The Numbers Behind the Word Cloud

In a comment he made to my Word Cloud post, Adam Rothstein asked to see the numbers behind the words. At long last, I have pulled these together. As an addendum, I also added the source list including links to the commercials I watched.

As you may recall, there were 658 words on the boys’ list and 432 on the girls’ list. Many of the words appear only once, making these very long spreadsheets. I have attached them as PDF files. For each of the lists (boys’ and girls’) there are two files–one in alphabetical order and one in reverse numerical order, from highest number of occurrences to lowest.





Seeing the lists this way does make for some interesting comparisons. Although the number of occurrences for most words is small, it is important to look at the numbers in relation to one another. For example, on the boys’ list the word battle appears 28 times, compared to two occurrences for words like create and experience. Side-by-side comparisons of the alphabetical lists are also interesting. Scrolling down to the “b” words, we see terms like bash, battle, beat, big, blaster and brawl on one list and words like ballet, beach, beautiful, bling, and butterfly on the other.

Here are the sources for the boys’ and girls’ lists.



As always, comments are welcome.


Crystal Smith is the author of "The Achilles Effect" and "Boys, Sex & Media." Through her blog and social media channels, Crystal discusses current depictions of masculinity in popular culture and their potential impact on boys. Her work has been covered in The Boston Globe, Advertising Age, and Feministing, and she has appeared on HuffPost Live and The Roy Green Show.

2 thoughts on “The Numbers Behind the Word Cloud

  1. Hi
    These are great. I think you could make even more streamlined clouds by dropping all the 1s.
    Also you can combine very similar words and count them together.

    Thanks so much!!


    1. There is definitely room for streamlining. Since this was just an initial look, I decided not to make arbitrary judgments about which words I should and should not include. And I should have combined similar words (battle, battling, battles) in the word cloud, but since I didn’t do it there, I left them as-is in the spreadsheet. I definitely learned a lot about how to do this and will improve things in my next exercise. Thanks!

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