The Name Voyager

What’s in a name?  A sequence of characters that seemed pleasing to one’s parents shortly before your birth?  Have you ever wondered about the popularity of certain names over time.  For example, does anyone still name their daughter Gertrude, Ethel, or Josephine?  And why are there so many Jennifers and (ugh!) Dakotas?  OK, even if you’ve never searched for answers to those questions, please read on…

The Baby Name Wizard’s NameVoyager web site is a great combination of technology and usability.  It provides you with a method of visualizing the popularity of certain names over time.  The data comes from official United States records and spans a range from 1880 to the present.  It’s really easy to search for a name and to view a chart of the results (and variations on the name).  If you’re really looking for a baby name (seriously), see Nymbler.

I’m definitely interested in hearing some interesting results from readers.  For example, the name “Delbert” was quite popular in the distant past but is almost never assigned today.  Similarly, “Dakota” is a relatively new phenomenon.  What am I missing?


1 Comment

  1. pohlse said,

    September 30, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Very cool link! Thanks!

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