As our inventory of Earth’s biodiversity progresses, the number of species given a Latin binomial name is also growing. While the coining of species names is bound by rules, the sources of inspiration used by taxonomists are an eclectic mix. We investigated naming trends for nearly 2900 new species of parasitic helminths described in the past two decades. Our analysis indicates that the likelihood of new species being given names that convey some information about them (name derived from morphology, host or locality of origin) or not (named after an eminent scientist, or for something else) depends on the higher taxonomic group to which the parasite or its host belongs. We also found a consistent gender bias among species named after eminent scientists, with male scientists being immortalized disproportionately more frequently than female scientists. Finally, we found that the tendency for taxonomists to name new species after a family member or close friend has increased over the past 20 years. We end by offering suggestions for future species naming, aimed at honouring the scientific community’s diversity and avoiding etymological nepotism and cronyism, while still allowing for creativity in crafting new Latin species names.