20 posts
More gender-neutral names

Georgios Karamanis plotted the ratio of girls-to-boys over time for all the names in the Social Security Administration dataset. You can see the more gender-specific names at the edges and more gender-neutral names clustering in the middle. Those dips in 1989 and 2004 are curious. Otherwise, the increase in gender-neutral names seems to match up with my analysis from a while back. Tags: gender, Georgios Karamanis, names

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Trendiest Baby Name Every Year Since 1930, in the U.S.

Baby names gain sudden popularity for various reasons. Maybe a celebrity with a unique name gains traction, or a character in a movie strikes a chord with audiences. Maybe an athlete reaches the peak of fame, and expecting parents have similar dreams. I wondered how these trends changed over time. So using data from the Social Security Administration, I found the most trendy baby name every year since 1930. Here...

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Evolution of Chinese names

For Kontinentalist, Isabella Chua took a dive into the evolution of Chinese names: Put simply, names encode the wishes parents have for their children. So, what were these wishes? For answers, I turned to the Chinese name database, which covers the surname and given-name characters for almost all 1.2 billion Han Chinese—the ethnic majority in China—individuals born between 1930 and 2008. I’ve focused only on given names here rather than...

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Karen equivalents, based on name data

The name Karen. It’s not a common baby name these days. It peaked in the 1960s. The Pudding looked for other names in US history that followed similar trends: To put this question to the test, we checked baby names from the last 100 years and eliminated those that: 1) never made it into the Top 20 most popular names in any year and 2) were not present in the...

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Grandpa Chad distribution

xkcd crossed a rough age distribution of people becoming grandparents with people named “Chad” and “Jason” to highlight the dawn of a new era. The time is now. Tags: age, humor, names, xkcd

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✚ Making the Name Guesser (The Process #73)

Using one of my recent projects as an example, I describe my non-elegant process of making a quick chart. Read More

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Guessing Names Based on What They Start With

Based on names data from the Social Security Administration, we look at trends, how common your name is, and how similar it is to others. Read More

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Street suffixes show the organization of cities

The suffixes on street names can say a lot about a neighborhood. A Boulevard elicits a business-centric area whereas a Road or Court might mean a more residential area. So, Erin Davis mapped the suffixes of all the streets in some major cities. [via @NadiehBremer] Tags: names, roads

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The Most Gender-Switched Names in US History

We use some names mostly for boys and some mostly for girls, but then there is a small percentage that, over time, switched from one gender to another. Which names made the biggest switch? Read More

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Names in movies vs. real life

Here’s a fun spin on the name analysis genre by Mary Zam. She compared the distribution of names used in movies against names used in real life: Thousands of babies are called Sophia or Abigail, Mason or Dylan every year. But writers do not rush to call the main characters with such names. According to the statistic, almost all of the top names are much less common in the film...

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