A Ruby gem that provides parsing and output of person names, as well as Gender & Ethnicity matching.
Latest commit 4dc46df Jun 20, 2017 @chorn Refactor tests and add better coverage
Update the Code Climate test reporter, which requires running SimpleCov
locally and posting the results.

I've also added a simple .rubocop.yml, added more rubies to
the Travis CI config, and cleaned up a bunch of cruft.

The README now has to-dos, which is pretty much a list of things I don't
like about this code.



Gem Version Build Status

A library that provides parsing and normalization of people's names.

require 'nameable'
n = Nameable::Latin.new.parse('Mr. Chris K Horn Esquire')
puts "#{n.prefix} #{n.first} #{n.middle} #{n.last} #{n.suffix}"
#=> Mr. Chris K Horn Esq.
puts n.to_fullname
#=> Mr. Chris K. Horn, Esq.
n = Nameable::Latin.new('CHRIS', 'HORN')
puts n.to_nameable
#=> Chris Horn
n = Nameable::Latin.new(prefix:'Sir', last:'Horn')
puts n
#=> Sir Horn


Convenience methods:

puts Nameable('chris horn, iii')
#=> "Chris Horn, III."
puts Nameable.parse('chris horn, iii')
#=> #<Nameable::Latin:0x007f8470e01b08 @first="Chris", @last="Horn", @middle=nil, @prefix=nil, @suffix="III.">

Using a database of first names from the U.S. Social Security Administration, Nameable will pick the most likely gender for a name.

#=> :male
#=> true

Using a database of last names from the U.S. Census, Nameable will return the ethnicity breakdown as a Hash.

Nameable::Latin.new('Chris', 'Horn').ethnicity
#=> {:rank=>593, :count=>51380, :percent_white=>86.75, :percent_black=>8.31, :percent_asian_pacific_islander=>0.84, :percent_american_indian_alaska_native=>1.16, :percent_two_or_more_races=>1.46, :percent_hispanic=>1.48}

Other uses

I've included a little web service, which should be installed as "nameable_web_service" that requires sinatra. It's been handy when paired with OpenRefine, if I'm working with a file and I am not going to be parsing with Ruby. If you're reading this, that's probably not an issue for you, but I do think it's a nice way to show someone how to use OpenRefine in a more advanced way.


By inspiration, I should really say "other projects from which I yanked their code, ideas, examples and data." At worst I'll make sure the other projects I looked at and borrowed from are credited here.


As of version 1.1.1., the nameable gem is cryptographically signed. To be sure the gem you install hasn’t been tampered with, add my public key as a trusted certificate, and verify that nameable and any dependencies it has are also signed:

$ gem cert --add <(curl -Ls https://raw.github.com/chorn/nameable/master/certs/chorn.pem)
$ gem install nameable -P HighSecurity



  1. Extract all of the US Census / Ethnicity / Asset stuff out of Latin. Yuck, that's ugly why did I ever do that?
  2. Rename Latin to be US or English because it's looks like I really only support English, and probably US English.
  3. Use named captures for all the regexs.
  4. Refactor the Ethnicity stuff into a class.
  5. Refactor parsing into a class.