Archive for Names

Punny names revisited

Way back in column n, I linked to my uncle Dobe Doinat’s Punny Names archive. That particular page that I linked to is gone, but Dobe has more recently created the Punny Name Archive (NSFW), a wiki that currently lists about 200 names. If you like names like Alice Well, Justin Case, or Robin Banks, […]

Swaziland renamed to Kingdom of eSwatini

According to the BBC: King Mswati III of Swaziland announced on Wednesday that he was renaming the country "the Kingdom of eSwatini". […] The new name, eSwatini, means "land of the Swazis". The change was unexpected, but King Mswati has been referring to Swaziland for years as eSwatini. I think there are all sorts of […]

Name dominoes

A recent xkcd strip introduced the game of name dominoes (see also large version of image). I’m a little surprised to see that I haven’t posted before about making chains of names; I’ve been doing it now and then for a long time. But usually I only get linear chains of three or four names […]

Irish names

A bunch of interesting assorted notes about Irish names. (Published in 2016.) (Link via Marguerite.) Example: A few hundred years ago people paid little attention to how names were spelled. One extreme example is on a tombstone in Ireland where the surname for a family of six is shown as McEneaney, McAneany, McAneny, McEnaney, McEneany—and […]

Puritan names

Entertaining-by-modern-standards Puritan names: part one (2012), part two (2013). The posts don’t explicitly say whether these are real historical Puritan names or modern made-up ones, but I think the former. They appear to be extracted from Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley (1888), which you can now view online in its entirety […]

Neural net comes up with bird-species names

Janelle Shane, who has trained neural nets to generate entertainingly semi-plausible names for all sorts of things (Pokémon, Star Wars characters, etc), posted a new list about a month ago: bird names. But this time, most of the names weren’t much weirder than real names of bird species. Still, I enjoyed them. A few I […]