Update: new edition of Baby Name Wizard at Amazon now!

Jul 8th 2009

Broadway Books informs me that they've coordinated with Amazon to assure that starting today, Amazon will ship only the revised edition of The Baby Name Wizard. Happy shopping. :-)

Order The Baby Name Wizard (revised) at Amazon




Baby Name Wizard 2, Now with Extra Naming Power!

Jul 2nd 2009

At last! The 2nd edition of The Baby Name Wizard will be on sale Tuesday, July 7. Here's a Q&A on what to expect in the new, expanded book:

Q: I have the first edition. Should I bother to buy BNW2?
A: You betcha! I recommend one copy for yourself, one to give as a gift, and a spare for when somebody "borrows" your copy and it never returns.

Q: Cut that out. How different is it, really?
A: Well, it's different enough that my publisher had to give up on revising the old files and treated it like a whole new manuscript instead. Here's a rundown of what's new:

  • More than 100 added name snapshots
  • 2 1/2 added style categories
  • New (and improved) popularity graphs
  • By request of BabyNameWizard.com readers, a pronunciation guide with every name entry
  • Special "Spotlight" lists on hot topics (X and O names, Old Hollywood names)
  • New discussions on subjects like sibling naming, middle names, and matching with surnames
  • Hundreds and hundreds of updates to existing material

In all, the book has grown from 350 to 400 pages. Even that doesn’t reflect the real scope of the changes, though. I went over every word in the book, updating and upgrading as needed. Most of the name entries have at least been tweaked -- swapping out a couple of sibling suggestions here, updating a trend there -- and quite a few were rewritten from scratch. The upshot is that you'll still recognize The Baby Name Wizard, but I've done my best to make it bigger, better, fresher, and genuinely worth a second look.

Q: Great. So should I pre-order a copy right now?
A: Ah. There’s a wee little catch.

The publisher has issued BNW2 with the same ISBN code as BNW1. What this technicality means is that to a bookseller’s computer, the new edition looks like a mere re-printing of the same book. So you can’t specifically order the new edition. Instead, it will start shipping and appearing on bookstore shelves whenever the distributor runs through its stock and opens a new box of books.

UPDATE: Amazon is now shipping BNW2, as of 07/08/09.

Q: So what should I do??? I need that book!
Online booksellers will start shipping the new edition very soon. In the meantime, it should be easy to recognize BNW2 in real live bookstores. There’s a new red-pink circle on the cover that says “fully revised and updated with new names,” and a tiny picture of the NameVoyager on the back. I really, really hope you like it.

Thanks for all of your support,


Names of the world, updated

Jun 30th 2009

I've just finished the strange and wonderful task of updating the international name rankings in Namipedia. Not every country tracks name popularity, and those that do provide wildly different levels of information. Some just report a top 10 or 20 -- or in the case of Armenia, precisely 48. Others issue no official report, but a census officer reveals the top names of the year in a newspaper interview. And then there are the countries that record every single name given to a child all year in an enormous, strangely formatted pdf file. In Cyrillic.

Gather enough rankings, though, and you have a fascinating window on a name's place in the world. For instance, look at the pages for Sofia or Alexander (scroll down on the right to "Global Popularity") to see a portrait of universal style. In contrast, some names are specific to a single culture. In fact, over 1500 names from the global ranking lists are not found in Namipedia (yet). Here's a sampling of some of the most distinctive local color among top-50 names.

Astghik (F, #41)
Gohar (F, #13)
Hasmik (F, #12)
Gagik (M, #18)
Tigran (M, #8)

Fien (F, #46)
Kato (F, #50)
Seppe (M, #42)
Wout (M, #21)

Canada (Quebec)
Laurence (F, #4)
Maika (F, #10)

Ignacia (F, #18)
Maite (F, #28)

Czech Republic

Anezka (F, #31)
Vendula (F, #26)
Vojtech (M, #6)
Zdenek (M, #44)

Malou (F, #26)
Naja (F, #47)
Jeppe (M, #34)
Villads (M, #37)

Helmi (F, #6)
Ilmari (M, #8)
Olavi (M, #5)
Onni (M, #6)

Boglarka (F, #2)
Enikő (F, #32)
Virag (F, #17)
Szabolcs (M, #32)
Zsolt (M, #29)

Bryndís (F, #42)
Hekla (F, #22)
Hrafnhildur (F, #40)
Bjarki (M, #24)
Sigurður (M, #13)

Austeja (F, #5)
Gabija (F, #2)
Ugnė (F, #6)
Kajus (M, #5)
Rokas (M, #6)

Bartosz (M, #5)
Maciej (M, #11)
Mikolaj (M, #14)

Lizi (F, #4)
Nino (F, #3)
Bachana (M, #15)
Tato (M, #14)
Tsotne (M, #6)

Serbia (Belgrade)
Andela (F, #2)
Dusan (M, #15)
Uros (M, #12)
Vuk (M, #14)

Neža (F, #9)
Zoja (F, #22)
Aljaž (M, #9)
Nejc (M, #4)
Žiga (M, #6)

Ainhoa (F, #27)
Aroa (F, #46)
Iker (M, #13)
Izan (M, #33)
Pau (M, #44)

Lova (F, #47)
Olle (M, #37)