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



Dutch Names Imported

Around 15,000 Dutch surnames were imported into the NameAPI database!


New DB Version

We are happy to announce that a new DB version has been deployed.


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.

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.