Directory Updated

The new look of the baby name directory

Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you know that the baby name directory has been updated and redesigned. The directory now covers the full SSA dataset (1880-2022), and the pages should both load more quickly and be easier to use on a phone.

Here are the girl names that start with N, for instance, and the girl names with 5 letters. To see other lists, try one of these links:

I hope you like the improvements. I’m sorry the directory pages were so sluggish for so long.

Timeline Updated

Hi everyone! Two quick announcements regarding the baby name timeline.

First, I’ve added 2022, finally. :)

Second, I’ve started sprucing up the timeline. I’m putting each year on its own page and throwing in some fun sets of rankings:

  • Top 5 popular names overall (male & female)
  • Top 5 absolute increases (male & female)
  • Top 5 relative increases (male & female)
  • Top 5 debuts (male & female)

Only handful of years (1926, 1927, 1984, 1985, and 2021) have been converted so far, and converting the rest will take me a number of months. In the meantime, if you’re curious to see the rankings for a particular year (or years), please let me know below and I’ll work on those first.

Named Linda? Join the club.


A few months ago, while revamping a post about the fastest-rising girl names of all time, I came across the L.I.N.D.A. Club — a club exclusively for people named Linda.

The only requirement for membership, according to the club’s website, is that one’s first name be Linda or a spelling variant thereof (such as Lynda, Linnda, or Lynnda).

Nearly every year since 1987, the Lindas have held a convention — including one this past weekend in Niagara Falls, New York.

They cleverly held their 2015 event in Linda, California.

And they invited Jack Lawrence — the man behind the hit song that popularized their shared first name back in the 1940s — to attend the 1989 event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He said:

[A] group of ladies in the middle west contacted me to explain that they had started an organization called LINDA and were holding annual meetings with many other ladies who had been named Linda as a result of my song. I went as their guest to their third annual meeting […] and it was a most peculiar feeling to address each and every one as LINDA. […] I don’t know of any other songs that have sparked such yearly meetings.

Two other name-clubs I’ve blogged about are the Shirley Club and the Lois Club. Do you know of any others?

Source: Linda – Jack Lawrence, Songwriter

Image: Adapted from Chaises-saint-denis (public domain) by Thierry Caro

The creepy-crawly signature of Jan van Kessel

Painted signature of artist Joan Van Kessel, 1657
“Joan Van Kessel” (1657)

Let’s end the year with something different!

At least twice, 17th-century Flemish artist Jan Van Kessel painted his name out of caterpillars and snakes. (And he made sure to include plenty of spiders, for good measure.)

In the earlier painting, created in 1657, he spelled his first name “Joan.”

In the later painting, created in 1666, he spelled his first named “Jan.” (Just to make things complicated, the signature was featured as a painting-within-a-painting dated “1664.”)

Painted signature of artist Joan Van Kessel, 1666
“Jan Van Kessel” (1666)

Have you ever drawn/painted your name out creepy-crawly creatures? Or any creatures at all? If so, and it’s online somewhere, comment with a link!

Sources: Jan van Kessel the Elder – Wikipedia, Jan van Kessel’s Signature of Caterpillars and Snakes (1657)