Five-Name Friday – The Return of Suggestion Posts!

The people have spoken! Well, not all the people. Only those people who voted in the poll that was sitting in my sidebar for about a month.

In any case, those specific people spoke. That is, they voted. And what they voted for was a weekly baby name suggestion post.

But here’s the thing: I’m not going to do in-depth suggestion posts this time around. What I’ll do instead is focus on simplified baby name requests (up to 2 sentences each) and limited baby name suggestions (up to 5 from me, and up to 5 from every commenter). My hope is that these constraints will make participation easy and fun, like a game.

Ready to play? Here are the details…

Request Baby Names

Send me requests via the contact page or via social media. Here are some examples of requests you could send:

  • “I like the names Abigail, Rebecca and Catherine, but my spouse likes Allie, Ellie and Missy. What are girl names we’d both like?”
  • “What are some boy names that pay tribute to Dallas, Texas? They can’t start with the letter W please.”
  • “I want a girl name that makes people smile. Must sound good with the surname Jacobsen.”
  • “I love circuses! Please give me boy names associated with the circus.”
  • “I’m looking for a nature name for a baby boy that’s unlikely to be used for baby girls. Definitely cannot end in -a or -y.”
  • “What are some traditional but unexpected boy names that start with F, G, and H? His sisters are named Sarah and Tamar.”

You don’t have to be pregnant, or even planning to get pregnant, to place a request. And you can send as many requests as you like — either separately or all in the same email.

But I’ll only accept requests for first names that make note of gender in some way. And, as I said, no more than 2 sentences per request. (No run-ons, please.)

After you’ve sent a request (or several), subscribe to the blog. That way you can keep tabs on all future Five-Name Friday posts and see which requests get featured. Will one of them be yours?

Suggest Baby Names

We can’t start suggesting names until next Friday, so I’ll hold off on these guidelines for now.

But I will say that those who try to sneak extra names into their comments should expect to see said comments “fixed” in some embarrassing way by yours truly. (I’m very much looking forward to this…)


So what are you waiting for? Request away! (Or, send requests via Twitter or Facebook.)


Update, 8/30: Here’s the ever-growing Five-Name Friday archive!

10th Blogiversary

A full decade of blogging! Why? Because clearly something is wrong with me.

Six-year-old Nancy Joyce Darken of Chicago, on the other hand, is perfect in all ways:

Nancy Joyce Darken in her Nancy box, Chicago, 1937

In fact, it was NJD who reminded me to write this post.

Not personally, of course. Her photo did the reminding.

I’ve had it saved on my computer since last year, and every time I saw it, I’d say to myself: “Don’t forget to add that to the 2016 blogiversary post.”

Which in turn reminded me to write the 2016 blogiversary post.


Double digits. Pretty cool. Not quite as cool as twenty years, which is what Behind the Name recently hit (congrats to Mike C!), but cool nonetheless.

On to decade #2!

Image: “She is tap-dancing on the ceiling.” LIFE 28 Jun. 1937: 68.

Posts About the SSA Names Will Be Late

The U.S.’s top baby names of 2014 will be released very soon (yay!).

Typically, I spend “release day” and the following weekend writing posts, updating the site, and drinking large amounts of coffee.

This year, though, the writing/updating/coffee drinking will happen a bit late as husband and I are currently visiting Prague and won’t be back until Sunday.

swans, vltava river, prague
Swans in the Vltava river about a week ago

Apologies in advance about the delay.

In the meanwhile, here are the top names in the Czech Republic.

When the new rankings become available, check out the top 1,000 online at the SSA’s Popular Baby Names page and/or download the full set of data from the SSA’s Beyond the Top 1000 Names page.

P.S. Have any last-minute pop culture predictions?

UPDATE, 5/11: And here’s the list! Most Popular U.S. Baby Names of 2014

NBN Is Now Mobile-Optimized; Graphs Coming Soon

The good news? NBN is now optimized for mobile devices!

