1. Linguists don't know for certain where "hobo" comes from. Its first dictionary appearance was in 1893, when it was associated with California and the Northwest. Attempts to pin its derivation to homeward bound, homeless body, and hopping boxcars have proved fruitless. Overheard in New York appears to be campaigning to revive its use. And this New Yorker cartoon by Matthew Diffee turns it into an identity-politics label. (Hat tip: Back of the Cereal Box)
2.Dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) is a genericized trademark. The company that first named the substance (and manufactured it commercially), the Dry Ice Corporation of America, received the trademark in 1925.
3. Iceland does not permit anyone, including immigrants, to take or keep foreign surnames.* The government made an exception for Russian maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, who became an Icelandic citizen in 1972. Source: this Mental Floss article, which includes other personal-name curiosities. (Ashkenazy, by the way, currently lives in Switzerland. His wife, Sofia Johannesdottir, is Icelandic by birth.)
4. At the American Name Society's 2009 annual meeting, to be held next month in San Francisco, the session titled "Aptronyms: Names and Vocations" will be chaired by Dr. Ernest Abel of Wayne State University. Doubtless the honorable chair is both earnest and able.
* Iceland is unique among European countries in that surnames—last names passed down from generation to generation—are rare. Instead, the father's first name is the basis of the child's last name; girls attach "dottir" to the name, and boys attach "son." In an Icelandic telephone directory, persons are listed alphabetically by first name. More on Icelandic language and naming conventions here.
Image of Hobo Soup ("A Jungle Recipe / Fit for a King") from Mr. Bali Hai.