As it happens, yesterday afternoon, with a cosy cup of coffee and an even cosier piece of ricetart at my favorite Pain Quotidien, I downloaded the full list of first names given to babies born in Belgium over the last 20 years. And wondered how this data set could be turned into a network.
After a moderately short labor of 134 lines of program code — including quite a number of fruitful multiplications — two orthographic word similarity networks were born. In layman’s language: similarly looking names are linked, and therefore visualized close(r) to one another.
The girls’ name network connects 1900 names. Here’s a sample:
Marie(ke) is quite a popular name indeed:
The young boys’ network contains 1500 names in total, including:
So no, Jef, you’re not alone!
So, young or not-so-young friends & colleagues: if you’re into procreation mode or expecting, and want your newborn to wear that fancy name: no more excuses.