Professor nicolaisen died in aberdeen

Post a Comment. Sunday, February 21, Professor Nicolaisen died in Aberdeen. While spatial translation of maps into place name time-eras is now commonplace across the world, his laborious and enormously time-consuming work began in the pre-computer age.

From an Ordnance Survey sheet, he would strip out post place names, then establish the Scoto-Norman pattern underneath.

He then similarly exposed those of Gaelic, Pictish and pre-Celtic eras right back to river names such as Tay or Spey whose meanings are now lost, but whose existence as ancient monickers confirmed in his view some primitive form of river worship. Retiring at 65 from the University of Binghampton, New York, inhe moved to Aberdeen, and soon became engaged with Aberdeen University, continuing place name research on a world stage.

Along the way, he enthused three generations of students in language, folklore, literature and cultural history, and in celebrated a remarkable 60 years as a university tutor. In Mayhe pioneered a place name column in The Scots Magazine. The Story Behind The Name ran monthly for an astonishing 23 years, gaining an impressively interested audience.

I was among his fans, with the upshot being that more half-a-century later, I became one of his students at Aberdeen University, discovering how much information this distinguished scholar would extract from an apparently simple item as a place name.

Not for him merely the etymology: he anchored meaning in terms of time, space and cultural connection as well as form, function and narrative associated with it — undertaking this without once touching on the enveloping jargon of his trade, an argot of onomastics that starts with terms such as toponymy and hydronomy, and goes on to a great deal worse.

Posted by Dr. Labels: Heroes of onomasticsonomastic newsProfessor Nicolaisen died in Aberdeenwilhelm nicolaisen. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.By Alexis Hatcher - February 26, He was 88 years old.

Former professor remembered for passion for teaching, distinguished career

He began working at BU inwhere he taught in the English department, becoming a distinguished professor of English and folklore in Nicolaisen retired from BU in and continued to teach at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland until he died.

While at BU, Nicolaisen helped further the University in numerous ways, including chairing the committee that formed the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. His daughter, Birgit Nicolaisen, a program assistant for University Tutoring Services at BU, said his various involvements partly stemmed from a willingness to help anyone possible.

His work was his passion. According to Birgit, he also had a love for singing, food and traveling. According to Bronner, Nicolaisen proved that teachers were capable of enjoying themselves with their students.

He not only brought the subject alive, he made it relevant to the serious concerns of our generation about what was happening to the world. Campus News Stenger addresses BU sexual assault policies, institutes 12 reforms.

Politics BU alumnus retires from Army following bullying, intimidation tactics from Trump.Stanley was born in Aberdeen into a Traveller family, and was renowned for his storytelling, ballad singing, and piping. In addition to this, Stanley participated in the Institute's 'Traveller Days', 'Barrie Nichts', and many other events besides.

Eddie worked tirelessly on completing the editing of the folk play volumes of the Carpenter collection critical edition, which will be published by the University Press of Mississippi in His scholarship was honoured with the Coote Lake medal of the Folklore Society. A folklorist and onomastician, Bill had wide-ranging research interests including place names, contemporary legends, ballads, and folklore in literature among countless other subjects he wrote about in over writings.

Inwith students and colleagues from the Elphinstone Institute, Bill celebrated his sixtieth year of university teaching, an astounding achievement and testament to his dedication to students throughout his career.

The Elphinstone Institute will host an international symposium in honour of Professor Nicolaisen in the summer of Details will be forthcoming. Professor Emeritus Bill Nicolaisen, who has died aged 88, was the Aberdeen scholar who pioneered the use of mapping to establish origin of place names.

While spatial translation of maps into place name time-eras is now commonplace across the world, his laborious and enormously time-consuming work began in the pre-computer age.

professor nicolaisen died in aberdeen

From an Ordnance Survey sheet, he would strip out post place names to establish the Scoto-Norman pattern underneath. He then similarly exposed layers of Gaelic, Pictish and pre-Celtic eras right back to river names such as Tay or Spey whose meanings are now lost, but whose existence as ancient monickers confirmed in his view some primitive form of river-worship.

