Menu

50+ Sites Every Name Nerd Needs

September 13, 2020 Clare Green
resources for name nerds

Name nerds: we see you. Or maybe you prefer to call yourself a name lover, enthusiast, researcher… whatever, we get it. And have we got some gems for you.

Many of our readers are parents-to-be looking for baby names, but we know that a lot of you just plain love names. Maybe you like poring over the latest statistics, building fantasy families, or arranging your favorite names in color-coded spreadsheets. Maybe you enjoy reading and learning everything you can about where names come from, and what they mean to people.

Maybe you’re looking for something beyond Nameberry?

Shock! Horror! Only kidding, we love that there are other sites and people out there making brilliant, often highly specific name content. Hopefully many of you already know the biggies like the US Social Security baby name data and Behind The Name, and our friends such as Appellation Mountain, Sancta Nomina and British Baby Names.

We’ve rounded up more name sites we think you’ll love, prioritizing (but not limited to) independent and smaller creators. Some are scholarly, some entertaining, some thought-provoking, and all are perfect spaces if you love all things onomastic.

Collectors’ delights

For all you name magpies who love growing your lists.

Nook of Names is the late K.M. Sheard’s companion site to her magnum opus, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names. Both are absolute treasure-hoards of whimsical, magical, historical, international and always impeccably-researched names.

More recently-updated blogs of similar persuasion include The Beauty of Names, Legitimate Baby Names, Once Upon a Time Baby Names, and (in French) Jolis Prénoms. Cliff Dwelling is another wide-ranging collector of names you may never have heard of before.

Cool tools

Fun with data comes in many forms. This tool guesses your name from the year you were born. This one shows what your name would be (popularity-wise) if you were born now. And the Namerology Name Madness game and Name Age calculator are fun rabbit holes to fall down.

As for actually naming babies, currently we’re enjoying the MixedName bilingual baby name finder. Enter your language requirements, and it’ll give you a Venn diagram of suggestions.

Graphs, charts and infographics

Nancy’s Baby Names is a go-to for (among other things) graphs of every name that’s ever ranked in the US data. There’s one in “Name of the Week” at the side of the homepage.

Across the Pond, England and Wales Baby Names covers all the rankings from 1996 onwards — there’s also just England from 1840-2013. There are equivalents for Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and France. Do you know of any more?

Want to make your own moving charts? Flourish has great potential for visualizing name trends: you just have to enter the data for, say, New Jersey or New Zealand, and the site works its magic.

An alternative vision of the evolution of boy names and girl names in the USA…with bubbles!

FlowingData has published lots of fascinating name graphics (and discussion) over the years. The most recent include the most gender-switched names in history, and the closest equivalents to Karen.

NameDat shows (with a pinch of salt) what else your name says about you, like where you have most namesakes — New York and Texas for me.

Love a good map? The Namerology ultimate map is the most interactive for the States. There are plenty of animated maps showing changing name trends, whether that’s the top boy and girl names in each state, the top gender-neutral names, or a deeper dive into relative popularity.

Historical names

The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources aims to include “all given… names recorded in European sources written between 500 and 1600”. Don’t miss the DMNES blog too!

Both the Medieval Names Archive and the Society for Creative Anachronism are hubs for name lists and resources from various countries and time periods.

Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae specializes in obscure Irish saints’ names. The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names and Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain are more technical but very authentic.

In modern history, records are a great place to find real names, and there are plenty of free (or partly free) databases around, like Ancestry.com’s Birth, Marriage and Death records and the Social Security Death Index. So are newspaper announcements — the London Telegraph birth announcements are a particular treat.

The Strangest Names in American Political History has amassed figures with unique names for nearly a decade.

Specific languages

A quick internet search will give you lists of names in almost any language you can think of. But quality discussion is a rarer beast.

Great active sites for names in languages other than English include Beliebte Vornamen (German), Nomes e Mais Nomes (Portuguese), Nordic Names, and Beyond Sakura and Hiroshi (Japanese names — and check out the writer’s other blog is for international statistics you’d never think to search for). My most recent addiction is the Yoruba names dictionary.

Name news

From the academic side, the American Name Society and (more internationally) e-Onomastics keep us up to date with all the latest in name studies.

And a shout out to my Name News page! I read lots of articles and blog posts about baby names, and I post links to all of them here, so you don’t miss anything.

Videos and podcasts

Baby name videos on YouTube go back over a decade, starting with AnastasiaRuby. The best channels making new name videos now include Name Explain, Raquel Cruz, SJ Strum, Baby Name Sunday, and Mom and the Pie.

Meanwhile, name podcasts are an even younger medium. The Baby Names Podcast gives a good long dose of name chat and news. Names and Coffee is a new podcast by Alix Brown, aka The Name Mentor, aka the first baby name account on Instagram, chats names and life. And in No Shame in my Name, from multicultural London, guests speak about what their name means to them. Are there really only three? Do you know any more?

To be fair, there have also been some fascinating name-focused episodes on The Allusionist, Freakonomics and Motherfoclóir, to name a few.

Tell us what we missed! What name resources can’t you live without?

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles

Comments

2 Responses to “50+ Sites Every Name Nerd Needs”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Filed Under