February 8, 2005

All Hail The Baby Name Wizard Empire

baby_name_wizard.jpgEnough with the "We named her Trinity cuz The Matrix is so cool." already. Mother/software designer/writer Laura Wattenberg has just put out The Baby Name Wizard, which injects some welcome data-crunching, analytical rigor to the amorphous, emotional task of babynaming.

And as if a book weren't enough, Wattenberg has compiled all her historical data into Name Voyager, a sweet Java app that lets you surf through the last 100 years of naming popularity with ease.

AND, she's got an incredible blog, full of the latest baby naming news. I could steal from there for days--and I'm sure I will. Why, just look at the most recent posts, for example:

  • the urban legend of a boy named Yahoo(!),
  • the mysterious absence of Hispanic names from Babycenter's "top 100 names of 2004" list, and my favorite,
  • the investigation of the sudden 2001 appearance on the SSA's top 1000 list of the girl's name Nevaeh (hint: it's "Heaven" spelled backwards).

    The Baby Name Wizard Empire includes:
    The book
    The freetime-killing computer game and

    The name news blog
    [via waxy]


    Hey... if we had a girl we were going to name her Trinity cuz that's the bar we met at.

    To bring this full-circle (sort of), my wife and I met at a bar named Heaven (or maybe it was Nevaeh, and we were looking at the sign from the other side?)

    well, then, MD, that's totally different

    Tread carefully if your new neighbor has a kid named Scores, though.

    If that java Name Voyager isn't the coolest thing ever, it's darned close. I happened upon it at work today and it affected the productivity of our entire department. It also confirmed my suspicion that our eight-month-old son's name, Jackson, was rapidly gaining in popularity. Dangit, and we thought he would avoid having 4 kids in kindergarten with the same name!!!

    I'm a Loyal Daddy-Types lurker, and I'm so glad you've covered this. Wattenburg is the sister-in-law of an acquaintance of mine, so I'm happy to see her get good publicity for this work.

    and what's a website for, if not to flog the worthy projects of in-laws of friends of previously unknown readers?

    We were late for our dinner reservation last night after I showed the Name Voyager to my dad and step-mom as we were heading out the door. 20, 30 minutes later...

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