Baby Name Voyager

August 15, 2007 11 By archshrk

…and other overwhelming tools.
As any expectant parent will tell you, one of the most daunting tasks is to find a suitable name for your child. Luckily, there are plenty of books, guides and websites in addition to everybody you know willing to help you make that life determining decision. Only that just makes it harder.

Turns out that with all the availability the web has to offer, you can get quite overwhelmed. AS if it wasn’t hard enough to pick from the limited names you’re already familiar with, there are websites that list well over 23,000 names from every race, religion, and spelling. Among my favorites are babycenter.com’s babyname tools and a cool visual one called NameVoyager from iVillage.

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Explore the sea of names, letter by letter…watch trends rise and fall, and dive in deeper to see your favorite name’s place in the historical tides.

The Baby Name Wizard’s NameVoyager is an interactive portrait of America’s name choices. Start with a “sea” of nearly 5000 names. Type a letter, and you’ll zoom in to focus on how that initial has been used over the past century. Then type a few more letters, or a name. Each stripe is a timeline of one name, its width reflecting the name’s changing popularity. If a name intrigues you, click on its stripe for a closer look.

What makes this tool so useful is you can clearly see (no pun intended) how the popularity of a name has changed of time. John has always been pretty popular but Luther kind of lost popularity since 1900 while Kaylee doesn’t come into use until 1980. Among the names we’re currently batting about is Colvin (or as I first heard it, Colbin)

Colvin, a 2-syllable boy’s name of Anglo-Saxon origin, means: Coal miner.

Other names on the list this week include:

    Aiden – fiery
    Adon – Lord
    Aron – Enlightened
    Benjamin – Son of the right hand
    Calvin – Bald
    Joshua – lord is salvation
    Logan – from the little hollow
    Sean – god’s gracious gift

And then there’s the whole middle name, if you go for that sort of thing.