Topic: Anthroponymy

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Languages Anthroponymy

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

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Germany 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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List of eponymous laws — very cool Wikipedia page

Lists 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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List of things named after Leonhard Euler

Russia Mathematics Russia/science and education in Russia Switzerland 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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Name-letter Effect

Psychology 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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Naming law in Sweden

Anthroponymy 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" (§ 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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Nominative determinism

Business Psychology Languages 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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Naming Law


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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