Google world domination is surely upon us and here’s yet another wonderful tool to which I’ve just lost half an hour of my life, the Baby Name Map. While unusual names are more my thing, those who are trying to avoid the top-ranking names in their countries will find the Baby Name Map a useful site. It lists the top one thousand names in the US and the top one hundred in Australia. So if you live in NSW and your favourite name is Stella, you can see that it ranks number ninety-nine in your state.
If you’re new to this naming business, it’s worth noting that in my experience, there exists what I call name bubbles. I live in one – the inner west of Sydney – where Jaspers and Hugos, Ivys and Adas abound but don’t rank anywhere near the top 100 names in NSW or nationally. When we named our first son Felix, we never imagined there would be four of them at his future school, not that it would have changed anything. In regional areas where my family is from, Felix is almost unheard of so this is a classic example of the name bubble.
I can’t recommend enough, the value of chatting to other parents in your area about names. Ask what they named their children, what their favourite names are, what their friend’s children are named. If you feel like you’re being nosy, explain you’re doing some research and you’ll find most people are very happy to chat. Hey, I’m happy to chat to anyone any time about names!
So back to Google’s Baby Name Map – it’s just another way of seeking out information on names, with a global perspective focused mainly on Europe, the US and Canada and Australia. There isn’t much information for people interested in Russian names, for example, so be aware of its limitations.
Perhaps you’ve only just caught this baby naming bug, so I will direct you to our past editorial on baby names:
- The Baby Name Wizard for neat historical graphs of name popularity – scroll down in the above article to see info about Nymbler
- Nameberry by my favourite naming authors Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz – awesome blog attached to this too
- What a lovely name which is a bit of fun – it matches desirable personality traits to names
Check out Baby Name Map by Google. It sure isn’t the prettiest naming site out there, but it’s an interesting read if you take the time to use its features.