A Ruby gem that provides parsing and output of person names, as well as Gender & Ethnicity matching.
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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



Thus far I've gone long stretches where this project did exactly what I needed it to, until it did not. I don't use it to validate or massage names with code connected to some kind of UI, I use it to clean up names I am parsing in volume. Hopefully I'm balancing speed and quality. Anything you don't like, change, you can have the commit bit easy-peasy.

The first time an instance of Nameable uses the gender method, the database of first names shipped with the gem will be parsed. The same is true for the last name data which is quite a bit larger. They aren't huge, and it only happens the first time, which is why I opted to leave the data in the gem, and not split it up into a different thing. If you hate that more than you hate gems that require extra steps to be useable let me know.

I don't like that the Ethnicity data is just a Hash.

Oh, and github, pull request, workflow, yada yada.