Retiring at 65 from the State University of New York, Binghamton where he had taught Folklore for 23 years, inBill moved to Aberdeen and soon became engaged with Aberdeen University, continuing place name research on a world stage. In the bygoing, he has enthused three generations of students in language, folklore, literature and cultural history, and in celebrated a remarkable 60 years as a university tutor.

In Mayhe pioneered a place name column in The Scots Magazine. The Story Behind The Name ran monthly for an astonishing 23 years, gaining an impressively interested audience. I was among his fans, with the upshot being that half-a-century later, I became one of his students at Aberdeen University, discovering how much information this distinguished scholar would extract from an apparently simple item as a place name.

Dr Nicolaisen was no ivory-tower academic, but someone who cycled round Mull in the s lugging a reel-to-reel tape machine, orally recording local place names from residents still acquainted with Mull Gaelic. On foot, bike and bus, he quartered Scotland to locate place names — and not just to record them, but to examine the locality to establish the resonance of the place name in the field.

By contrast, a Niagara of publications has poured from his pen — more than articles, essays, addresses, reviews and papers. Unusually for an academic, he succeeded in popularising his speciality without dumbing down.

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Wilhelm Fritz Hermann Nicolaisen was born in Halle, Germany, the eldest of three sons of Professor Andreas Nicolaisen, holder of a university chair of agriculture. His early interest in names showed in his quest for his own. He attended the University of Kiel fromstudying studied folklore, language, and literature — though not before being drafted into the Hitler Youth as a year-old — a fate he shared with contemporaries including a young Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

As with the former Pope, he was moved at age 17 into the Wehrmacht to serve on anti-aircraft batteries.For Nicolaisen had branched out from river naming to that of Scotland as a whole, a project that partly culminated in his groundbreaking Scottish Place Names inand the Scottish component of The Names of Towns and Cities in Britain in Partly, because this was not the end of his researches into the naming of places. Another Scottish connection was clinched when he shared a textbook in a Gaelic class with May Forsyth Jenkins Marshall, whom he married in The first of four aptly named daughters, Fiona, Kirsten, Moira and Birgit was born in He was recruited to the department of English in the State University of New York at Binghamton inwhere he continued his principal research in onomastics — the study of names and place names.

This crossed over into very wide range of specialities such as history, geography, archaeology, literature, linguistics, folklore, as well as Pictish, Celtic and Nordic studies, producing a torrent of some publications in both academic and popular journals.

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A Carnegie Visiting Fellowship to Aberdeen University in began a life-long association with that university and its hinterland, boosted by many return visits and vacations, and an almost fanatical support of Aberdeen Football Club. When he retired from Binghamton inhaving gained its highest accolade of Distinguished Professor, it was again no surprise that he returned to Aberdeen, where he was appointed Honorary Professor in English and awarded an honorary doctorate in A well-built, handsome and devoted family man, he combined teaching, which was both illuminating and involving, with assiduous and thorough research.

professor nicolaisen died in aberdeen

A constant source of support of help, advice and encouragement, especially for younger researchers, he was greatly welcomed at conferences worldwide, where he typically would highlight and support the best from any presentation, combining this with many acts of kindness. Across Britain, America and Europe his warmth and generosity of spirit will be very greatly missed.

News you can trust since Died 15 February, in Aberdeen, aged By The Newsroom. Prof Wilhelm Fritz Hermann Nicolaisen, lecturer was an expert on origins of place names.

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Obituary: Prof Wilhelm Fritz Hermann Nicolaisen, English lecturer

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Future Scotland. Must Read. Advertise My Business.By Simon J. SJB: We are here to remember and honor Bill Nicolaisen, who passed away on February 15,at the age of 88 in the company of his family in Aberdeen, Scotland. I, Simon Bronner, fortunate to be his first American student to go on in folklore studies, and Elizabeth Tucker, a colleague in English and folklore at Binghamton University, are here to represent the American part of his journey, but we also want to recognize others who will fondly remember and honor Bill for the Scottish, Scandinavian, and German parts of his global experience.

