How do I name a species after someone?

Names based on personal names should follow Latin grammar; they may be a noun in the genitive case, a noun in apposition (nominative case) or an adjective or participle (Article 31). Of these a noun in the genitive case is recommended. This is formed by adding the stem of the name to a standard ending. A Latin equivalent for a personal name is often used. Names in languages using non-Latin characters can be transliterated into Latin characters. Some examples:

Personal name

Latinised?

Stem of name

Gender ending (-ae for
a woman, -I for a man. –arum for more than one woman, -orum for a group
of more than one man or a mixed group)

Species name

Margaret

No

margaret-

-ae

margaretae

Margaret

Margarita or
Margaretha

margarit- or
margareth-

-ae

margaritae or margarethae

Karl

No

karl-

-i

karli

Karl

Carolus

carol-

-i

caroli

Margaret and Jane Smith

No

smith-

-arum

smitharum

Shawn and Jack Smith

No

smith-

-orum

smithorum

Margaret and John Smith

No

smith-

-orum

smithorum

While there are different endings for male and female names, there is no implied value judgement in the endings.

Nouns in apposition are not recommended because the ending of the name is unchanged, and so it could be confused with an author name (Rec. 31A).

Adjectives based on the endings –anus/ -ana/ -anum or –ianus/ -iana/ -ianum are not recommended because they can sound rude, for example using the surname Bush could result in bushianus. Do not use a name which may cause offence (Appendix A); it is advisable to check with the person after whom the new species is being named that they are happy for their name to be used. Care should be taken because incorrectly formed names cannot always be changed afterwards (Articles 32, 34).

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith