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Vintage print ad showing "mammy" figure with pancakes, and a description of "old-time plantation flavor"

Brand Curse: The Name Jemima in America

June 19, 2020 LauraWattenberg 6 min read 10 Comments

This week the Aunt Jemima pancake brand name was “retired,” bringing an end to a 131-year advertising minstrel show. The brand’s current owner, Quaker, finally bowed to the reality that no cosmetic makeover could rehabilitate a character, and business, built on a romanticized fantasy of owning human beings as property. […]

Implicit Bias in Names: An Unintentional Case Study

June 15, 2020 LauraWattenberg 4 min read 8 Comments

As our nation confronts the massive toll of systemic racism, a viral video on the subject has been viewed millions of times. In simple animation, the video presents two hypothetical American boys, one white and one black. The two characters become avatars of the multigenerational effects of privilege on one […]

Animal Crossing: Tom-Nook

Let’s Close Read the Animal Crossing Names

May 22, 2020 Namerology 4 min read No Comments

As we speak, millions of people are sheltering at home on remote islands with only animals for company. And those animals have names. The Nintendo game Animal Crossing: New Horizons serves up a much-needed escape, a cheery world with a cast of cartoon critters. A glance at their cherubic faces, […]

Map showing state-by-state popularity of names ending in -TT

Explore the Ultimate US Name Map

May 7, 2020 Namerology 1 min read 12 Comments

Interested in names, and America? Roll up your sleeves. Namerology’s new interactive map of the United States lets you explore name style from coast to coast, and from Aaden to Zyra. Just start typing letters in the search box on the upper left, and the map will instantly show you […]

Photos of a Depression breadline, a WWI "keep calm and carry on" sign and a 2020 "stay home" alert sign

Naming in Hard Times

April 21, 2020 LauraWattenberg 5 min read 2 Comments

What will baby names look like for the rest of 2020? It’s a deeper question than it may seem, because names are more than just fashion statements. They’re reflections of parents’ attitudes and obsessions, hopes and dreams. That makes names a barometer of a nation’s state of mind—especially in a […]

Morose dog named Keith

21 Names You Will Never, Ever Name Your Dog

March 31, 2020 LauraWattenberg 1 min read 11 Comments

You might think that when you’re naming a dog, anything goes. But in reality, there are limits. Some names are exclusively human. Doubt it? Just try to picture going to the park and hearing dog owners calling out these names. SuzanneKeithMartinCherylJeanineBrianLawrenceBrendaStevenDianeEileenGlennSharonJudithMarkSusanEricaRaymondElaineKennethDenise “Fetch, Suzanne! Heel, Steven!” Not likely, is it? All […]

All-Name Crossword #2

March 25, 2020 Namerology 1 min read 11 Comments

This brand-new Namerology crossword features a single name running down the center with few crossing clues. It’s the most popular name in the entire puzzle. As always, if you get stuck on a particular clue you can choose a square and click the “reveal letter” button. View the solution Also […]

Image of a March Madness-style baby name "playoff bracket"

Can You Win a Name Madness Bracket?

March 19, 2020 LauraWattenberg 1 min read 9 Comments

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 […]

Flag of Ireland with cartoon of smiling baby

The Top Baby Names in Ireland, Yesterday and Today

March 5, 2020 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 1 Comment

Irish baby names aren’t what they used to be: they’re more Irish. That’s the top takeaway from Ireland’s newly announced baby name statistics. Meet the brand-new top 10. The Most Popular Irish Baby Names of 2019 BOYS GIRLS #1 Jack Emily #2 James Grace #3 Noah Fiadh #4 Conor Sophie […]

Image contrasting Charlotte & Alexander with Harper & Hunter

In Names, Parental Age Is Everything

February 26, 2020 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 11 Comments

I’ve been banging the drum for many years about the importance of maternal age, in baby name style and far beyond. Most of my name conclusions had to be inferred from community-wide differences in age and naming. Direct data about the ages of parents choosing particular names simply wasn’t available. […]

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