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



Version 5.3 Deployed

New version 5.3 available.


Version 5.3 release candidate is online

More names, more cultures and a new web service: Risk Detector.


Version 5.2 Deployed

As announced, the new version has been installed.


Version 5.2 release candidate is online

More names, more cultures.


Version 5.1 Deployed

As announced, the new version has been installed.

NameAPI explained to Managers

Purpose of use

Why the need for NameAPI?

Names are everywhere. From emails to CVs, news articles and legal documents: almost every text contains people's names.

Humans handling these documents need to identify and understand the names. More and more it's computers taking over this task.

Common tasks include:

  • identifying the parts of a name, such as the given name or surname
  • identifying the person's gender, culture
  • matching two differently written name pairs

Such tasks can be difficult and lack of knowledge paired with wrong assumptions lead to errors.

NameAPI offers a toolbox of web services to cope with these challenges.


The progressive technologization enables new applications, and the general expectations of functionality increases.


The progressing globalization demands solutions, which take into account different cultural and regional realities in relation to the use of personal names.


Much time is spent on digital information retrieval. Intelligent, error-tolerant search systems are needed. NameAPI provides ways for indexing personal names to enable fuzzy searches.

Data Quality

Data quality is a key success factor. Incorrect or incomplete forms of address lead to rejection.

NameAPI offers a wide set to validate names, from spelling correction to gender validation to fake name detection.

Data Enhancement

In marketing, when detailed data records are not available, segmentation may be made based on estimates on the people's names.

  • gender
  • culture
  • marital status
  • age
  • religion


Name Management

How does NameAPI do its work?

Expert System (XPS)

NameAPI's server system is built as a rule-based expert system with an "open world assumption" and uses a combination of data, rules and software.

"The open world assumption is the assumption that the truth-value of a statement is independent of whether or not it is known."

Cultural Classification

To understand a text, the language must be determined first. The situation is similar with names - to treat them correctly, the culture must be interpreted correctly.

Western cultures use family names, some use patronymics instead, and others don't use any surnames. Some write it in the beginning, others in the end.

Parts of Names

NameAPI parses names into their elements:

  • given name
  • title
  • qualifier
  • surname
  • salutation
  • profession

Only after reaching this stage of identifying each part, one can fully understand the name.

Onomastics Know-How

NameAPI analyzes names based on language, identifies affixes and name elements, links variants, and uses this data combined with algorithms for name matching and name searching tasks.


People's names are strongly influenced and shaped by cultural and regional conditions and traditions. NameAPI has a global view and considers these facts. Optimaize, the company running NameAPI, collects relevant terms from all cultures and languages. These are linked with additional information, including gender, language and frequency. Original spellings in non-Latin scripts (including transcriptions and transliterations) are also recorded.

Data Sources

As main data sources Optimaize uses websites on the subject combined with local freelancers.

Moreover, Optimaize produces statistical data from phone books and official national publications.

NamePedia spiders online news sources from 55 countries and extracts named entities focusing on people's names.