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The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby Paperback – February 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reissue edition (February 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767917529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767917520
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Why are there four little Olivias on your block? What kind of names would sound good with a brother named Dylan? Is George too old-fashioned? Is Dakota too weird? And why is Brianna now a more popular name for girls than Mary, Karen, and Margaret—combined?

The Baby Name Wizard is the first expert guide to helping you understand every aspect of a baby's name, from its image and history to nicknames and variants, as well as popularity and usage trends. The book's unique structure lets you start with one name you like and end up with a list of ideas tailored to your tastes. Each name has an entertaining buyer's guide–style entry to answer the questions:

How popular is it? Each name is accompanied by a popularity graph so you can see where the name ranks among all boys' or girls' names and track its use over the last century.
What else might I like? Look up any name and get a list of others with a matching style, including suggestions for boys and girls—ideal for sibling naming.
How do people use it? Explore promising nicknames, international variations, and alternate spellings for each name.
Where does it fit in? Learn about a name's distinctive style, from "Antique Charm" and "Old Testament" to "Brisk and Breezy" and "Nickname-Proof."
How about even more ideas? To find out more about a name's image, turn to a full styles section and get longer lists of suggestions to spark your imagination.

Fun to browse and full of surprises, yet fact-filled and well organized, The Baby Name Wizard is destined to enchant.

About the Author

LAURA WATTENBERG is a writer, researcher, and software designer who developed the name analysis software after becoming frustrated in her search for names for her two daughters. She lives outside of Boston.

More About the Author

LAURA WATTENBERG is a writer, researcher, and software designer who developed the name analysis software after becoming frustrated in her search for names for her two daughters. She lives in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

This book has "sibling names" for each name.
K. Goodman
My husband and I, who usually agree on things, were having a really difficult time coming up with names for our future first child that both of us liked.
Conundrum
I find the book very easy to read and navigate.
Erica Herrera

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Dykstra on February 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
My wife and I used this book yesterday to pick out our second daughter's name and had a lot of fun doing it. There are two main sections in this book. The first section gives great detail for each name including nicknames, variants, sister's and brother's names (what the author felt sounded like a nice match), style, usage timeline (a little graph that shows a period from 1900 until now and how often the name was used in that period) and a general description of the history around the name, significant facts and advice. The second half of the book categorizes names in groups like Saint's Names, 70's-80's names, Rugged Names, Place Names... The writing is funny, clever and helpful. The authors insights are keen and I felt like I shared her opinion on almost everything. Maybe everyone will, maybe that's just me.

One of the things that stood out for us when searching for a name were the suggestions for brother and sister names. We already have a daughter Alaina (Laney) and we're planning to name our future son Rowan. We were talking about how we like the name Jacey and when we looked it up, the suggestions for a sister's name included Laney and the brother's group included Rowan. It was a strange coincidence and it was enough for us to finalize our decision! We were also playing around with the name Kiera (KEE-rah) and found that the suggestions for brother and sister names also included other ones we liked.

This is a really nice informative book, fun to read and has a nice volume of names at 50,000 plus.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Wilson on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a jewel of a find. It's not exhaustive lists of names that make you cross-eyed after 5 minutes. I hated going through other baby name books. This one gives a graph of the name's evolving popularity over time, classifies the name in groupings, gives suggestions of brother and sister names for baby etc. It has much more features that you'll have to read. My husband and I named our second child from the suggestions for, say example, Mia. There were names that sound like they belong to the same family like Zoe, Lilly, Ava etc. And if you like lists, there's that too!
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69 of 81 people found the following review helpful By elviswoman on May 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay, so there are a MILLION baby name books out there. I went with this one because I thought it might give cool first/middle name combos or something. But really, it just gave a somewhat limited list of names along with their current popularity status and historical usage via graph. Then the book shows this list recycled by name-type categories (like "Timeless", or "Guys and Dolls", or "Greek"). So the variety i was hoping for wasn't really there. That was kind of dissapointing. On the up side, this book showed me that a name is not unique just because it comes into my mind during an "ah-HA" moment-a lot of names are being used to death due to this kind of thinking. Just look at Madison or Chase! So I did obtain a guideline of what not to name my baby unless I want him/her to be one of 6 kids with the same name in his/her kindergarten class. I found that to be useful information. If you are looking to make sure you don't choose something over-used, OR if you are trying to pick something overused so your kid can blame their credit on the other 6.19 million Brittany's, this really will help you make a great pick. But if you are looking for varied name ideas, you might want to go for one of those 75,000+ BABY NAMES books out there. Just my two cents.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By malinate on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. So many baby books are just unending lists of names and "meanings." This book offers a huge variety of names with a short paragraph for each that talks about popularity trends, nicknames, usage in pop culture, etc. The author's comments are interesting, entertaining, and most importantly they absolutely ring true. My favorite part is the list of sibling names for each name. It is fascinating. It seemed like all of our favorite names showed up on each other's sibling name list. I also loved the groupings of names into style families. The book is informative and fun to read. I highly recommend it.

The publisher took full advantage of the "look inside" feature on Amazon. Being able to see the index is very helpful so you can see just how extensive the list of names is and you will know which names have the detailed "profile" (the ones in bold in the index).

This is by far the best baby name book I have ever seen!
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amy Lynn VINE VOICE on April 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just purchased this book about a week ago for my sister who is going to have a new baby anyday now and she just loved it. Ive bought her baby name books in the past but this one is the best she says. It contains everything you can imagine and has history of the name and what the name means. Its unique among all other baby name books. Its the perfect gift for the expecting new mother. Highly Recomended. Enjoy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Momma Bear on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are tons of baby name books out there, but this one is really the best I've seen. It's not just a list of names, but a full, engaging study of all you think about when naming your child. I just used it to find a name for our second and couldn't be happier. It will definitely be on my list of great baby shower gifts from now on!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erica Herrera on March 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book this weekend to search for names for our second child. I find the book very easy to read and navigate. I really like the charts and it is very interesting to look up the "brother-sister" naming part. Even though I didn't always like what it suggested, the names I did like I could then go back and look up other brother/sister names, so you are continually getting ideas. This is a great book, but my one complaint would be, that it offers so many brother/sister combinations it would have been great to have a section on pairing middle names. Just a thought, but other than that, if you are looking for more than just list after list of names, this is a great book.
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