Oh Baby!

Laura Wattenberg takes naming baby to an entirely new level. Check out her updated fourth-edition of The Baby Name Wizard (Harmony, 2019) for her research-driven, analytical approach to understanding names and trends.

I’m not even looking for a baby name and I couldn’t put this book down. I loved the computer-generated, name peak graph for each name. Every name is labeled with its popularity peak to give you a sense for how often the name is being used. For example, the name Sarah was popular in 1880, declined, and then reached its peak in 1981 when it was ranked #4. I dare you not to look up your name and the name of everyone else in your family.

Yet, this book isn’t just a list of names. Wattenberg discusses the process of naming, middle names, sibling’s names, relative’s influence and namer’s remorse. You’ll learn the most popular names by state, and an entire section on name styles — think ethnic, mid-century America, literary, artistic, and county and western.

In case you wanted to know, the overall top American name for a girl and boy in 2018 was Emma and Liam.

It’s a magical bible of naming and it’s a lot of fun!