NameAPI is a web API
to handle people's names
in your software.

News

23.02.2021

Europe under the Microscope

Recently, around 10,000 new Turkish family names have been added to our database thanks to the...


27.01.2021

An Expanding International Team

The number one rule of data is that it needs to be accurate; needless to say, we make it our top...


12.01.2021

Numbers Don't Lie

2020 was a prolific year in terms of the expansion of our database. We focused on family names and...


09.03.2020

Exceptional Times, Smart Actions

Our freelancers are working from home to ensure the quality of our Chinese, Finnish and Moldovan...


12.02.2020

New International Collaborators!

January has been a busy month at our office, as we have several new international collaborators.


Name Genderizer

Name genderizing is the process of identifying the gender based on a person's name.

  Examples by culture:
Examples:

  Examples by culture:
Examples:


  Examples by culture:
Examples:

 

Developer: see the technical specification of the REST service.

 

Process

Understanding the person's name is key to identifying the gender. Then it becomes obvious which name parts to look at. It's not always the first name!

Challenges

There are three reasons why a writing form of a given name can't be clearly assigned to one gender:

1. True unisex names, for example "Casey". 

This is also the case for many short forms or pet names, which can derive from given names with different gender:

Alex  => Alexandra, Alexander

Charlie  =>  Charlotte, Charles

2. Names that exist in multiple cultures, for example "Andrea".

In this case, identifying the culture is the key:

Andrea Bocelli => Italian => likely male

Andrea Berg => German => likely female

3. Detail is lost through transcription (or asciification), rendering distinctive names the same.

 

In all these cases statistics help: name statistics (census, birth lists etc) are used to calculate the chance for each gender.

 

Use Cases

1. Addressing a person

You don't know the person's gender, but you have to address him or her more personally. It just sounds better with a correct salutation than "Hi there!". However, if in doubt, we recommend to use a neutral salutation.

2. Customer segmentation

The gender can be a key criterion in selecting the right target group.

3. Person matching

Two name pairs may look similar. If the gender is contradicting, it's unlikely the same person.

 

Find out more

Read our white paper about name genderizing.