The language of names

According to Barbara Adair, Peacock Data’s chief development coordinator and spokesperson, the language features in the company’s long-standing flagship software packages, pdNickname and pdGender, and their new pdSurname product, “have never been available before on this scale and required a sizable portion of nearly six years of research and development.”

With this landmark software, among other powerful features, users can identify the languages associated with tens of thousands of first names, nicknames, and last names, providing them with critical ethnic and heritage demographics about their clients.

pdNickname is an advanced name and nickname file. It identifies first names that are the same even when they are not an exact match, but rather equivalent, such as a variation or nickname.

pdGender is gender coding database built on the same set of names as pdNickname. Users can match the data against the first names on their lists to determine male and female identification.

pdSurname is a new last name file. It identifies last names that are the same even when they are not an exact match, but rather equivalent, such as a variation or a similar sounding or spelled name.

All three innovative software packages embrace a host of similar and compatible features including languages of origin and use as well as fuzzy logic so information can be recognized even when names have misspellings or other typographical errors.

Combined, the three products cover more than 600 languages, dialects, ethnic groups, and races, such as English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindustani, Arabic, Persian, and Yiddish, as well as Native American names and ancient Greek, Latin, and Hebrew names.

Plans for the software releases were initially written up in January 2009 and development began in earnest mid-summer of that same year. They were built during parallel development cycles and began to be made available to the public with the release of pdNickname 2.0 and pdGender 2.0 on December 30, 2013. pdSurname, which has the largest database, was launched March 2, 2015.

According to Barbara Adair, “Creation of the master name file these new products result from is the biggest venture our company has ever undertaken. There are thousands of sources for names in scores of languages, and our task was to compare and contrast all this data and create the ultimate name resources.”

“From the start, it was essential to identify the languages and dialects associated names in considerable detail,” she added. “This gives users previously unavailable ethnic demographics linked to the names already on their lists.”

Barbara Adair showed some of the documents employed in construction of the software offerings, including a manuscript from 731 AD, written by a monk named Bebe, listing the earliest English names dating from the Anglo-Saxon era of the early medieval period. The still common personal name ‘Hilda’ is an example from the manuscript.

“Because sources often give diverse information and use different spelling conventions, it was crucial not only to gather all the data possible but also to differentiate between the quality of sources,” the spokesperson explained. “Better information became easier to identify after working with the sources over the course of the first year.”

Barbara Adair concluded, “These database packages are one-of-a-kind proprietary resources that let our users complete projects with significantly more success and in ways that were not possible before. They are very innovative pieces of software and we are encouraged and grateful for the response from our clients. A lot of time and hard work has been put into these efforts and it is a very exciting time for our customers and everyone here at Peacock Data.”

All three ground-breaking software packages are available for immediate download from the company’s website. They come with precision documentation, complete with examples, and perpetual multi-seat site licenses allowing installation on all computers in the same building within a single company or organization.

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Optionally, they can also be licensed as part of the company’s pdSuite Names and pdSuite Master Collection software bundles.

About Peacock Data

California-based Peacock Data are the makers of database software products used by business, organizations, churches, schools, researchers, and government. They are an industry leader because of their superior solutions and renowned loyalty to customers.

For more than 20 years Peacock Data’s specialized software has been utilized in applications you use every day.

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