2015 wrap-up

For the full fireworks regarding the blog, you can read the Annual Report generated by WordPress; but in this post we’ll reflect on 2015 as it unfolded for the Dictionary.

Happy Birthday to us!

The most important milestone happened April 27, when we published Edition 2015 Number 1, our inaugural edition. Since then, we’ve published two more editions, and expect to have the first one of 2016 out within the next few days.

Most popular blog posts

The most popular post on the blog was on Digital humanities, medievalism, and the importance of errors, which had 573 views. In this post, we discussed how important it is — especially for any project whose subject matter is historical — to keep the “unclean” historical record, a record of all the errors, mistakes, emendations, changes, etc., as well as to properly credit all those who contribute to a project, not just the PIs or the people who bring the money in.

Our next two most popular posts involved made-up and “medieval” names: Gwendolyn, Rowena, Rhiannon, and Morgana: Medieval vs. ‘Medieval’ Names (563 views), where we discuss names that many people think are medieval are not, and why, and “Made-Up” Names (526 views), where we look at names many people think are made-up, but aren’t.


Members of the editorial team went to conferences in Lincoln, England; Leeds, England; and Bolzano, Italy. You can read more about the presentations here. This year, we have a double billing lined up for the International Medieval Congress in Leeds in July 2017, as well as more events that are not yet settled.


Two important media events are worth highlighting. In March, our Editor-in-Chief was interviewed on BBC Radio Newcastle, and you can still listen to the interview if you wish. In early September, the Dictionary was mentioned in a Metafilter thread, which caused a huge spike in our blog visits. It was so much fun to see everyone posting their favorite name finds in the comments!

Around the house

Over on twitter we’ve been doing an onomastic #OnThisDay since September, and in October we started having monthly topics on the blog; so far we’ve covered color names, advice for writers of historical fiction, and nicknames, the latter of which we have by no means investigated. Planned future topics include Protestant names, virtue names, mystery names, and more nicknames — plus any other topic our readers suggest!

It’s been a fun year for us; we hope you’ve had fun too, and will stick around for another year of medieval onomastics.

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