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Can You Win a Name Madness Bracket?

March 19, 2020 laurawattenberg 9 Comments

Can You Win a Name Madness Bracket?

March 19, 2020 LauraWattenberg 9 Comments
Image of a March Madness-style baby name "playoff bracket"

What is March without a playoff bracket? Baby names to the rescue! Try Namerology’s Name Madness, a one-minute game that challenges your sense of name style.

For each pairing, just click on the name that you think is more popular right now. Every name in the bracket , no matter how surprising, ranks in the current top 1000 for boys or girls in the United States. (Or in England, if you choose the British version of the game.) Every time you play you’ll get a new bracket. Can you score a perfect 15?

Play Name Madness Now!


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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  • TheOtherHungarian
    TheOtherHungarian March 19, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    I have come to the conclusion that I suck at this. The highest I can get is 10/15, but my average is closer to 3 or 4, and I once managed a 1.

    I wonder if it would be possible to re-score a particular bracket according to prior years’ statistics, to find the year when my choices would score the highest. Basically, I’d like to know how far in the past my name style sense is stuck. 🙂

  • Penguinmom March 19, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    I got as high as 12/15 and as low as 9/15, playing it 3 times. I did run into an interesting technicality where Lily, ranked 31, lost to Thomas, ranked 49, because there were more boys named Thomas than girls named Lily.

    • Namerology
      Namerology March 20, 2020 at 4:40 pm

      Yep, we had to make a decision whether the final champion would be based on number of babies or ranking. We thought babies seemed fairer and frankly more interesting. I’m curious for others’ opinions!

  • Nicwoo March 21, 2020 at 5:40 am

    Ha— this was fun. But I trended anywhere between 4/15 to 12/15…?! I noticed it does crack at my confidence getting that final number named over ranking every time! (And apparently girls names are harder for me to pin than boys generally for creativity vs. convention.) Very entertained!

  • Gheba March 22, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I love this game, a nice distraction during these awful lockdown days! And I won 🙂
    Greetings from a name geek from Italy!

  • Kater-ater
    Kater-ater March 22, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    I did not expect to be good at this, but I didn’t think I would do this badly! Usually between 5-9 correct. My favorite was when I got all of the boys’ side right and all of the girls’ side wrong. That’s fun to look at!

  • Another Laura March 24, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve found a distraction while sheltering in place! Finally a game I can do better than my kids.

  • 4boyzmdmom
    4boyzmdmom April 16, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    This game is addictive! I actually achieved a 13 score once, but mostly I scored in the 7-8 range. It’s more challenging than I anticipated. I think if the game were based on the name’s rank it would probably be easier, but the number of babies receiving the name is definitely more interesting!

  • holey
    holey May 19, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Laura, I think it could be pretty interesting if you gathered statistics on the incorrect guesses people make. Which names do people perceive as being more/less popular than they actually are?

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