Category Archives: Names

The ups and downs of hurricane naming

Hurricane Florence makes landfall / Wikimedia CommonsHurricane names are curious — they’re often so strangely obscure. How are they named, and who names them? Why do they have names at all? And is there ever a downside to naming these mega-storms? It might not be good news for a few sorry souls … Continue reading

In the news (April 11): a typeface makeover, a capital city name-change, a multilingual pop artist & more

In recent language news: a trilingual pop artist, singing trilingually; a dating trend gets a trendy name; a capital city changes its name; a typeface makeover; and more … Continue reading

In the news: March 7

 

Recent stories in the news about words, grammar, and language — with an emphasis this month on grammar, and a couple of politicians getting themselves into hot water with their words  … Continue reading

A rapper goes mononymous

Wikipedia Commons

Back in 2013, the one-and-only Jay-Z dropped his hyphen and decided to become known by his two names. (See Glosso’s earlier post, “Jay Z no longer mononymous”.) Then, four years later, he popped the hyphen back in, and returned to his one-named identity (see “The Return of Jay-Z’s hyphen“.) Today, another unique rapper has done the same thing and assumed a single moniker. In Kanye West’s case, he has become “Ye.” Continue reading

The Many Nicknames of Donald J. Trump

 

“Rocket Man”, “Lyin’ Ted”, “Crooked Hillary”, “Crazy Bernie”, “Pocahontas”: These are just a few of the many monikers that — having been thrown in the faces of his political rivals and personal nemeses since climbing into his little political sandbox — have earned 45 his only rather dubious oratory honor: that of being President of Nicknames. But, Mr. Don John, it works both ways …

Yesterday, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, speaking at the funeral of Aretha Franklin, lambasted the “orange apparition” for having the nerve and temerity to claim that the Queen of Soul had once worked for him. “You lugubrious leech, you dopey doppelgänger of deceit and deviance, you lethal liar, you dimwitted dictator, you foolish fascist.” That’s how Mr Dyson addressed POTUS in his eulogy. Here’s an A to Z* of other name-pies — alliterative, uncannily descriptive, and just downright witty — that have been thrown in the face of our reigning Cheese Doodle by celebrated and even distinguished members of the media and public figures of note. Sic and cited.

(*missing only J for Joker, N for Nobody, Q for QLF – pardon my French, and X, Y, Z for End Game)

Nicknames bestowed by media figures: Continue reading

Answers to yesterday’s quiz about country names

Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz about country names. (There are 195 countries in the world, if you include the 193 members of the UN and two observer states. Of these 195 nations, there are 41 with more vowels* than consonants in their names. Here are four questions about those names.)

1. What is the longest country name of this type?

The longest country name with more vowels than consonants is Equatorial Guinea, with 16 letters. Coming a close second is Papua New Guinea, with 14.

2. What is the shortest country name of this type? (hint: there’s more than one)

There are five countries with five letters in their names, of which three are vowels. They are
Haiti, India, Nauru, Palau, and Samoa.

3. Which continent houses most of the countries with this name type?

Africa wins in this category, hands down, with 15 countries having vowel-dominated names. They are: Ageria, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Tunisia.

Europe comes second, with seven — or eight if you include Georgia in Europe.

4. Which letter of the alphabet starts most of these country names?

“A” and “E” tie here, with five country names each.

A starts Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Australia and Austria.
E starts Equador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia and Ethiopia.

* y is not counted as a vowel for the purposes of this quiz

A country names quiz

There are 195 countries in the world, if you include the 193 members of the UN and two observer states. Of these 195 nations, there are 41 with more vowels* than consonants in their names. Here’s a short quiz about those 41 names:

  1. What is the longest country name of this type?
  2. What is the shortest country name of this type? (hint: there’s more than one)
  3. Which continent houses most of the countries with this name type?
  4. Which letter of the alphabet starts most of these country names?

Feel free to take some guesses in the comments section below. Answers will be posted tomorrow …

* y is not counted as a vowel for the purposes of this quiz

***

Names of online scams

Here’s the ultimate 21st-century glossary — of online scams. Go phish … (And note: All definitions are courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary, except where noted. These names are legit, even though the practices aren’t.) Continue reading