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The Baby Name Color Wheel

September 21, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 3 Comments

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 […]

Curtain being pulled back to reveal names

Beyond the Stats: a Hidden World of Names

September 6, 2021 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 5 Comments

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 […]

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These Names Were Once Hidden Gems. What Happened?

August 27, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read No Comments

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 […]

illustration representing a network of people

A Paean to Common Names

August 5, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 3 Comments

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 […]

Photo of Olympic rings vanishing into mist

Olympic Baby Names are Vanishing

July 27, 2021 Namerology 2 min read 2 Comments

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 […]

The Many Faces of X

July 1, 2021 Namerology 2 min read 8 Comments

The letter X has put its stamp on the past generation of American baby names. Over the last 25 years, names have included the letter seven times as often as in earlier generations. Beyond the numbers, we’ve seen a creative explosion in the way parents use X in names: inventing, […]

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