Parenting is something that brings numerous new challenges and these start before kids are even on the scene. Choosing a name, for example, can be tricky. Take us. It wasn’t until we knew the gender of our third child that we were sure of a name.
Kate and I had long since agreed on options for girls but were stumped for boys’ names. We didn’t mind which gender we had but, for some reason, found it difficult to think of names for little lads. So, of course, our first two children were boys!
We eventually came up with names we loved but spent ages agonising over them. If memory serves, I was the fussy one. I wasn’t really feeling biblical names – and, yes, I’m aware I have one of those myself.
I didn’t like monosyllabic monickers either – guilty as charged again – as we have a one-syllable surname. And I didn’t like names that would be alliterative with our surname. My feeling was that you could only get away with such things with a cooler surname than ours or if you’re secretly a superhero.
It left us with something of a conundrum. If only there had been a handy app available back then. This takes us nicely to Namey which I’ve been trying out this week.
Namey is the first app of its kind to use artificial intelligence and algorithmic matching to suggest relevant baby names. Expectant parents can input details including their names and those of any siblings, ideal first letters, origin and characteristics.
The app uses these to compile lists carefully selected from its database of over 25,000 original and traditional names. The names it suggests fit with the criteria you have selected and complement those of siblings.
You can also check the top ten trending names for both genders and also search for the leading names by characteristic.
Of course, families often like to share their views on potential names and Namey caters for this. You can create polls for shortlisted names and share them via Facebook and WhatsApp.
I tried using the app as if I’d gone back in time before each child was born. It didn’t suggest any of the names we ended up using, but a few of the backup names we had for girls were in among them.
They are, of course, just suggestions and it doesn’t mean that there are right or wrong choices. I found it interesting though that we had unconsciously followed naming trends. The results suggested that, algorithmically at least, we were in the zone with girls’ names but not with those for boys.
Namey is a useful app and I can see it serving expectant parents well. The big advantage over baby naming books, of course, is the algorithmic matching as it unearths ideas you may not have otherwise thought of.
I would be interested to see how the addition of surnames in the search terms influences the results – something for a future update, perhaps?
Free and premium (99p) versions of Namey are available via the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple App Store for IOS. In-app features on the premium version include tutorial videos and naming inspiration articles from the Namey blog.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.