Topic: Anthroponymy

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πŸ”— Name-letter Effect

πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Anthroponymy

The name-letter effect is the tendency of people to prefer the letters in their name over other letters in the alphabet. Whether subjects are asked to rank all letters of the alphabet, rate each of the letters, choose the letter they prefer out of a set of two, or pick a small set of letters they most prefer, on average people consistently like the letters in their own name the most. Crucially, subjects are not aware that they are choosing letters from their name.

Discovered in 1985 by the Belgian psychologist Jozef Nuttin, the name-letter effect has been replicated in dozens of studies, involving subjects from over 15 countries, using four different alphabets. It holds across age and gender. People who changed their names many years ago tend to prefer the letters of both their current and original names over non-name letters. The effect is most prominent for initials, but even when initials are excluded, the remaining letters of both given and family names still tend to be preferred over non-name letters.

Most people like themselves; the name is associated with the self, and hence the letters of the name are preferred, despite the fact that they appear in many other words. People who do not like themselves tend not to exhibit the name-letter effect. A similar effect has been found for numbers related to birthdays: people tend to prefer the number signifying the day of the month on which they were born. Alternative explanations for the name-letter effect, such as frequent exposure and early mastery, have been ruled out. In psychological assessments, the Name Letter Preference Task is widely used to estimate implicit self-esteem.

There is some evidence that the effect has implications for real-life decisions. In the lab, people disproportionately favor brands matching their initials. An analysis of a large database of charity donations revealed that a disproportionately large number of people donate to disaster relief following hurricanes with names sharing their initial letter (e.g. Kate and Kevin following Hurricane Katrina). Studies that investigate the impact of name-letter matching on bigger life decisions (where to live, whom to marry, which occupation to take on) are controversial.

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πŸ”— Kevinism

πŸ”— Germany πŸ”— Anthroponymy

Kevinism and Chantalism jokingly describe the tendency of parents in German-speaking areas to name their children with what appears to them to be unusual, exotic-sounding first names.

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πŸ”— Akan Names

πŸ”— Africa πŸ”— Africa/Ghana πŸ”— Anthroponymy πŸ”— Africa/Togo πŸ”— Africa/Benin πŸ”— Africa/Ivory Coast

The Akan people of Ghana frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. These "day names" have further meanings concerning the soul and character of the person. Middle names have considerably more variety and can refer to their birth order, twin status, or an ancestor's middle name.

This naming tradition is shared throughout West Africa and the African diaspora. During the 18th–19th centuries, enslaved people in the Caribbean from the region that is modern-day Ghana were referred to as Coromantees. Many of the leaders of enslaved people's rebellions had "day names" including Cuffy, Cuffee or Kofi, Cudjoe or Kojo, Quao or Quaw, and Quamina or Kwame/Kwamina.

Most Ghanaians have at least one name from this system, even if they also have an English or Christian name. Notable figures with day names include Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In the official orthography of the Twi language, the Ashanti versions of these names as spoken in Kumasi are as follows. The diacritics on Ñ a̍ à represent high, mid, and low tone (tone does not need to be marked on every vowel), while the diacritic on a̩ is used for vowel harmony and can be ignored. (Diacritics are frequently dropped in any case.) Variants of the names are used in other languages, or may represent different transliteration schemes. The variants mostly consist of different affixes (in Ashanti, kwa- or ko- for men and a- plus -a or -wa for women). For example, among the Fante, the prefixes are kwe-, kwa or ko for men and e-, arespectively. Akan d̩wo or jo(Fante) is pronounced something like English Joe, but there do appear to be two sets of names for those born on Monday.

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πŸ”— List of things named after Leonhard Euler

πŸ”— Russia πŸ”— Mathematics πŸ”— Russia/science and education in Russia πŸ”— Switzerland πŸ”— Anthroponymy

In mathematics and physics, many topics are named in honor of Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707–1783), who made many important discoveries and innovations. Many of these items named after Euler include their own unique function, equation, formula, identity, number (single or sequence), or other mathematical entity. Many of these entities have been given simple and ambiguous names such as Euler's function, Euler's equation, and Euler's formula.

