Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Using Image search to determine gender

In our multicultural world, every so often you'll run across a name that isn't in your culture, and you're not sure if that name is typically male or female.  

A really handy trick to have in your repertory is this:  Look up the name in Google Images.  You'll quickly determine if you should say "he" or "she" in your references. (And probably get a bunch of cultural information along the way in the periphery.)    

Example:  Is the name Nikhil male or female? 
How about the name Pelin

It's simple enough, but if you haven't seen this kind of trick before, it's well worth knowing.
I'll let you try your own search on the name Pat!

Search on!


  1. You might try the names Minh and Nai...

  2. One problem is that one particularly sought-after person can really distort the statistics. Try "Kim" for example.

  3. These comments are absolutely correct. I guess I should be more specific and say that the Image search shows you the "space of gender possibilities..." rather than giving you a definitive answer. That's what I meant with the [ Pat ] example. Some names are inherently ambiguous (Pat, Kris, Kim, Skye...).