A DAD has gone out of his way to find the perfect baby name for his child and it’s fair to say it took some work.
Naming your child is a big decision and when blogger Nick Winter and his partner Chloe couldn’t settle on a name for their little one, he decided to come up with a more methodical way to select a moniker.
Instead of rifling through baby name books and jotting down every name that took their fancy, Nick turned to a mathematical algorithm.
It involved him downloading the complete Social Security name database which is made up of 93,600 names.
Revealing all in a blog post, he explained that each name in the database has been used “at least five times in year since 1880”.
Sounds like a lot of names to get through, right? Well, that’s where Nick then created a web app to rank the names using 12 different ranking criteria.
The criteria included spellability, pronounceability, timelessness, rarity and genderedness.
Nick explains in his post: “It puts all the names in order from best to worst, and then you start at the top and indicate your actual personal preference with like or hate buttons.
“So you are still choosing the names, but the app presents them in an efficient order. Partners in baby-naming can then also rank names according to their preferences, and you can see which names you both like.
“For me, this was the obvious way to do it.”
NICK’S 12 RANKING CRITERIA
The 12 ranking criteria is as follows:
- Spellability – penalises names which sound similar to other common names, since people will not know how to spell them.
- Pronounceability – penalises names which we think could be pronounced two different ways, or which have Rs in them.
- Timelessness – penalises anything that’s extra old-fashioned, is extra trendy now, or was a fad name in the past.
- Relevancy – penalises very rare names.
- Rarity – penalises names that are very common.
- Secularity – penalises names which are clearly Biblical.
- Shortness – penalises names with many letters or many syllables.
- Recitability – penalises names that aren’t easy to spell aloud.
- Nicklessness – penalises names that have shorter nickname versions.
- Nickedness – penalises names that are nicknames of longer names.
- Chineseness – penalises names that would be hard to pronounce for native Chinese speakers due to unfamiliar consonant clusters and other sound patterns.
- Genderedness – penalises names that are ambiguously gendered.
He was able to quickly whizz through 3,600 names and liked 76 choices, while Chloe worked her way through 3,700 and liked 81 names.
The couple then took a look at each other’s names and managed to whittle their total number of names down to 15 using the phone test – where you pretend to answer the phone using each number, saying it out loud.
With their last 15 choices, they used the fridge test to slash their list down further to just two.
You write the name on a sticky note on the fridge and each day took a look at the names up there, pulling down the ones that didn’t take your fancy.
“Each day we would look up at the fridge… and take one down until only four remained and then eventually only two: Hazel and Max,” Nick said.
“Baby spawned male, so Max it was.”
That’s one way to do it.
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