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Choosing Names for Your Materials: A Rose Is a Forrest Is a Joy

If you are creating a number of examples, practice items, or test questions where it’s useful to personalize them with first names, it’s helpful to have a ready source of names that help you to make good choices.

Here are some choices to avoid:

  • Quirky names (distracting)
  • Unique names of people in the news (distracting)
  • Names of key leaders in your organization (distracting and potentially troublesome)
  • Names that appear, as a whole, to suggest only one gender or ethnicity (potentially discouraging). However, for example, if you’re teaching math in an all-girl school, then it’s probably okay to use only girls’ names in word problems.

The other day I was creating card sort activities, and I needed 20 different first names, one for each set of cards. To make this easy, I used an online site called Nymbler. This made finding and choosing names for my activities fast and easy.

09-18a Nymbler Logo

Even though Nymbler was created for parents, you can use it to find great names for your training materials.

Let’s say that you are developing management-training materials, and you want to find names that “go with” the names of your executive team. You can start with up to six names, and Nymbler will return suggestions that have something in common with your choices.

09-18b Google Inspiration

Here are 15 names related to names from Google’s management team:

09-18c Names from Google

Depending on your circumstances, you might find a few names that you like from this list. If not, you can click More Names… and Nymbler will give you 15 more choices.

Once you find a name, you can click on it to learn about its origins and popularity. Popular names change over time. Finding out when a name was in common use can help you to choose names that fit for your audience and the training context.

09-18d Joaquin

For each single name that you click on, Nymbler provides more names that are similar in some way to the name you clicked. Clicking on any of these names yields more information and names to consider. In not much time, you should be able to find just the right names.

09-18e Similar to Katia

Using Nymbler is fast, informative, and helpful. You can find names to use for any number of situations. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking up your own name and those of people close to you. In addition to being useful, Nymbler is fun.


Site | Nymbler

Site | Baby Name Wizard (Good for finding popular names from 1880 to now.)

Disclosure: Some links on this site are “affiliate links,” which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something.