In addition to earning the title of distinguished professor at Binghamton, he also taught folklore at Ohio State University, University of Aberdeen, and the University of Aarhus. He made his name, if I can invoke some wordplay that he as a punster and onamastician might appreciate, in the genres of names, narratives, ballads, speech, and literature.

He had much that was profound to say about identity, particularly the Scottishness, Americanness, Scandinavianness, and Germanness of migratory cultural traditions. He was a terrific ambassador for folklore and affected many disciplines. He was a leader and organizer par excellence, including the organization of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research with which the AFS is partnering this weekend. Most of all he was a loving, generous soul who had admirers all over the world.

He bolted the farm from to to study language and folklore at the University of Kiel where he came under the influence of two giants of folklore scholarship—Walter Anderson and Kurt Ranke In at the behest of German dialect professor Fritz Braun, he took a teaching scholarship in the German Department at the University of Glasgow, and hence began a love affair with that country and one of its womenfolk named May Marshall.

ET: Bill and May married in and had four daughters, all of whom enjoyed linguistic play, songs, and tales as much as they did. Dinners at their home always involved lively discussion, laughter, and jokes. It was an honor to be part of their circle of friends.

Bill was an inspired teacher, always seeking new ways to engage his students in the study of folklore. As Simon has explained, Bill was a distinguished scholar who made remarkable contributions to folklore studies in Europe and the United States. He was the only folklorist who served as the president of both the American Folklore Society and the British Folklore Society; he also served as president of the American Name Society, the New York Folklore Society, and other scholarly associations.

His half-dozen books and many editorial posts, including a long-term post as editor of Scottish Studies, eloquently attest to his dedication to our field and to Scotland. In particular, his magnum opus, Scottish Place Nameswhich won the Chicago Folklore Prize, has left an enduring legacy.

We can look forward to the publication of his last collection of essays, which will remind us how vibrantly he supported the growth of folklore scholarship and how much he cared about his fellow folklorists worldwide.

W. F. H. "Bill" Nicolaisen

I daresay that one of his proudest moments was when he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in All this is to say that he was greatly admired as a scholar, respected as a global leader, and beloved as a person.

When he passed away, his Aberdeen admirers were preparing a hefty volume of folkloristic papers selected from his oeuvre of over articles, and our hope is that his legacy, his words and stories, will continue on both sides of the Atlantic when this labor of love comes out. He lies silent now, but we can picture him beaming his broad smile knowing you will be telling stories and singing songs as we meet.

Think of him as you do. Remember Me. Email to a Friend. Sign In. Edit This Favorite.Wilhelm Fritz Hermann Nicolaisen 13 June — 15 February was a folkloristlinguistmedievalistscholar of onomastics and literatureeducator, and author with specialties in Scottish and American studies.

His father was a professor of agriculture. He attended the University of Kiel in Germany from to where he studied folklore, language, and literature. Among his professors were renowned folklorists Kurt Ranke and Walter Anderson. His dissertation in Germany had been on the river names of the British Isles "Die morphologisch und semasiologische Struktur der Gewassernamen der britischen Inseln" and in Glasgow, he focused on Scottish river names "Studies in Scottish Hydronymy".

He had research interests in language particularly place namesin folklore narrative and balladryin literature medieval classics and Scottish poets and novelistsand in cultural history Scotland, the British Isles, and Scandinavia.

Inhe returned to the University of Edinburgh, becoming the acting head of its School of Scottish Studies in The following year, he left for the United States to take the position of associate professor in the English Department at the Binghamton University.

When Nicolaisen arrived at Binghamton he taught in the English Department under the "Specialization in Literature and Folklore," one of four.

In this capacity his colleague, Dr. Elizabeth Tucker,provided a modern-ancient twist to the mix; their complementaries created a wild range of Folklore courses. Importantly, Binghamton Folklore led by Nicolaisen and Tucker was a joy and became messianic in its nature for other folklorists in New York State.

