Well, it’s been quite the quiet year at DMNES central! We’ve had other projects that have taken higher priority over the last year, so work on the dictionary has mostly been bits and bobs in the backend of things. Most of our attention has been concentrated on creating place-holder entries for all the as-yet-unidentified variant name forms that we have — a task which has resulted in the creation of over a hundred new entries, many of which may not reach “published” status for years if not decades! But occasionally we were able to not only identify the canonical form of a name, but realise we already had an entry for that name — such as happened when we realised that “Febe” was just a French variant of “Phoebe”!
But we did end up with some new material for our new edition — new entries for Frankbert, Fredeward, John-Angel, and Lefrich, and 143 new citations added to already published entries.
Here’s hoping 2023 will be not quite as quiet (in a good way!) as 2022 and 2021, and wishing all our readers the very best for the new year.
With about 40 minutes to spare, we did manage to get a new edition out in 2020!
2020 was a tough year for everyone, and things have been alternating really quiet and super productive here at DMNES central. If there’s one thing that was a pure, unalloyed joy and benefit of the upheaval of the pandemic, it was joining Mt. Holyoke’s internship scheme which facilitated the joining of four interns on our staff over summer, with one continuing on through the fall term as well. Much of what’s in this new edition — new names, new citations, updated info on Biblical and literary forms — is due to their hard work; and while some of their other work isn’t yet reflected in published editions, it’s laid the foundations for some exciting projects in the future.
So, on to some stats! The new edition has 2592 entries, with 77,248 citations distributed across those entries. (The entry with the most citations remains John, 4533 citations! That’s nearly 6% of all citations in the Dictionary in that single entry.) (Hah, as I was writing this up, our technical guru asked whether the numbers for Mary were comparable. I laughed, and said “no way, that name was never as popular, and he wanted to know the details. So: we have 832 citations for Mary, accounting for 1% of our data. Compare this to three other popular feminine names — Katherine, with 775 citations; Elizabeth, with 1159; and Margaret, with 1281 citations.)
This edition has a total of 931 distinct feminine names, 1658 masculine names, and 3 where the gender is uncertain. Of these, 44 of the feminine entries are new to this edition:
And there’s 98 new masculine names in this edition:
May your 2021 be filled with wonderful names! (Like Bertbert. Bertbert is such a great name.)
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