The Unpredictability of Baby Names

Because we had a chapter in our book about the socioeconomic impact of baby names, we’ve blogged many times about baby names in the past, including just the other day. One question that rarely arises, however, is this: How possible is it to predict which names will become more popular in time, and which ones […]

A Google-Wrinkle in the Name Game

Here’s a new twist to our ongoing discussion of child-naming: The Wall Street Journal reports that new parents may be choosing more “unique” names for their children in the interest of making them more prominent in Google searches. While a name like “Jason Smith” is easily swallowed up in the search-engine depths, a first name […]

Not Wayne again…

We’ve mentioned a few times on this blog (see here and here) how often criminals seem to have the middle name “Wayne.” Turns out the shooter in the Kansas City Mall was named David W. Logsdon. I have a pretty good guess what the “W” stands for. (hat tip to Matt Randolph.)

The middle name Wayne strikes again

I previously blogged about a woman who had the odd hobby of clipping newspaper articles for crimes where the perpetrator had the middle name “Wayne.” The blog News of the Weird also has reported on this phenomenon. The latest gruesome crime out of Texas doesn’t break the mold: What, neighbors at the Red Oak Place […]

Levit and Dabner?

When Freakonomics gets published in a new language, they always send me a couple copies. I just got the Serbian version: The first thing I noticed is that it is a pretty sad looking apple/orange on the cover. The second thing I noticed is that it was written by Stiven D. Levit and Stiven Dz. […]

Name That Baby!

We’ve heard reports here and there of expectant parents plucking a name or two from the various lists of first names in Freakonomics, but these folks are taking it pretty seriously. Personally, I’d vote for “Lucienne Rachel,” even though I’d prefer “Lucienne Aviva.”

Freakonomics in Action: Name That Baby

A friend writes: What you should know about me: I’m a neurotic Manhattan mom. I swore I wouldn’t become one of those, but lo and behold, the kid comes out and you have absolutely no choice. How does this play out? As an example, when my eldest child was applying to pre-school, I had my […]

If you like baby names, you will love this

Despite the fact that the designer of this software doesn’t like our treatment of names in Freakonomics (see here and here, it is so much fun to play with that we have no choice but to link to it: It let’s you type in the first letters of a name and see in a […]