The hornet formerly characterized as “murder” received a new common name. In late July 2022, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) introduced a new common for the the species Vespa mandarinia: the Northern giant hornet. The hornet is classified by several Western states as “invasive” and has been an object of eradication efforts. “Northern giant hornet is both scientifically accurate [description of the species’ native range in Asia] and easy to understand, and it avoids evoking fear or discrimination,” says President Jessica Ware of the ESA. Just Language hero, Chris Looney, from the Washington Department of Agriculture, led the renaming with a proposal to the organization. In 2021, ESA adopted new guidelines for common names, elimating names referring to ethnic or racial groups and names that might instigate fear and hate while also discouraging geographic names, especially for invasive species.

Source: Entomological Society of America (particularly the Northern giant hornet Common Name Tookit) & New York Times