The NameMapper Has Been Updated!

Aug 19th 2010

We've updated our U.S. NameMapper with the most current state-by-state name popularity data. Try typing in Miley to see amazing year to year volatility, or Jeffrey to watch a long-time favorite disappear.

If you haven't dug into the NameMapper before, you might be surprised how many tales it has to tell. Beyond the maps (don't forget to try "super multi map"!), click on the Timeline tab at the top for an incredible social portrait of names. That single screen shows you a nationwide 50-year story. The starting view is by name regions -- the powerful social/style regions, rather than pure geography. You can also sort by demographic factors to get different takes on a name's place in society.

(One tip: certain browser versions have an odd bug where you have to hold down the mouse button down and move the mouse a little to click on the buttons in the NameMapper. As bugs go, it's oddly charming -- like a digital-age throwback to jiggling the handle on a toilet.)

Happy mapping!


By Rjoy (not verified)
August 19, 2010 11:38 AM

Wonderful! I can't wait to check it out.

By notadog (not verified)
August 19, 2010 12:21 PM

No matter what I do, I can't make it switch from female to male! Argh. I need guidance!

By in colorado (not verified)
August 19, 2010 12:33 PM

wow, interested how Henry has gone from a "southern" name to a "northern" name!

August 20, 2010 8:51 AM

notadog: First, you need to type in a name. Most names are only top-100 names in ONE gender. (They may be on the charts in both genders, but aren't top 100 names.)

If you choose a name -- like Dakota -- that has been a hit for both males and females, then the Name Mapper will let you choose whether you want to see male or female. But if the name you chose is not a top-100 name for both genders, you won't be able to "switch" between them.

By Ash (not verified)
August 20, 2010 10:11 AM

Have others been experiencing really weird blog behavior? I've had trouble getting to the blog several times in the last week, including yesterday when I was only allowed to see posts from 2008, and, later, from 2009. I notice that the comments section is unusually quiet as well.

August 20, 2010 10:30 AM

Ash-I was having several problems yesterday getting onto this page. It would let me look at past blog threads but this one kept saying "access denied". I sent a note to Laura in case it was on her end but also cleaned my cache/temp files and cookies. So you may try that for your comp and maybe it will be helpful or it might have been on Laura's side since it appears to be fine now :)

Also, Namemapper has been one of the coolest things from the start. Thanks Laura!

August 20, 2010 10:52 AM

Ash--yes, it said access denied several times, and when I clicked on the title for this post, it took me back to an "L-L-L" post from 2009. Weird!

In other news--did any of you see that Braden/Bradyn/Braydon Target commercial? My dh and I were cracking up, and I love that he's now name-savvy enough to get the humor of it. :)

August 20, 2010 10:56 AM

Here's a link to someone's blog where she has the video of that commercial.

August 20, 2010 12:36 PM

I have not seen the commercial, but just watched the You Tube video, and it is hilarious! :) Thanks for sharing!

Also, I agree that Name Mapper is awfully fun to play with!

August 20, 2010 2:42 PM

Ann with an E-Thanks for that link as I had not seen it yet either. Only an NE is going to laugh hysterically at that commercial though. The rest of the crowd is going to think "Oh crap, I thought B_R_A_Y_D_E_N was pretty unique!"

August 20, 2010 3:38 PM

Hey ladies, I've been doing some tracking in the local paper on the births and obits for new and old names respectively.
Births: (all last names are omitted and G-girl, B-boy)
G - Leah Lynn
B - Bradley Wayne
G - Zoey Lynn
B - Ryan Andrew
B - Jaxson Timothy Wylde
B - Jack Thomas
B - Marcus Jon
G - Lily Noelle
G - Jillian Jane
B - Mason Conner
G - Olivia Joeann
G - Maelyn Grace
G - Khloe Madyson
B - Willis Henry
B - Owen Zane
B - Kevin Richard Scott
Twin G set: Eryn Lilly and Ella Rose
B - Zachary Robert
Twin G set: Brook and Megan
B - Elijah James
B - Brady Robert
G - Paige Marie
G - Sophia Joann
G - Paige Irene
G - Karaline Elizabeth
B - Nolan Michael
G - Kylee Ann
B - Kamryn Lee Paul
B - Andrew Henry

