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Baby Name Wizard 4: Meet the New Book!

April 24, 2019 laurawattenberg 15 Comments

Baby Name Wizard 4: Meet the New Book!

April 24, 2019 LauraWattenberg 15 Comments
Baby Name Wizard 4th Edition book cover

It’s here! I’m happy to introduce the completely revised 4th edition of The Baby Name Wizard, the field guide to American baby names.

If you haven’t browsed through the BNW books in the past, please take a look—you may be surprised. I think you’ll find that my books look different from other baby name books, and they work differently too. Don’t expect to find perfunctory “definitions” of names. Here’s a typical BNW name entry:

Baby Name Wizard book entry for the name Duke

Popularity graphs, cultural associations, style lists, “sibling” names close in spirit…it’s all part of capturing a name’s unique impact, and guiding you to the names that fit your unique taste.

So that’s your general introduction to The Baby Name Wizard approach. Now here’s what’s new about BNW4.

  • Names. Hundreds of new names and entries to keep up with the fast-changing world of baby name style.
  • Style categories. The first major revision of the extended name-style list, with new groupings like “Contrarian” and “Stately Classics.”
  • Advice. A new introductory section of advice and background information, including guides to middle names and composing a full name.
  • Special features. Look for new style spotlights, and a survey of the distinctive local style of every state in the union.
  • Thousands and thousands of updates. I went over every word and image in the book to make sure everything was up to date and on target.

In short, BNW4 was a years-long labor of love, and I hope you’ll find it worth the wait.

Next question: where can you buy it? Answer: just about anywhere books are sold! It’s shipping from Amazon and Barnes & Noble as we speak, and hopefully awaiting you on the shelves of your local bookstore. (Links are below.) But there’s a little catch to watch for. For some reason, BNW4 has the same ISBN code as the previous edition. That means a computer database might not be sure which edition is which. Luckily, you can tell the books apart easily by their spines.

Look for the solid blue spine, the top book in this photo!

Spines of the 3rd & 4th book editions

Find the 4th Baby Name Wizard at: Barnes & Noble Independent Bookstores


Namerology founder and "Baby Name Wizard" author Laura Wattenberg is a globally recognized name expert, known for her scientific approach to understanding name trends and culture.

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  • Kayeff
    Kayeff April 24, 2019 at 1:27 am

    I don’t have a baby to name but I’ve really been looking forward to this book’s release! Can’t wait to add that solid blue spine to my bookshelf!

  • Kate April 24, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I’m so excited about this!! I just went to buy it on Amazon, but even though the new cover is featured, it’s showing the info for the previous edition (over 200 reviews and it’s telling me I bought it in 2017 — which is the last time I replaced my worn copy of the third edition). Just wanted to make you aware!

    • Jessemy May 5, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      I’m also on my third purchase…Laura, great job updating the book. It’s a fun read EVERY time!

  • Elizabeth April 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    I am so excited! And you have made the entire state of NC happy with your featured names. Duke fans will appreciate the shout out, while Carolina fans will appreciate the phonetic spelling.

  • LauraWattenberg
    LauraWattenberg April 24, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you so much!! I hope it lives up to expectations. At the very least I can promise it’s the easiest edition to tell apart. 🙂

  • Kelly April 24, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    When I order the Kindle version on I’m still getting the previous edition. What should I do there to make sure I get the new one?

    • LauraWattenberg
      LauraWattenberg April 24, 2019 at 11:57 pm

      Nooooooo! Random House promised me that only the 4th was available!!

      Thank you SO much for letting me know, I’m getting in touch with them right now!

    • Kelly April 30, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      After chatting with someone at I finally got the right (4th) edition downloaded. If anyone else still has the same problem I did feel free to post about the issue. Also, in the future it’d save your readers a lot of headache if each new edition got its own ISBN so there wouldn’t be technical confusion like this (if I recall editions 1 and 2 had the same ISBN, and when 3 was released it got a new one but you recycled numbers again with 4). (Re-using ISBNs may make sense when dealing with minor insubstantial changes, but not with significant revisions like you did between each edition of your book.)

      • LauraWattenberg
        LauraWattenberg April 30, 2019 at 5:52 pm

        I’m glad you were able to get it sorted out! I wish I had any control over the ISBN issue, but I didn’t even know the publishers had decided to keep the ISBN until long after it was done.

  • AnotherLaura
    AnotherLaura April 25, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Amazon won’t let me buy the 4th edition on kindle because I own the 3rd edition on kindle. It did let me download a sample on kindle and I got to read the new intro.

    • LauraWattenberg
      LauraWattenberg April 25, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Oh. My.

      I am SO sorry this is so difficult! Apparently this reuse-the-ISBN thing is a new trend, but it’s pretty clear they haven’t worked through–or perhaps foreseen–all of the implications. I’m scrambling to see what I can do about it.

  • Jenny April 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Yay, I’m so excited!! Just ordered it on Amazon:) If they send the wrong one I’ll be sure to send it back and let you know and tell them I need it NOW!;)

  • tp-b
    tp-b April 30, 2019 at 1:55 am

    I suspected something was keeping you busy. Congratulations!

  • KO84
    KO84 May 2, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Just got my book yesterday! FINALLY found Gax included somewhere but I noticed the #very rare category is missing. Sadly, due to this oversight I’ll only be able to leave a 4 star rating. I’m sure this will be remedied by the 5th edition.

  • Gina June 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    I just downloaded the new book and have spent the weekend reading it. This is my third copy of BNW and it’s still as interesting as ever!

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