Baby Name Wizards’ Name Voyager

You don’t need to be having a baby to find this site interesting: you can use it to see the trends of baby names in history. (It’s a lot of data, so be patient: it takes a bit of time to load after you click the link.) It tracks the top-1000 most popular names. Take a name — say, Randy, to pick one totally at random. Type the name slowly and you’ll find the relevant data starts to appear. Using your mouse to hover over different points you can find, for instance, that “Randy” is the masculine form, and “Randi” the feminine. In the 1950s, Randy was the 33rd most popular name for boys. In the 60s it drops to 40th, in the 70s it gets down to 77th. (And in 2004, it was down to 315th!) The data is from the U.S. Social Security Administration, so it’s obviously U.S.-centric, but it’s interesting to see naming trends over time, and whether your parents were influenced by naming fads when you were born.

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