August 20, 2010 3:35 PM

G - Joan
B - Gary
G - Jean
G - Elaine
G - Mamie
G - Teresa
B - Carl
B - Harry
B - Edgar
G - Evie
B - John (3 times)
B - Thomas (3 times)
G - Tina
G - Marguerite
B - Roscoe
B - William
B - Kenneth
G - Debra
B - Edward
G - Nancy
G - Virginia
B - Jack
B - Rex
G - Carolynn
B - Richard (3 times)
G - Irene
B - James
B - Marlin
B - Billy
B - Larry
G - Jennifer
G - Betty
G - Margaret
G - Dorothy (2 times)
B - Michael
B - Monroe
B - Jaedyn
G - Betty
B - Matthew
G - Lorraine

By Eo (not verified)
August 21, 2010 7:56 AM

Well, I was looking forward to my annual stint helping at Vacation Bible School to see what names would surface in the age four-to-ten set.

As usual, it was so cram-packed and action filled I barely had time to register, much less remember names! Here are a few:

Courtn3y (x two or three)
H@nn@h (x two at least)
Tyl3r (here in upstate New York this name is still EVERYWHERE among school-age children)
Cyn@n or Kyn@n
Ry@n (again, I'm always surprised at how prevalent this name still is)

I think my favorite is the charmingly retro "Th3lma", sister to Willi@m. She was sweet and elfin.

Rats, it seems like there were hundreds of names but that's all I can currently dredge from my fevered brain...

August 21, 2010 10:24 AM

Eo+Popstar-It's always fun to look at lists of names. I love the name Courtney for a girl. Its a bit for me like the name Astrid is to others. I find it sweet and charming with a bit of spunk/tomboyishness.

Popstar-Also, I am jealous that you get mn's in your birth lists. I think my fav is Jillian Jane or Owen Zane.

Lastly, school lists were posted this week but I wasn't able to copy things down. Usually I take a picture and that way I can peruse it later for fun. This year the font was so small my camera couldn't on it focus properly :(
So sad!

By Rjoy (not verified)
August 21, 2010 3:34 PM

Popstarh8ter-The first time I read your list I assumed it was for births. A few of the names surprised me! When I went back I finally saw that it was for Obituaries.

By alr (not signed in) (not verified)
August 21, 2010 4:16 PM

Just wanted to officially announce that we have been home from Ethiopia with Ephrem Robert for 2 weeks now. :) His baby sister, Mabel Parker, is 10 months old today and she's still undecided on her new 2 year old big bro, but they'll be partners in crime soon I'm sure.

Ephrem was his given name and we toyed with changing it - but now we can't even believe that we'd considered it for a second. We love under used Biblical names anyway - and the story of Ephraim in Genesis makes his name PERFECT for our precious, adopted son. If you're curious, check out Genesis 48 and you'll see why. Ephrem is the traditional Ethiopian way to spell Ephraim, so we are leaving the spelling authentic as well.

Robert is my DH's name (as well as my father, and three of DH and my grandfathers) and it is also tradition in Ethiopia to use your father's name following your given name. So Ephrem Robert is it!

So my (potentially) final sib set is Ephrem and Mabel! It's sad to have so many beloved names on a list that I know I'll never use, but I'm pretty happy with my duo. :)

By Edith Bouvier Beale (not verified)
August 21, 2010 5:13 PM

alr: Congratulations on your newest addition! Ephrem and Mabel are a completely charming combo and the biblical connection with Ephriam is downright providential. What a lovely name-story and what lovely names!

August 21, 2010 6:58 PM

name-sighting: Chrisc@ndra: female, in her 20s i guess. I think it must be a mash-up, but I personally would've revised it to Chrissandra.

Eo: Cyn@n/Kyn@n is interesting. Is the first syllable pronounced Kai? Kee? Or did you only see it and not hear it? (the horror!)

By Eo (not verified)
August 21, 2010 10:20 PM

air-- Wonderful news about Ephrem Robert! Ethiopia is one of those unforgettable, haunting places, and the naming history so fascinating. And I love your son's name coupled with Mabel Parker-- what an adorable sibset.

