing of the past, (MeFi excepted). What's the story of your original handle? [My original screen name on Prodigy was nicodemus, cause magical rats were awesome in the 1990s]
The Social Security Administration has released the top ten baby names for both genders in 2010. Topping this year's list: Jacob and Isabella. Were Twi-Moms out in full force last year? Maybe. It should be noted, however, that Edward came in a distance 136.