Archive for Names

Double garden path

Turns out that although I mentioned garden-path sentences once here in passing, I’ve never really written about them. A garden-path sentence is one that initially leads the reader to parse it in one way, but turns out to be structured differently than it appeared to be. The usual example, and the first example I encountered, […]

Some spaceship names

I feel like in science fiction lately, there’s been an occasional tendency (though with many exceptions) for authors to adopt the style of Iain M. Banks in naming their fictional spaceships. Before Banks came along, I feel like fictional spaceship names tended to be one or two words (of course, many of these names were […]

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 […]