The behindthename.com application programming interface (API) is a free service that can be used by other organizations to leverage the name data on behindthename.com.

Currently there are functions to:

  1. look up a name, that is get the gender and usage
  2. retrieve a random name
  3. list synonyms for a name (not currently available)

For more information, see the documentation.

Using the API is free, but there are usage limits so that the server does not get bogged down. You can make a maximum of:

Usage limits may be increased upon request.

To use the API, you must get an API key. The first step toward obtaining a key is registering for a user account on this website (the same type of account that allows you to post on the message boards, leave comments about names, etc). All API keys are tied to a user account. After registering and logging in, the next step is to fill out a simple form. Once you have your key, you can monitor your usage from the API gateway.