RobynT-- The first syllable WAS pronounced "Kai/Cai". And I'm guessing at the spelling-- he did have his little name tag on, but I must have been too frazzled to glance at it! I also found it interesting...

By Eo (not verified)
August 21, 2010 10:25 PM

Interesting you picked up on "Courtney", zoerhenne. It does seem to fit nicely with your naming style. I like the fact, that, unlike "Brittany", you rarely see non-intuitive spellings, e.g. "Cortnee", "Koartni", etc. At least I don't think I've seen any...

August 21, 2010 11:14 PM

alr - Congrats on bringing home Ephrem Robert, what a lovely sibset you have :)

Eo/Zoerhenne - I've always liked Courtney, and know a couple (mostly all grown up now). It's a name that aqes well in my opinion.

By Beth the original (not verified)
August 22, 2010 10:47 AM

alr, congratulations! I am so glad you kept Ephrem. I think it goes nicely with Mabel, too.

From Popstarh8her's list, I have to say I detest Khloe. Logically, it should be pronounced like Khalid, with a back-of-the-throat sound I can't reproduce phonetically. But it never is. And "kh" does not appear in the English language. I hate Karaline too. But Willis Henry is very nice -- a refreshing change from William (a name I love, but it's overused).

August 22, 2010 11:15 AM

Alr-How wonderful that all your naming worries worked out perfectly! I'm happy for you.

Eo-Yes, I agree. I have seen it with a K as in Kourtney Kardashian but of course I like it a lot less then.

Beth-I also like Khloe better with a C spelling. Karaline is okay for me because I find it more intuitive to get to the -line pronunciation rather than be confused when its sp Caroline on whether its -lyn or line. Personally I would use y for a "short" sound and i_e for a "long" sound regardless of the beginning spelling.

August 22, 2010 1:15 PM

"From Popstarh8her's list, I have to say I detest Khloe. Logically, it should be pronounced like Khalid, with a back-of-the-throat sound I can't reproduce phonetically. But it never is. And "kh" does not appear in the English language."

Khalid is Arabic. Khloe/Chloe is Greek. The initial letter is chi(χλόη), and the name is most properly transliterated as Khloe (with a diaresis over the e). The Greek chi is pronounced as a K in English, although it is pronounced differently in ancient and modern Greek. Given the Kardashians' penchant for alliteration, I doubt that they were concerned about conventions for Greek transliteration, but Greek transliterations in scholarly texts at least tend to avoid using C and stick with the unambiguous K (e.g., Kalliope rather than Calliope, Ithaka rather than Ithaca, Kirke rather than Circe).

By Kimberly nli (not verified)
August 22, 2010 3:27 PM

Congratulations on little Ephrem Robert. I think his name works very well with Mabel Parker and think it's a wonderful naming story in addition.

From Popstarh8ter's list I adore Willis Henry. Willis was nixed by DH for Rowan.

August 22, 2010 4:40 PM


August 22, 2010 6:35 PM

Hi everybody, I want to apologize for the recent peculiar technical problems with the blog. We're busy in the background building some new site additions (exciting ones, I hope!) and our server had a brief nervous breakdown. We've soothed its nerves, though, and all should be well now.


By Beth the original (not verified)
August 22, 2010 7:15 PM

Miriam, I stand corrected, but can I still hate the spelling? I still want to make that back-of-the-throat "kh" gurgle when I see it!

zoerhenne, Karaline reads to me as the most confusing: is it "Cara-LEEN," "Cara-LINE," or "Cara-LIN?" "Caroline," to me, is unambiguous. It's never pronounced "Caro-LIN," unless improperly. That would be "Carolyn." And as you may have guessed I am not a fan of "K" names. My daughter's name is Caroline, though, and my poor mother, after whom she's named, spent a lifetime correcting people who called her "Carolyn" or "Carol." So maybe I'm overprotective!

By Rjoy (not verified)
August 23, 2010 6:00 AM

alr- CONGRATULATION! How wonderful! I really like his name! Especially paired with Mabel. The are definitely a unique duo. I like that you kept the spelling because of his heritage.

Ephraim is on our short list. I just need to figure out the history of the name first.

By Amy3
August 23, 2010 7:55 AM

@alr, congrats on bringing home Ephrem Robert! He has a super name, and I love it with Mabel.

