The Monitor

The Monitor

FYI: pop culture news

February 24, 2005|By Sarah Kickler Kelber

Address:

babynamewizard.com / namevoyager /

What's the point?: If your elementary-school memories include being called on by your first name and last initial, you've surely given thought to name popularity. The NameVoyager program at "The Baby Name Wizard" site tracks not the popularity of names, but rather their frequency across the decades according to Social Security data in the United States. Click on "Launch NameVoyager," type in any name -- or partial name -- and see the graph change.

What to look for: Before you type in anything, the screen is a solid mass of pink and blue bars, and you can scroll over the graph and see the ranking of different names. Type one letter, and get more specific information; type another, it gets more specific. It's kind of tough to explain -- and it might not sound that enthralling -- but once you give it a try, you'll be looking at the history of the names of everyone you've ever met.

-- Sarah Kickler Kelber

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