Random name generator

Use the spinning wheel below to generate a random male or female English name that was popular in the last 100 years.

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Top names over the last 100 years (1922 - 2021)

This random name generator contains 100 popular male names and 100 popular female names. The names were popular in the last 100 years, from 1922 to 2021. Note that these names were not necessarily consistently popular. This means that a certain name may have been very popular for 20 years but then went out of style. Theses names will still be in this list as they made it to the top 100. In short: you may find names that are not popular anymore today.

Background information for popular names

The data used for this spinning wheel comes from the United States Social Security Administration, which lists the most popular names by decade. Their data comes from social security applications, mostly applied for after 1937. The data pool contains 177M male names and 172M female names. If you want to know more, you can read more about their data source and data qualifications here.

Use cases

You've undoubtedly seen that the internet is filled with random name generators. Plenty of sites allow you to see a list of random names by pressing a button. However, we find that approach boring and counter-productive for some use cases. Using a wheel of fortune as a random name generator is a better choice. Here's why:

Baby names

Choosing a baby name you (and your partner, if any) like can feel both thrilling and daunting at the same time. Using other randomizers, you get various long lists of names. Honestly, those are exhausting to go through. Choosing your babies name is important and using a wheel, you only see one name at a time. You can take your time to soak it in before moving on to the next name.

Pet names

Getting a new pet is always an exciting time, but it might be difficult to find a name you like. There are just so many options! Trying the random name wheel is the perfect companion to help find a name for your furry (or not-so-furry) friend.

Character names

Writing a novel or screenplay? Our random name picker is the perfect companion to help name your secondary characters!

How to use this random decision wheel?

1

Configure

Before spinning, you can change the appearance, sound, and other settings of the wheel to match your style.

2

Play

Click the Spin button (or the center of the wheel) and the wheel will start turning before landing on a random segment.

3

Create your own

Do you want to create your own wheel based on this? Click the copy icon to copy the wheel. After that, you can add or edit slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular male name?

"James" was the most common first name between 1922 and 2021 in the US, according to the United States Social Security Administration. "Robert" was the second most popular name during that same period.

What is the most popular female name?

"Mary" was the most common first name between 1922 and 2021 in the US, according to the United States Social Security Administration. "Patricia" and "Jennifer" are the runner ups for that same period.

How many different first names are there?

The US Social Security Administration released a file containing 31,537 different names for births in 2021. The exact number of different English names out there is currently unknown. We do know that 1000 names make up about 76% of the US population.

Is the spinner wheel truly random?

In practice: yes. In theory: no. That sounds confusing, but let us explain! In computer programs, nothing is truly random, but it is pseudo-random because a number generated by a program (algorithm) is by definition not random. That said, for 99% of use cases, pseudo-random numbers are considered random enough.

In short: yes the random spinning wheel is truly random and unbiased. Moreover, it can't be rigged! There is no way you can influence the chances of landing on a segment sooner. Changing the timing settings on the wheel will not influence the randomness in any way.

Is it possible to cheat

No! The wheel result is completely randomized. We do not run any pre-processing steps or other decision-making algorithms. The result the wheel lands on is chosen completely random and can not be rigged.