American Name Society: Names of the Year for 2013

January 3, 2014


The American Name Society, at its annual meeting in Minneapolis on January 3, 2014, voted Francis as the Name of the Year for 2013.

Francis, chosen by Jorge Mario Bergoglio as his papal name when he was elected pope last March, is significant both because it is the first time in 1,100 years that a pope has chosen a name not used by any previous pope, and because of its association with St. Francis of Assisi. By choosing this name, Francis was signaling to the world his desire to make changes in the Roman Catholic Church and his desire to live simply and focus on concern for the poor, like St. Francis.

Francis was also voted Personal Name of the Year.

Obamacare was voted Trade Name of the Year.

Ender Wiggin was Fictional Name of the Year.

Syria was Place Name of the Year.

The American Name Society, founded in 1950, is an organization devoted to the scholarly study of all types of names. For more information about ANS or the Name of the Year contest, contact:



Dr. Cleveland K. Evans

Psychology Department

Bellevue University

1000 Galvin Road South

Bellevue, NE 68005-3098 

See information on the 20122011 and 2010 Names of the Year.


2004: Fahrenheit 9/11 (film title)

2005: Katrina (hurricane)

2006: Pluto (former planet)

2007: Betrayus (pejorative nickname, first for Sen. Chuck Hagel and later Gen. David Petraeus)

2008 Fictional: Edward (from Twilight)
2008 Personal: Barack Hussein Obama
2008 Place: Wasilla (Alaska)
2008 Trade: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
2008 Overall: Barack Hussein Obama

2009 Fictional: Max (from Where the Wild Things Are)
2009 Personal: Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger
2009 Place: Salish Sea
2009 Trade: Twitter
2009 Special Miscellaneous Award: H1N1
2009 Overall: Salish Sea 

2010 Fictional: Quinn and Finn (from Glee)
2010 Personal: Lady Gaga
2010 Place: Eyjafjallajökull
2010 Trade: Tea Party
2010 Overall: Eyjafjallajökull

2011 Fictional: Lisbeth Salander (from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
2011 Personal: Qadaffi
2011 Place: Fukushima
2011 Trade: Siri
2011 Overall: Arab Spring

2012 Fictional: Downton Abbey
2012 Personal: Malala (Yousafazi)
2012 Place: Gangnam
2012 Trade: Fiscal Cliff
2012 Overall: Sandy (superstorm)