Nymbler finds your taste in names

Name search engine figures out why you like what you like

Want to know the origin and popularity of your name? Wonder why you love certain names and hate others?

Nymbler provides shorthand to figuring out what names you might like, based on 6 names you choose for inspiration. You can type in your own suggestions or choose from a list to start. You can then change your inspiration, as Nymbler makes suggestions.


Nymbler uses an algorithm that identifies patterns in personal taste, then makes educated suggestions based on those through its "Hunch Engine." Names are analyzed for things like ethnicity and historic popularity, as well as consonance and assonance. The engine was trained on a database of name data compiled by Laura Wattenberg, the author of The Baby Name Wizard.

The site seems to be intended for naming a child, but is probably a handy tool for soon-to-be dog owners, or fiction writers looking for specific types of names without having to Google each individual one for meaning.

In addition to origin information on each name, background includes U.S. popularity statistics and frequency per 1 million babies, as well as whether or not the name is trendy.

The name Candace, for example, hit its peak in 1982 and has plummeted 21 percent in popularity over the last 3 years. It ranked 934 in 2005. In other words, it's a safe time to name a kid Candace, if you're looking to ensure her name's uniqueness in the classroom.

While Nymbler will only search off of six names at a time for inspiration, users can save favorites to develop a longer list to refer to back to. According to the site, you can use girls names you like to search for boys names and vice versa.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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