August 23, 2010 8:57 AM

Beth-*smiling* I can understnad that you would be a little protective. I would normally pronounce Caro-LINE but I know of some that say it as LYN. However, I'm not wondering if maybe it's a bit of an accent thing and they are all kind of the same. If it were a name on my list I would sp as follows:
CaroLINE-or KaraLINE
CaroLYN-or KaraLYN
KaraLEEN is weird for me so I probably wouldn't pick that. I don't mind K's though it depends on the name and its "traditional" sp.

RobynT-I guess maybe we are trending towards REMOVING letters rather than adding them or switching them now. So we have Aiden>Kaiden>Kaien?? Maybe it was a typo or intentional smashup. Or even worse a creative KY-AN. I actually think that is the most likely case. I can see little Kaien having a big convo with mom in 5 yrs when he runs into little Kyanne (g) in kindergarten. Didn't Eo have some of these names on her list?

August 23, 2010 10:47 AM

I'm with Beth on both K spellings of C names -- it just seems wrong, even if in some way it is deemed more correct (ie Khloe). I also agree that Caroline should end in "line" and lyn should be used if you want lin.

I'd imagine being a pre-school or kindergarten teacher in some pockets would make your head swirl with all the -aydens, plus their close misses, and a pool of Ellas, Bellas, Emmas, -Annas.

Laura -- I was hoping that the technical difficulties meant that you were working on some fun new surprises behind the scenes! Yay!

Oh, and alr -- the name is lovely. I'm so glad it worked out perfectly. I also agree that Ephram and Mabel are a lovely pair.

By hyz (nli) (not verified)
August 23, 2010 11:55 AM

ALR, congrats!!!! And I agree, his name is wonderful, and he and his baby sister make a very distinctively and sweetly named pair. :)

Re: Caroline--these days I would definitely assume it is said -line rather than -lin, just because that is currently the much more popular/fashionable pronunciation, but growing up I knew at least one Caroline pronounced like Carolyn, so the spelling itself does not make the pronunciation unambiguous for me.

Oh, and the site was dreadfully slow for me last week, so I tried to keep up with reading, but didn't have time/patience to post much. It seems better today!!

August 23, 2010 1:32 PM

Congrats on Ephrem Robert what a nice name!

So since things are a little slow around here I thought I'd seek out opinions on Damian or Damien for a future son. We currently have a P@ul, Cl@re, M@rk, and K@th@rine nn Katie or Kate. Middle name will be Lawrence. The previous front runner was Nicholas nn Nick.

August 23, 2010 3:01 PM

Seems like a lot of uncommon, unique, or (for lack of a better term) ethnic spellings are become more mainstream - such that there no longer is a "usual" way to spell names like Catherine (Kathryn), Chloe (Khloe), etc.

By Guest5000 (not verified)
August 23, 2010 11:33 PM

Another Laura-
I think Nicholas is a better stylistic match for your sibset than Damien. Damien is a nice name with a nice hx though. Some associate the name with the devil, my 30 year old cousin named Damien was razzed about this all the time growing up. I think Damien is an evil character in a Stephen King novel or something. But that association will likely be lost on your little Damien's generation. A handsome name for sure. Both are such classic choices you really can't go wrong, but the one syllable Nick would go nicely with Mark Paul Clare and Kate, and Nicholas is the more recognizable and traditional of the two.

By Rjoy (not verified)
August 24, 2010 12:20 AM

Has anyone noticed that the blog has slowed down? Any ideas why?

August 24, 2010 2:35 AM

another Laura: count me as a fan of Damien. I prefer it to Damian. I can't say exactly why; maybe it's just more familiar to me.

August 24, 2010 4:34 AM

Congratulations!! Ephrem is an adorable name. Good on you for keeping the original spelling, too! How lovely for Mabel to have a big brother. :)

August 24, 2010 6:48 AM

Last night was "meet the teacher night" for the third grade. Students in my daughter's third grade class include:

Jordan (not sure if this is a girl or a boy)
Danexy (g)
Zain (b)
Angel (b)

Looks like another great year for interesting names! I'll know about my son's kindergarten class on Friday and will report back.

August 24, 2010 6:58 AM

I forgot to post that I "met" my first Kaydence. There is one in my daughter's 1st grade class.

