Generalize Names

A function that converts a name into a general format <last_name><separator><firstname letter(s)> (all lowercase).

from mlxtend.text import generalize_names


A function that converts a name into a general format <last_name><separator><firstname letter(s)> (all lowercase), which is useful if data is collected from different sources and is supposed to be compared or merged based on name identifiers. E.g., if names are stored in a pandas DataFrame column, the apply function can be used to generalize names: df['name'] = df['name'].apply(generalize_names)


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Example 1 - Defaults

from mlxtend.text import generalize_names
generalize_names('Pozo, José Ángel')
'pozo j'
generalize_names('José Pozo')
'pozo j'
generalize_names('José Ángel Pozo')
'pozo j'

Example 2 - Optional Parameters

from mlxtend.text import generalize_names
generalize_names("Eto'o, Samuel", firstname_output_letters=2)
'etoo sa'
generalize_names("Eto'o, Samuel", firstname_output_letters=0)
generalize_names("Eto'o, Samuel", output_sep=', ')
'etoo, s'


generalize_names(name, output_sep=' ', firstname_output_letters=1)

Generalize a person's first and last name.

Returns a person's name in the format <last_name><separator><firstname letter(s)> (all lowercase)


  • name : str

    Name of the player

  • output_sep : str (default: ' ')

    String for separating last name and first name in the output.

  • firstname_output_letters : int

    Number of letters in the abbreviated first name.


  • gen_name : str

    The generalized name.


For usage examples, please see