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The -S Surname Master List

October 13, 2021 Namerology 1 min read 2 Comments
Master Lists of baby names that fit a style

For full-tilt surname style, you can’t beat an -s ending. The -s is a fashion amplifier, accentuating the gruffness of a name like Briggs, the urbanity of Eames, and the old-school formality of Jennings. These baby names offer a fresh sound with traditional roots, and their popularity is soaring. The […]

The Baby Name Color Wheel

September 21, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 6 Comments
color wheel

Many babies share their names with colors. But which colors?  What color names are given most to babies? Do American baby names span the rainbow? And have our hue choices changed over time? These seem like straightforward questions, but color usually takes a backseat to other word-name themes. The problem […]

Beyond the Stats: a Hidden World of Names

September 6, 2021 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 5 Comments
Curtain being pulled back to reveal names

There are far, far more names than we imagine. Last year, over 30,000 different names were recorded in the US national baby name statistics. Yet those stats only include names given to 5 or more boys or girls in a single year. What about the ultra-rare names? How many names […]

These Names Were Once Hidden Gems. What Happened?

August 27, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 1 Comment
Header image: "Namerology Trends"

It’s the ultimate baby name dream: a name that’s stylish and appealing, yet undiscovered. In my Baby Name Wizard books I try to unearth these hidden gems. My “Why Not?” category lists names with the ingredients for popularity that have somehow slipped under the fashion radar. I submitted the first […]

Want to See 400 Years of French Baby Names?

August 12, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 4 Comments

Some days, the y-axis feels like my enemy. I’ll be tracing a name’s past popularity on a graph, when the history cuts off abruptly at a point 100 or so years ago. Too many questions about the past are left unanswered. Now, though, we have an opportunity to take a […]

A Paean to Common Names

August 5, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 3 Comments
illustration representing a network of people

What makes names so powerful? A recent thread on tumblr offered one answer, based on connection. Some excerpts: “u ever think abt how some names have been used for centuries, millenniums even…like how many times has the earth heard a mother calling, ‘alexander!’…how many times have the stars caught a […]

Olympic Baby Names are Vanishing

July 27, 2021 Namerology 2 min read 2 Comments
Photo of Olympic rings vanishing into mist

What do Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky have in common? If you were reading this article anywhere else, the answer would be about their records of excellence in Olympic sports. But in this space we measure impact in baby names. The three dominant athletes have had the exact […]

Lessons in Naming from American Sign Language

July 17, 2021 Namerology 3 min read 1 Comment

Who gets to name Kamala Harris? For those of us in the hearing world, the question may scarcely make sense. Vice President Harris is a grown woman whose name is well established (despite opponents’ attempts to diminish her by deliberately mangling it). But for American Sign Language users, the question […]