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

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:

  • 5 requests per second
  • 1,000 requests per hour
  • 10,000 requests per day
  • 1,000,000 requests per year

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.