If you know me in real life, or if you have been reading here for any amount of time, you probably know that I am a bit of a name nerd. My fascination with names manifested itself early in my life: as a child, I poured a significant amount of time and energy into selecting the perfect names for each of my (hundreds of) dolls and stuffed animals. This quirky interest was fueled by the discovery of the baby name book from which my parents selected my own name. (This was the same book later used by the THREE of us to choose a name for my younger brother.)
Unlike many childhood pursuits, my love of names never waned, and as I reached adulthood, it morphed into full blown nameophilia. (<— I’m pretty sure I made that word up. If there is a more etymologically correct term, please let me know!) My passion for names is so great that it served as the topic of my very first blog post. But as much as I love hearing, thinking, and reading about names, I always thought that this “hobby” was too obscure to be shared by many others. So you can imagine my surprise – and pure excitement – when I discovered Nameberry, a website and blog dedicated entirely to names!
The Nameberry site was created by naming experts Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, coauthors of ten books on baby names. With a database of over 50,000 names, and several well-curated name lists, Nameberry is a definitive source on baby names.
If your are trying to select the ideal name for your future child, the Nameberry database is an essential resource: just search for a specific name, or search for names that fit specific criteria, to learn about that name’s popularity ranking, meaning and history, famous namesakes, possible nicknames, and ideas for similar names. The Nameberry forums – where names are shared and discussed by members of the Nameberry community – are another useful resource for expectant parents looking for help with settling on a name.
For a name-lover like me, these forums and databases can – and have – provide hours of entertainment, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t used these sources to compile lists of potential names for our hypothetical future children. But my absolute favorite feature of the Nameberry site is the blog, which has has introduced me to a vibrant community of name-lovers like me, and reminded me that an interest in names is not exclusive to expectant parents! Twice daily, the Nameberry blog posts about all-things names, from current naming trends and celebrity babies, to seasonal names and historical favorites. Each week, readers are asked to weigh in on a name-related question (such as: have you ever been teased about your name?), and once per month, a Babyberry post lists the names of babies reported on the site’s Birth Announcement forums. These birth announcement posts are a favorite of mine, as I love seeing the unique names selected by fellow name enthusiasts.
If you are not an expectant parent, or if you have zero interest in names, the Nameberry blog and website might not be your cup of tea. But if, like me, you have a insatiable appetite for name-related statistics and trends, Nameberry is about to become your new guilty pleasure! I’m sorry. And you’re welcome.