Since I am in Israel, I have a hard time remembering people’s name. At first it was because I was hearing those forenames for the first time but now, it is mostly because they kind of all sound the same to me. When I express this opinion to Israelis, they don’t really understand and although I claimed that it is possible to link an incredible number of first names to each other by changing a single letter at a time, they didn’t believe me. baby-names

So I tried to demonstrate my point. I must confess I went a little bit nerdy on this one… But if you consider that graph theory is one of my favorite topic lately, you shouldn’t be that surprised. Anyway, I have been able to establish a link between the names Yariv and Dalit in 26 steps!

Tada:Israeli names

Here is how to read the graph: start from ‘Or’, then follow one of the lines that lead to a slightly different name, with the letter added (e.g. Mor) or changed (e.g. Oz) in red. This way you can join any name on the graph to any other one and if you feel like it, you can even calculate its Levenshtein distance (thank you Michael F. for the suggestion) and see how related two names are.

N.B: Before you start telling me that I cheated and there are more than one mutation each time, remember that in Hebrew, vowels don’t really count as letter- there are not even written generally – so can be easily changed for an other one. Also, since there is one letter for the sound ‘sh’, it doesn’t count as two.

If your name is missing from the graph and you think you see how it could connect, let me know, I will be happy to add it!

3 thoughts on “Forenames

    • I thought about modifying an algorithm that draws phylogenetic trees but I got lazy and did it it manually with Word 😀

  1. Pingback: 4 Years – At the threshold of a new life

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