Behind the Name really has too many features to list. Behind the Name focuses on giving detailed information about the meaning and origin of the 20,000 names in its database. Given names from many cultures and periods are included in the database. Users can search this information by:
- country and culture of origin
- categories such as names from the Bible, Theology, History, Literature, Mythology, Popular Culture, and Astronomy
- cultures and periods such as Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, late-Roman, and Medieval
- namesakes (for instance, dignitaries, leaders, award winners, and other notable people from all over the world)
In addition, Behind the Name has a great name generator that allows you to generate random names from different countries and cultures. Finally, Behind the Name has an impressive sister site, that focuses on surnames.
Nameberry.com features a database of over 50,000 names complete with statistics and the history of each name in the database. Find popular baby names, boys’ names, girls’ names, unisex names, celebrity baby names, international names, and more!
Social Security – Top Names lists the top names in America over the past century. You can view the top five names for each of the past 100 years. You can view the most popular names overall over the past 100 years. You can view the top 100 names for a selected State and year of birth, as well as the top five names by State, for all States, for a selected year of birth. Finally, you can view the top names for each decade dating back to the 1880’s!
Random Name Generator randomly generates names from a list of 1,219 male first names, 4,275 female first names, and 88,799 last names. From these, Random Name Generator can generate over 480 million name combinations. You can even decide if the results should be from common or rare names.
Babynames.com isn’t just for naming babies. Ever wanted to know a celebrity’s given name? This site has a page for that! For instance, did you know that Jennifer Anniston’s name was Jennifer Linn Anastassakis before she changed it? Or that Tom Cruise’s name used to be Thomas Cruise Mapother IV before he legally changed it? You wouldn’t believe how many celebrities have changed their names!
What Your Name Says About How Believable You Are: Researchers at the University of Wellington confirmed that a host of positive benefits are conferred on people with easily pronounced names, including being evaluated as more truthful, more familiar, less risky, and less dangerous.
Can Your Name Make You a Criminal? In this article, Time Magazine discusses research showing that boys with unpopular names are more likely to be referred to the juvenile-justice system, and that boys with names commonly given to girls are more likely to be suspended from school. The authors suggest that there are two reasons for this. First, people with unpopular names are often treated differently than those with more popular names, and that in turn leads people with unpopular names to have a negative view of themselves. Secondly, people with unpopular names tend to have parents who are less educated and have less money, which increases the likelihood that a person will become involved in crime.
Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? Researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research wanted to know whether job applicants with African-American sounding names were on an even playing field with regard to their job applications. To find out, they responded to job ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. What they found was that applications with white sounding names received 50% more callbacks than applications with African-American sounding names. Moreover, they found that high-quality resumes increased callbacks to candidates with white sounding names by 30% while high-quality resumes only increased callback to candidates with African-American sounding names by a statistically-insignificant 9%.
Names and Wages: Being Brad Ain’t Bad. Researchers at the Institute for the Study of Labor have found that immigrants who came to America in the 1930’s and ‘Americanized’ their names by changing their foreign-sounding names to popular American names such as ‘John’ or ‘William’ earned at least 14% more than immigrants who did not.
Name Game Increases Sex Appeal. A person’s name may influence how attractive others think they are. According to researchers at MIT, men with names whose vowels are pronounced at the front of the mouth (like ‘Ben’ or ‘Mike’) were deemed by observers as more attractive than men whose names had vowels that are pronounced at the back of the mouth (like ‘Paul’). The opposite held true for women, with observers deeming women whose names had vowels pronounced at the back of the mouth (like Laura) as being more attractive.
Perceptions of Married Women and Married Men with Hyphenated Surnames. This study revealed that married women with hyphenated names were perceived by college students as being friendly, good-natured, industrious, and intellectually curious, while married men with hyphenated names were perceived as being accommodating, good-natured, nurturing, and committed to their marriage.
What’s in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success. Does the letter your last name begins with make any difference as to how successful you are? This study finds that economists whose last names appear earlier in the alphabet were more likely to get tenure at universities and to earn a Nobel Prize. The researchers believe that the practice of alphabetizing credits in academic journals is largely responsible for this result.
Female Lawyers with Masculine Names May Have a Better Shot at Judgeships. Researchers by two economics researchers indicates that women with more masculine-sounding names have a better shot at becoming a judge, at least in South Carolina. Changing a woman’s name from a traditionally feminine name like ‘Sue’ to a gender-ambiguous name like ‘Kelly’ increased the odds of becoming a South Carolina judge by about 5 percent. Changing from ‘Sue’ to a preominantly male name like ‘Cameron’ tripled the odds of becoming a judge. Amazingly, changing from ‘Sue’ to ‘Bruce’ quintupled the odds.
What’s in a Name? Initials Linked to Success, Study Shows. Did you know that baseball players whose name begin with ‘K’ (the symbol for a strikeout in baseball) are more likely to strike out? Or that students whose names begin with ‘C’ or ‘D’ get lower grades than students whose names begin with ‘A’ or ‘B?’ As it turns out, a person’s initials may influence everything from where a person lives and who they marry (Paul is more likely to live in Philadelphia while Al is more likely to marry Alice), to how they perform when their name matches the name of a performance outcome.