Names Society of Southern Africa

The Names Society of Southern Africa is a society dedicated to the study of names, naming, and naming systems. The general areas of interest of members of the society cover personal names of all sorts (given names, family names, nicknames, etc. all known under the term ‘anthroponyms’), geographical names (also known as place names or toponyms), the use of names in literature (‘literary onomastics’ - ‘onomastics’ is the term used for the study of proper names. Scholars who study proper names are known as ‘onomasticians’), the names of commercial products (brand names), and the names of animals, ships, buildings, aeroplanes, in fact anything that can carry a proper name.

Members of the society come from a wide variety of disciplines: linguistics, historians, literature experts, geographers, to mention just a few. Some are teachers, others librarians or archivists, others civil servants and politicians, but all share an interest in names and naming.

The 2024 NSSA Biennial Congress
Call for Abstracts

The Names Society of Southern Africa (NSSA) in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Eswatini (UNESWA), invites academics and other parties interested in names and naming to submit abstracts for the 23rd edition of the NSSA Congress to be held in September 2024.

Venue: University of Eswatini
Dates: 25-27 September 2024

Society aims

The aims of the Names Society, as reflected in the original constitution, are

- To promote the study of and research into proper names of all kinds;
- To establish contact with other academic, professional and technical groups connected with onomastics, and where possible to arrange joint activities and projects with such groups;
- To organize regular onomastic congresses;
- To issue a professional journal and other publications;
- To compile and update a list of persons engaged in the study of names;
- To act as an advisory body, when so requested by some other body, such as the South African Geographical Names Council.


Nomina Africana: Journal of African Onomastics