Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Baby Name Wizard
A tip o' the hat to Rob MacDougall for pointing me to the Baby Name Wizard.
This site is intended (I think) to help parents come up with the best name for their offspring. However, to me, its most interesting feature is the NameVoyager application. It throws up a graphic on screen showing the popularity of a given name from the 1880's to the present. You can scroll over the graphic with your mouse cursor, and it'll highlight the names in alphabetical order. Click on one, or enter the name in the box at the top, and you'll see a graphic showing the popularity of that name over that timespan. For example, here's the popularity of my name from the 1880's to now (click it for a larger view):
It's interesting to take the names of your family and friends and 'plot' them in this way. One can also see how many new and 'invented' names have cropped up in recent years. Try 'Chelsea' and see when it first entered the charts - then compare it to the classic 'Mary' and see how the latter has declined.
That's disappointing. I much prefer the classic names compared to most of the modern ones out there. I guess I'm old-fashioned . . .