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Names News Item

The following dispatch is from Reuters, dated 2 March, 2001:
 
Pierre, S.D. Under a new state law to be enacted today, more than three dozen South Dakota towns and other place names will be renamed to remove the words "Squaw" or "Negro" because the words are offensive.
 
Among the names deemed by the bill to be "offensive and insulting to all of South Dakota's people, history, and heritage," were Squaw Lake, to be renamed Serenity Lake, and Negro Gulch, to be renamed Last Chance Gulch.
 
Similar renaming measures have been adopted by other [U.S.] states including Maine, Montana, and Minnesota.
 
Among the examples listed by the bill, Squaw Teat Creek will be renamed East Rattlesnake Creek, and Negro Creek will become Medicine Mountain Creek. A total of 39 towns, creeks, and other locales will be renamed, though many do not have replacements as yet and suggestions were being sought.
 
South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow and supporters of the legislation, including representatives of local American Indian tribes, were scheduled to attend a bill-signing ceremony on Friday at the state capitol, a state spokesman said on Thursday.


In his 1986 book, "Names," author Paul Dickson tells of the word "aptronym," which was coined by Franklin P. Adams. "Aptronym" is used to refer to a name that is aptly suited to its owner.
An aptronym from recent headlines: The Reverend Richard I. Pervo, Professor of Christian Studies, University of Minnesota, was recently arrested for possession of child pornography.