“History in the Names” Project

Do you like crazy-long timelines?

If so, have I got something for you!

It’s a project I’ve started called “History in the Names.”

One day it’ll be an extensive timeline of U.S. baby names that can be correlated, via sudden changes in usage, to specific moments in American history. And it’ll include every single historically significant baby name I’ve ever discovered, classified by type of influence (e.g., actor, singer, politics, celebrity baby).

As of right now, the timeline only covers three decades. But I’ll be adding all the other years over the next few months.

My initial idea was to put all this research into ebooks that I could sell for a few dollars each (to help cover costs). But that experiment didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. So I’ve decided to change course and openly share everything I’ve got. Some of the benefits to this new approach are…

  • It feels good to share!
  • It allows readers to follow along and get involved.
  • It makes the information easy to find.
  • It might be of benefit to researchers and academics working with the U.S. baby name data. Or to those who study pop culture, mass media, American history, etc.

I’ll start adding years from the 1970s pretty soon. In the meanwhile, check out the timeline so far and let me know what you think. (Questions? Suggestions?)

And if you’re inspired to help me out in any way, there are some ideas listed on my new support page. :)

Patron Shout-Outs!

I’d like to give special shout-outs to two of my Patreon supporters, Clare & Aléna. Thank you both so much!

I’d originally wanted to do podcast shout-outs, but the podcast does not yet exist, so blog post shout-outs are the next best thing. In fact, they might be even better because they allow me to include links to Clare’s (massive!) curated site Name News and Aléna’s very helpful YouTube videos and Facebook page.

Popularity Graphs Revamped!

victoria, baby name, popularity graph

A day or so ago, I finally replaced the old popularity graphs (which were created way back in 2012) with brand new popularity graphs. Yay! Here are the main improvements:

  • The graphs are now responsive, meaning they’ll change size to match your screen dimensions. Phones will definitely need to be turned sideways to get the best view, though, because the graphs are so wide.
  • The graphs’ data points are now in alignment no matter what. This was not the case with the original graphs, which were getting more and more misaligned every year.
  • Better aesthetics! Nicer colors, cleaner design, no more ugly watermark, etc.
  • If you mouse over a graph, the data point values will appear as tooltips. Neat!
  • If you’re using a computer and you right-click on a graph, you can save it as an image — to share via social media, perhaps. ;)

Here are some random examples for you to check out: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy.

There are still several fixes I need to make, but overall the new graphs are working well. (If they aren’t functioning properly for you, please let me know.)

More site improvements are on the way, and some brand-new features are being mapped out. If you’d like to help me make these changes/enhancements, please consider supporting Nancy’s Baby Names on Patreon. Thanks!

NBN on Patreon

daisy heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you happen to *love* this site, why don’t you consider supporting Nancy’s Baby Names on Patreon?

Become a Patron!

NBN has been a one-woman operation for close to 13 years. While it’s already got some cool stuff, I’m hoping to turn it into an even better resource for visitors this year. I’d like to make some long-needed improvements, build a few new things (like a name database, and some useful name-finding tools), and also start a podcast.

Thanks for thinking about it, and I hope you have a lovely, chocolate-laden holiday. :)

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2018

Nearly 270 blog posts were published at Nancy’s Baby Names in 2018. Which ones were the most popular?

It’s hard to know for sure right now, because the most recent 2018 posts haven’t had much time to gain traction, but here’s the (admittedly skewed) top ten list as of today:

  1. Black Panther Baby Names: T’Challa, Shuri, Nakia (Feb.)
  2. Popular Baby Names in Finland, 2017 (June)
  3. Five-Name Friday: Girl Names Like Imogen (Jan.)
  4. Old-Fashioned Double Names: Loladean, Ivylee, Effielou (Jul.)
  5. Classics on the Decline: Rebecca, Carol, Susan (Sept.)
  6. Top Debuts, Baby Girl Names, 2017 (May)
  7. Classics on the Decline: Paul, Jesse, Frank (Sept.)
  8. Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2017 (Jan.)
  9. Initials that Spell Names (Feb.)
  10. Top First Letters of U.S. Baby Names, 2017 (May)

And since we’re talking posts…do you have any topic suggestions for 2019? Or, are there any older posts you’d like me to update (à la Abcde)? I can’t make any promises, but I always do my best to honor reader requests that come my way (via comments, email, or social media).