My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus, “Naming the Name of the Year,” looks at the quirky and wildly popular Name of the Year Tournament (NOTY), started in 1983 by some Penn undergraduates and still going strong. One of those undergrads was Stefan Fatsis, who may be better known as the author of several books, including Word Freak, and as an occasional contributor to NPR. I interviewed Stefan for the column, as well as Laura Wattenberg (creator of the Baby Name Wizard website and author of a highly regarded book about baby naming) and Sam Gutelle, who helped revive NOTY in 2012.
The paywall on this column has been lifted, so even non-subscribers can read all about this year’s NOTY contenders, including Miracle Crimes, Babucarr Fatty, Forbes Thor Kiddoo, and Mahogany Loggins.
Also paywall-free: all of my Visual Thesaurus columns from 2017 and earlier, on subjects as wide ranging as failure, “crispy,” “journey,” and “ish.”