- 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: 193 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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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.
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I also use it when I write a sibling or best friend in for a character and I want their names to mesh. In those cases I've already named the main character, but I need a name that really flows with the story (matches the era) and also sounds like it would pair nicely with the main character. In those cases, again, I find the brothers and sisters section to be incredible.
Another fantastic feature that I use all the time are the lists in the back. There are tons of lists all with names that fit into their categories. These have been amazing when I know I want a name for a specific time period (say 40s or 50s), but I can't think of one, I just head over to the "Guys and Dolls" list and pick one. Say I want a really old name, like ancient, yep there's a list for that too. If I want all my characters to have cutesy names, I just use the "Bell Tones" list or "The Ens" and I'll likely find the perfect name.
There are tons of uses for this and I'm so happy to have found it!
What I love about Ms. Wattenburg's book is quoted right on page one of her book: "Knowing that the name Olivia comes from the Latin word for olive doesn't tell you whether there will be three other Olivias on your block." She has created a resource for names based on, in her own words, "fashions, history, and style," which is exactly what I think a name book should be in a society whose number one value is independence.
As the first book of its kind, it is obvious that Ms. Wattenburg has put loads of time and energy into her work. Just researching the popularity of thousands of names across 100 years of history and making visual aids from it is daunting to think about, but she has also looked deeply into the styles of names and endeavored to classify them into groups based on that. The groupings into styles is what I find most helpful of all, because it gives rhyme and reason to why I like the names Callista and Eli, but not Casey or Louie.
This is just a fantastic names book overall, for name nerds and expecting parents alike.
There was a section that also gave details on how popular a name was and when, along with sibling names, etc. I found this helpful, but lacking. I wish there had been more names in this section and that it gave suggestions for middle names.
For instance, the first name we ended up going with is Ansley - not super common, but not off the wall either. They didn't have that name in the detailed section in that spelling. They had it as the Ainsley spelling with Ansley being a variation of how to spell it. Seems the opposite to me.
I don't regret buying this book and did find it helpful, but had higher hopes.