Customizing the Parser with Your Own Configuration

Recognition of titles, prefixes, suffixes and conjunctions is handled by matching the lower case characters of a name piece with pre-defined sets of strings located in nameparser.config. You can adjust these predefined sets to help fine tune the parser for your dataset.

Changing the Parser Constants

There are a few ways to adjust the parser configuration depending on your needs. The config is available in two places.

The first is via from nameparser.config import CONSTANTS.

>>> from nameparser.config import CONSTANTS
>>> CONSTANTS
<Constants() instance>

The other is the C attribute of a HumanName instance, e.g. hn.C.

>>> from nameparser import HumanName
>>> hn = HumanName("Dean Robert Johns")
>>> hn.C
<Constants() instance>

Both places are usually a reference to the same shared module-level CONSTANTS instance, depending on how you instantiate the HumanName class (see below).

Editable attributes of nameparser.config.CONSTANTS

  • titles - Pieces that come before the name. Cannot include things that may be first names
  • first_name_titles - Titles that, when followed by a single name, that name is a first name, e.g. “King David”
  • suffix_acronyms - Pieces that come at the end of the name that may or may not have periods separating the letters, e.g. “m.d.”
  • suffix_not_acronyms - Pieces that come at the end of the name that never have periods separating the letters, e.g. “Jr.”
  • conjunctions - Connectors like “and” that join the preceeding piece to the following piece.
  • prefixes - Connectors like “del” and “bin” that join to the following piece but not the preceeding
  • capitalization_exceptions - Dictionary of pieces that do not capitalize the first letter, e.g. “Ph.D”
  • regexes - Regular expressions used to find words, initials, nicknames, etc.

Each set of constants comes with add() and remove() methods for tuning the constants for your project. These methods automatically lower case and remove punctuation to normalize them for comparison.

Other editable attributes

Parser Customization Examples

Removing a Title

Take a look at the nameparser.config documentation to see what’s in the constants. Here’s a quick walk through of some examples where you might want to adjust them.

“Hon” is a common abbreviation for “Honorable”, a title used when addressing judges, and is included in the default tiles constants. This means it will never be considered a first name, because titles are the pieces before first names.

But “Hon” is also sometimes a first name. If your dataset contains more “Hon”s than “Honorable”s, you may wish to remove it from the titles constant so that “Hon” can be parsed as a first name.

>>> from nameparser import HumanName
>>> hn = HumanName("Hon Solo")
>>> hn
<HumanName : [
  title: 'Hon'
  first: ''
  middle: ''
  last: 'Solo'
  suffix: ''
  nickname: ''
]>
>>> from nameparser.config import CONSTANTS
>>> CONSTANTS.titles.remove('hon')
SetManager({'right', ..., 'tax'})
>>> hn = HumanName("Hon Solo")
>>> hn
<HumanName : [
  title: ''
  first: 'Hon'
  middle: ''
  last: 'Solo'
  suffix: ''
  nickname: ''
]>

If you don’t want to detect any titles at all, you can remove all of them:

>>> CONSTANTS.titles.remove(*CONSTANTS.titles)

Adding a Title

You can also pass a Constants instance to HumanName on instantiation.

“Dean” is a common first name so it is not included in the default titles constant. But in some contexts it is more common as a title. If you would like “Dean” to be parsed as a title, simply add it to the titles constant.

You can pass multiple strings to both the add() and remove() methods and each string will be added or removed. Both functions automatically normalize the strings for the parser’s comparison method by making them lower case and removing periods.

>>> from nameparser import HumanName
>>> from nameparser.config import Constants
>>> constants = Constants()
>>> constants.titles.add('dean', 'Chemistry')
SetManager({'right', ..., 'tax'})
>>> hn = HumanName("Assoc Dean of Chemistry Robert Johns", constants=constants)
>>> hn
<HumanName : [
  title: 'Assoc Dean of Chemistry'
  first: 'Robert'
  middle: ''
  last: 'Johns'
  suffix: ''
  nickname: ''
]>

Module-level Shared Configuration Instance

When you modify the configuration, by default this will modify the behavior all HumanName instances. This could be a handy way to set it up for your entire project, but it could also lead to some unexpected behavior because changing the config on one instance could modify the behavior of another instance.

>>> from nameparser import HumanName
>>> instance = HumanName("")
>>> instance.C.titles.add('dean')
SetManager({'right', ..., 'tax'})
>>> other_instance = HumanName("Dean Robert Johns")
>>> other_instance # Dean parses as title
<HumanName : [
  title: 'Dean'
  first: 'Robert'
  middle: ''
  last: 'Johns'
  suffix: ''
  nickname: ''
]>

If you’d prefer new instances to have their own config values, one shortcut is to pass None as the second argument (or constant keyword argument) when instantiating HumanName. Each instance always has a C attribute, but if you didn’t pass something falsey to the constants argument then it’s a reference to the module-level config values with the behavior described above.

>>> from nameparser import HumanName
>>> instance = HumanName("Dean Robert Johns")
>>> instance.has_own_config
False
>>> instance.C.titles.add('dean')
SetManager({'right', ..., 'tax'})
>>> other_instance = HumanName("Dean Robert Johns", None) # <-- pass None for per-instance config
>>> other_instance
<HumanName : [
  title: ''
  first: 'Dean'
  middle: 'Robert'
  last: 'Johns'
  suffix: ''
  nickname: ''
]>
>>> other_instance.has_own_config
True

Don’t Remove Emojis

By default, all emojis are removed from the input string before the name is parsed. You can turn this off by setting the emoji regex to False.

>>> from nameparser import HumanName
>>> from nameparser.config import Constants
>>> constants = Constants()
>>> constants.regexes.emoji = False
>>> hn = HumanName("Sam 😊 Smith", constants=constants)
>>> hn
"Sam 😊 Smith"

Config Changes May Need Parse Refresh

The full name is parsed upon assignment to the full_name attribute or instantiation. Sometimes after making changes to configuration or other inner data after assigning the full name, the name will need to be re-parsed with the parse_full_name() method before you see those changes with repr().

Adjusting names after parsing them

Each attribute has a corresponding ordered list of name pieces. If you’re doing pre- or post-processing you may wish to manipulate these lists directly. The strings returned by the attribute names just join these lists with spaces.

  • o.title_list
  • o.first_list
  • o.middle_list
  • o.last_list
  • o.suffix_list
  • o.nickname_list
>>> hn = HumanName("Juan Q. Xavier Velasquez y Garcia, Jr.")
>>> hn.middle_list
['Q.', 'Xavier']
>>> hn.middle_list += ["Ricardo"]
>>> hn.middle_list
['Q.', 'Xavier', 'Ricardo']

You can also replace any name bucket’s contents by assigning a string or a list directly to the attribute.

>>> hn = HumanName("Dr. John A. Kenneth Doe")
>>> hn.title = ["Associate","Professor"]
>>> hn.suffix = "Md."
>>> hn.suffix
<HumanName : [
  title: 'Associate Processor'
  first: 'John'
  middle: 'A. Kenneth'
  last: 'Doe'
  suffix: 'Md.'
  nickname: ''
]>