Making the site mobile-friendly has been on my to-do list since, oh, 2010. :)

The bad news? The baby name popularity graphs don’t yet work in mobile.

I’d been planning to figure out how to get them to work in mobile prior to making the site responsive but, alas, an impending Google algorithm update has thwarted that plan.

So I’m posting this to let you know about (and apologize for) the problem. I will fix it as soon as I can.

In the meanwhile, please note that the graphs are only a click away if you’re on a smartphone or similar device. Simply navigate to a graph page, scroll to the very bottom of the page, and click “View Full Site” to get out of mobile and back to the web-based version of the site (where the graphs are always visible).

Thanks for your patience, everyone!

Nine Years of Nancy’s Baby Names

Happy blogiversary, Nancy’s Baby Names!

Nancy Joyce Darken, upside-down and tap dancing, Chicago, 1937

I’m a day late, but that’s ok — at least I remembered it this year. :)

I launched Nancy’s Baby Names on March 6, 2006, so yesterday the blog officially turned nine years old.

Many thanks to everyone who reads along, and especially to those who comment and send emails. You guys are awesome. You make this worthwhile.

That image above comes from an old issue of LIFE. I bookmarked it, not knowing how I’d ever work it into a post, but now I know.

It’s 6-year-old Nancy Joyce Darken of Chicago, standing on her head, tap-dancing on the ceiling of a wooden box-like apparatus with her name (and my name!) at the top. “She did this for a Chicago radio broadcast June 13, took both the studio and her audience by storm.”

My hope for year 10 is that I can continue to entertain you guys just like Nancy Joyce entertained those radio listeners nearly 80 years ago. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Image: “She is tap-dancing on the ceiling.” LIFE 28 Jun. 1937: 68.

Top Blog Posts of 2014; Suggestions for 2015?

Happy New Year!

Wondering which NBN posts got the most traffic last year? Here’s the official list:

  1. Names People Have Given Their Cars
  2. How to Pronounce Popular Irish Names – Aoife, Cian, Niamh, Oisin
  3. The Name Your Car Formula, for Name Your Car Day
  4. Hailey, Haleigh, Haylee… Which Spelling Is Best?
  5. Is ABCDE Really a Baby Name?
  6. Avery – Girl Name or Boy Name?
  7. Car Names as Baby Names
  8. 110+ Hidden Gems: Rare Baby Girl Names
  9. Baby Name Needed – Botanical Name for Baby Boy
  10. What Are the Most Pretentious Baby Names?

And which NBN posts published in 2014 specifically got the most traffic last year?

  1. Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013
  2. Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2013
  3. Siblings Named Tonsillitis, Meningitis, Appendicitis…
  4. List of Female Names from 1888
  5. Popular Baby Names in Poland, 2013
  6. Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2013
  7. Baby Name Trends in South Korea
  8. 40 Pairs of Baby Names for Girl-Boy Twins
  9. Names Popular During the Victorian Era
  10. Kilcher Names – Atz, Farenorth, Jewel, Q’orianka

Thanks so much for reading along year after year, everyone. Your comments and emails mean a lot to me. :)

Is there anything in particular you’d like to see a post about in 2015? Please comment below or send me a note.

Popularity Graphs Are Updated (Finally!)

It took a couple of months, but the popularity graphs here at NBN have finally been updated with the 2013 baby name data. Sorry about the wait.

Quick links to the graphs of some of 2013’s most notable names:

2013 Superlative Girl Name Boy Name
Most Popular Sophia Noah
Most Popular Debut Vanellope Jaceyon
Most Popular 1-Syllable Grace James
Biggest Usage Increase (raw #) Sadie Jase
Biggest Usage Increase (ranking) Daleyza Jayceon
Biggest Usage Decrease (raw #) Isabella Ethan
Biggest Usage Decrease (ranking) Litzy Austyn

If you go to a graph page and don’t see the 2013 data right away, try hitting refresh — that should fix it.