Names are a fascinating convention. Letting parents name their children whatever they want has produced some questionable moments, to say the least. Luckily for most kids, names tend to go in and out of style, and most of us sit somewhere in the middle of our name’s unique bell curve. This is proven by AI researcher Randal Olsen‘s new interactive web toy, which will plot the popularity of any name on a graph over the last 115 years.
What sets this tool apart from others that use similar data is how it separates the living from the dead–a black line measures the number of people given a particular name year by year, while the shaded blue area shows the number of those people who are currently living. Olsen uses this data to then give us the median year of birth for people with that name and an age range that they most likely fall into. Once you’ve found a chart, you can even download the data to do with it what you wish.
This chart can be used it to find out fun things about yourself. For example, we’re living in the second boom of girls named Sophie right now, but nearly all of the several thousand people with the name from the 1920s are already dead. The chart adjusts its scale to fit the peak year for any name, so be sure to check out the Y axis to see whether there were 3,000 or 30 Destinys born in 1999. Fair warning: this tool is an extremely effective time suck.