ByNicolaisen had engaged in the State University of New York's decision to develop the field of Folklore at Binghamton, one of four University Centers considered. Both Nicolaisen and Tucker were influential at the state and national levels in Folklore. Folklorist Dr. Simon J. Bronner had graduated previously from Binghamton in My education from Nicolaisen predates his extraordinary presidential address to the American Folklore Society.

Throughout the seventies and eighties Nicolaisen and Tucker were critical in the maintenance of Folklore as both field of study and place for theory. Importantly, The New York Folklore Society flourished and continues to provide active public education of all kinds. Nicolaisen brought an ancient world of intellectual academia with him when he arrived in New York.

His study at the University of Tuebingen provided a rigorous scholarship. Equally important, however, was his cheeriness and sense of wry humor.

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Folklore courses at Binghamton were extremely popular with non-English majors. He grounded a generation of Bachelor of Arts in intellectual advancement and enjoyment, all in the name of Liberal Arts and Humanities.

professor nicolaisen died in aberdeen

Before his arrival at Binghamton, Nicolaisen had already completed his twelve years as the head of The School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh Nicolaisen also brought with him extensive experience in Northern European Folklore, both places where universities' histories could be counted in centuries.By Gordon Casely Professor Emeritus Bill Nicolaisen, who has died aged 88, was the Aberdeen scholar who pioneered the use of mapping to establish origin of place names.

While spatial translation of maps into place name time-eras is now commonplace across the world, his laborious and enormously time-consuming work began in the pre-computer age. From an Ordnance Survey sheet, he would strip out post place names to establish the Scoto-Norman pattern underneath.

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He then similarly exposed layers of Gaelic, Pictish and pre-Celtic eras right back to river names such as Tay or Spey whose meanings are now lost, but whose existence as ancient monickers confirmed in his view some primitive form of river-worship. Retiring at 65 from the University of Binghampton, New York, inhe moved to Aberdeen, and soon became engaged with Aberdeen University, continuing place name research on a world stage. In the bygoing, he has enthused three generations of students in language, folklore, literature and cultural history, and in celebrated a remarkable 60 years as a university tutor.

In Mayhe pioneered a place name column in The Scots Magazine. The Story Behind The Name ran monthly for an astonishing 23 years, gaining an impressively interested audience. Not for him merely the etymology: he anchored meaning in terms of time, space and cultural connection as well as form, function and narrative associated with it — undertaking this without once touching on the enveloping jargon of his trade, an argot of onomastics that starts with terms such as toponymy and hydronomy, and goes on to a great deal worse.

Dr Nicolaisen was no ivory-tower academic, but someone who cycled round Mull in the s lugging a reel-to-reel tape machine, orally recording local place names from residents still acquaint with Mull Gaelic. On foot, bike and bus, he quartered Scotland to locate place names — and not just to record them, but to examine the locality to establish the resonance of the place name in the field.

By contrast, a Niagara of publications has poured from his pen - more than articles, essays, addresses, reviews and papers. Unusually for an academic, he succeeded in popularising his speciality without dumbing down. Wilhelm Fritz Hermann Nicolaisen was born in Halle, Germany, the eldest of three sons of Professor Andreas Nicolaisen, holder of a university chair of agriculture.

His early interest in names showed in his quest for his own.

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He attended the University of Kiel fromstudying studied folklore, language, and literature — though not before being drafted into the Hitler Youth as a year-old — a fate he shared with contemporaries including a young Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

As with the former Pope, he was moved at age 17 into the Wehrmacht to serve on anti-aircraft batteries. They swapped notes — to discover that while one was raining bombs down in aboive Schleswig, the other was firing up from the same place. They shook hands, became lifetime friends, and would toast each other in having missed each other. His professor suggested he tackle the same subject in Scotland.

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Post-war paper shortages meant that students shared Gaelic books one between two, and thus Bill met fellow student May Marshall, and married her. A big handsome man with a ready grin, Dr Nicolaisen delighted in word banter. Thus while his persona is that of a place name scholar, he preferred to be regarded as a folklorist specialising in folk tales and contemporary legends.


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