"It was customary in the European Middle Ages, more precisely in the period of scholasticism which extended into early modern times, to designate the more celebrated among the doctors of theology and law by epithets or surnames which were supposed to express their characteristic excellence or dignity. The following list exhibits the principal surnames with the dates of death."
Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 are one step closer to shedding those boring "Un-un-" placeholder names, as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has announced the names of nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), repectively. The names are provisional for the next six months for public review and comment. [more inside]
America's a big country. From the easternmost reaches of Maine to the western Alaska islands in the Bering Sea, these United States include towns with every imaginable name. We've collected some of the more surprising examples. Because it's the last day of May and we wanna keep MeFi weird. Add your own examples, let's go wild!
When people get hungry thoughts of food can influence their work, especially in mathematics and related fields. Particularly influential foods (and related things) include cake, pie, pizza, ham sandwiches, more sandwiches, pancakes, spaghetti, cocktails, Chinese restaurants, Indian buffets, sausages, donuts, layer cake, blancmange pudding and potatoes. But in the end, there's no free lunch.
Maybe in high school you had to translate your given name into a foreign language for foreign language class. If you were an Elizabeth, you may have become an Elisabet or a Liesel or a Jelica. If you were a Steve, maybe you became an Esteban or a Szczepan or a Tapani. Or perhaps you've just always wondered why supporters of King James were called Jacobites, or you'd like to find some feminine forms of Michael for your new baby girl. Whatever it is, Behind the Name's Family Trees will take you all over the world with your name and its variants and diminutives. [more inside]
Wonkblog analyzed the names of almost every Chinese restaurant in America. As expected, certain words were very commonly used. [more inside]
Aesthetically amusing alliterations, creative alternative spellings, commonplace words artfully arranged, and other names that are just plain fun to say. Presenting the top 100 Minor League player names of 2016.
‘Boaty McBoatface’ Is Currently Leading An Open Vote To Name The New £200 Million Royal Research Ship An open vote allowing the public to name a new £200 million Royal Research Ship belonging to the Natural Environment Research Council has produced one particularly marvellous favourite — the RRS Boaty McBoatface. It even has a twitter handle Mcboatfacepride [more inside]
We hand-picked 30000 last names out of more than half a million, so you could easily find the perfect last name for a character! [more inside]
The 2016 Name of the Year bracket is here! Who will succeed 2015 winner Amanda Miranda Panda as the 2016 Name of the Year? (Previously.) Will it be Taco Pope? Oozi Cats? Lt. Sharlene Sprinkle-Huff? The Key & Peele-worthy Shuntayvious Primes-Willes? Could the final match place Dick Tips against Sweet Orefice? Place your bets now! [more inside]
Jody Rosen explores what it felt like growing up a boy with a "girl's" name, a Jody instead of a "Colin" when Jody is both the "country girl doll" star of 1970s toy commercials and "the wily sexual scavenger" woman-stealing man of traditional call-and-response, R & B classics, and military chants. [more inside]
This is a Google Docs spreadsheet recording, for every given name ever held by a major league baseball player, the first player to bear that name. Via Value over Replacement Grit.
"Unlike the names of almost every celestial body in the solar system, the names of the moons of Mars are words. They’re names, but they’re words as well.", Fortunato Salazar
It isn't easy to name a baby these days. This expectant couple followed a simple 64 step plan. Introducing...The Baby Naming Tournament.
"There was power in a name, and I figured if mine were Elizabeth, maybe the blue eyes and blonde hair would follow. I would look more like her. My mother. She has stories of walking around—me in her arms, my brother in a stroller—and people asking what country we were adopted from. My mother is too polite to say things like, The country of my vagina." "Where I'm Writing From" by Onnesha Roychoudhuri.
The Weird World Of Military Nicknames is a (mostly lighthearted) article from a site that focuses on the British armed forces: "Of course the fresh-faced recruit is too junior to protest, if s/he even understands the black humour behind their re-christening. The nickname may stick with them for the rest of their career, and will be used all the more if it particularly upsets the poor soldier / sailor / airman lumbered with it." [more inside]
272 pages of names[PDF] suitable for almost any improvised game or story: names for biker gangs and surf guitar bands, names for gnolls and gun molls, names for Swedish smugglers and names for Shetland Islanders, names for Miskatonic students and names for people who are almost, but not quite, British. All names arranged in twenty-item tables for D20 convenience. [more inside]
"What's in a Necronym?" by Jeannie Vanasco: "Whether the knowledge affected van Gogh—that he shared both his name and birthday with a dead sibling—remains unknown, the guide said. 'Does anyone have any questions?' he asked. My mind filled with loud, hurried thoughts and just as suddenly emptied, like a flock of birds scattering from a field." [more inside]
Mount McKinley Will Again Be Called Denali [New York Times]
President Obama announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, restoring an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America. The move came on the eve of Mr. Obama’s trip to Alaska, where he will spend three days promoting aggressive action to combat climate change, and is part of a series of steps meant to address the concerns of Alaska Native tribes. The central Alaska mountain has been called Mount McKinley for more than a century. In announcing that Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior, had used her power to rename it, Mr. Obama was paying tribute to the state’s Native population, which has referred to the site for generations as Denali, meaning “the high one” or “the great one.”
The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources aims to document all given names recorded in European sources written between 600 and 1600.
What would your name be if your parents gave you the name that was as popular now as your name was when you were born? Data from the Social Security Name site (2014 data just released).
What's My Starbucks Name is like a bad barrista simulator, showing all the ways they can get your name WRONG.
roasted by dumbbelldupe
roasted by dumbbelldupe
"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.