By Amy3
August 24, 2010 8:00 AM

@another Laura, with your other kids' names, I'd prefer Dominic, which could be shortened to Dom. Nick feels like it could be confusing with Mark, and Damien/Damian while nice enough does bring to mind the boy in The Omen for me (and was also the name of a dog I knew, which doesn't help).

August 24, 2010 8:50 AM

The Name Lady actually wrote on the subject of the name Damien and explained why it's okay to use that name despite the Omen connection:

@Rjoy: check out Laura's note on this thread, no. 29. BNW is having some growing pains, but it will be worth it!

August 24, 2010 9:51 AM

another laura,
i like the name damien/damian, though i agree that it isn't a "perfect" stylistic match, but that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't use it. i've never seen the omen and do not associate the name with the devil (and i suspect fewer and fewer people will as time goes on). i'm 25, for reference. i do also like nicholas.

i interpreted rjoy's comment as the blog was slowing down as far as comments and participation, not in any mechanical ways, and yes, i have noticed. my best guess is that a lot of regular posters are either very pregnant or taking care of very new babies. so there's less commenting, and therefore less to respond to, etc.

elizabeth t,
octavio, fantastic! danexy also strikes me--i've never heard of it before. and leanne is surprising to me; it's very much an old lady name to me (and not in an in-style sort of way).

congratulations! ephrem and mabel are adorable. :]

By justpupsfornow (not verified)
August 24, 2010 9:19 AM

in re: Damian/Damien, I agree that it's not a good fit stylistically for your sibset.

You have 4 rather short and traditional names and Damian would stand out as a more unique choice, a longer name, and yes, as curiously demonic juxtaposed with your other saintly names (and I'm young as for the notion that the Omen connotation is/will be dying out).

I think Nicholas or the Dominic suggestion despite being 3 syllable names are both easily shortened to Dom or Nick for either and both flow much better with your other children.

All the best thru the remainder of your pregnancy and let us know what you choose!

August 24, 2010 9:23 AM

I agree that things here are most likely also slow because of school beginning soon. I know I've been busy. I didn't get to copy down all the names for dd's class but I feel for teachers with multiple's of the same names in their classrooms.

another Laura: I agree that a more classic name like Nicholas/Dominic or even Lawrence as a first name would stylistically work better. However, I see nothing wrong with the name Damian/Damien in itself. Damien Lawrence sounds nice. (I would use E to match the E's in Lawrence)

ElizabethT-Danexy?? I'm guessing it must be an intentional smush. Danielle + Lexy

August 24, 2010 9:41 AM

hmm....damian *is* a saint's name, so i don't really think it's a problem among other saints' names....

when you combine spellings (damian, damien, damion), damien would be ranked 74 in the country. i think its increasing commonness, combined with the fact that the omen is quickly fading into the past eliminates any potential problems.

i think i've said this before, but my main association is an irish musician, damien rice.

August 24, 2010 9:49 AM

@emilyrae -- lol, that makes sense. I've clearly got technical issues on the brain.

August 24, 2010 12:07 PM

Thanks for the feedback on Damien/Damian. Actually it was the inspiring story of St. Damien of Molokai that got me thinking of the name and when I mentioned the name to my husband he said "Oh, like Sts. Cosmas and Damian." (There's also St. Peter Damian) But I do recognize that it has a "trendier" vibe than my other kids names - it probably fits with Clare's but not the others as well.

zoerhenne - thanks for the spelling input. The "e"s do look nice together. I would love to consider Lawrence as a first name as it's a family name on both sides but somehow it feels like it needs a nickname - which is a little odd considering Damien doesn't sound like it needs one.

Amy3 - so you think M@rk and Nick are too close. That's something I better think about seeing as I have a heck of a time keeping my kids straight as it is. Cl@re has banned me from any more names beginning with the "c"/"k" sound.

August 24, 2010 2:08 PM

I know, it's kind of strange! If you scroll it back to the year 2000 (sing it like La Bamba on the old Conan show!) when my Henry was born, Henry only ranked in the Northeast, Oregon, and Alaska. But my husband is Southern and I'm from California, so we pretty much offended everyone we knew when we chose that name. LOL