Euler's work touched upon so many fields that he is often the earliest written reference on a given matter. In an effort to avoid naming everything after Euler, some discoveries and theorems are attributed to the first person to have proved them after Euler.

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πŸ”— Aptronym

πŸ”— Languages πŸ”— Anthroponymy

An aptronym, aptonym or euonym is a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner.

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πŸ”— Naming Law

πŸ”— Anthroponymy

A naming law restricts the names that parents can legally give to their children, usually to protect the child from being given an offensive or embarrassing name. Many countries around the world have such laws, with most governing the meaning of the name, while some only govern the scripts in which it is written.

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πŸ”— Naming law in Sweden

πŸ”— Anthroponymy πŸ”— Sweden

The naming law in Sweden (Swedish: lag om personnamn) is a Swedish law which requires approval of the government agency for names to be given to Swedish children. The parents must submit the proposed name of a child within three months of birth. The current law was enacted in 2017, replacing a 1982 law. The Swedish Tax Agency administers the registration of names in Sweden. The law has been revised since originally enacted; in 1983, it was made possible for men to adopt their wife's or partner's name, as well as for women to adopt their husband's name.

The 1982 law states, in part: "First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name" (Β§ 34). This text applies both when parents name their children and when an adult wants to change their own name. When changing a name, the first change is free of charge as long as at least one of the names given at birth is kept, and such a change is only allowed once per person. Further name changes require fee payment. The law states nothing about registering which name is used on a daily basis, but the tax authority can register that if requested.

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πŸ”— Kevinism

πŸ”— Germany πŸ”— Anthroponymy

In German, Kevinismus ("Kevinism") is the negative preconception German people have of Germans with trendy, exotic-sounding first names considered to be an indicator of a low social class. The protypical example is Kevin, which like most such names came to Germany from Anglo-American culture. Sometimes Chantalismus ("Chantalism") is used as a female equivalent, from the French name Chantal.

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πŸ”— Nominative determinism

πŸ”— Business πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Languages πŸ”— Anthroponymy

Nominative determinism is the hypothesis that people tend to gravitate towards areas of work that fit their names. The term was first used in the magazine New Scientist in 1994, after the magazine's humorous Feedback column noted several studies carried out by researchers with remarkably fitting surnames. These included a book on polar explorations by Daniel Snowman and an article on urology by researchers named Splatt and Weedon. These and other examples led to light-hearted speculation that some sort of psychological effect was at work. Since the term appeared, nominative determinism has been an irregularly recurring topic in New Scientist, as readers continue to submit examples. Nominative determinism differs from the related concept aptronym, and its synonyms aptonym, namephreak, and Perfect Fit Last Name, in that it focuses on causality. "Aptronym" merely means the name is fitting, without saying anything about why it has come to fit.

The idea that people are drawn to professions that fit their name was suggested by psychologist Carl Jung, citing as an example Sigmund Freud who studied pleasure and whose surname means "joy". A few recent empirical studies have indicated that certain professions are disproportionately represented by people with appropriate surnames (and sometimes given names), though the methods of these studies have been challenged. One explanation for nominative determinism is implicit egotism, which states that humans have an unconscious preference for things they associate with themselves. An alternative explanation is genetic: a person might be named Smith or Taylor because that was originally their occupation, and they would pass on their genes to their descendants, including an aptitude for activities involving strength in the case of Smith, or dexterity in the case of Taylor.

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πŸ”— List of eponymous laws β€” very cool Wikipedia page

πŸ”— Lists πŸ”— Anthroponymy

This list of eponymous laws provides links to articles on laws, principles, adages, and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person. In some cases the person named has coined the law – such as Parkinson's law. In others, the work or publications of the individual have led to the law being so named – as is the case with Moore's law. There are also laws ascribed to individuals by others, such as Murphy's law; or given eponymous names despite the absence of the named person.

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