What’s in a name?

A fascinating article in The Digerati Life examines the many ways names are perceived by people. For instance, the writer presents charts showing the positive and negative stereotypes people have in mind when they hear a particular name.

Positive Names

People Thought They Were… Female Male
Intelligent Abigail, Eleanor, Lisa, Meredith and Rebecca Clifford, David, Edward, John, Samuel, Ned and Tim
Leaders Ruth Alexander, Dwight and Lance
Hardworking Ada, Ingrid, Marie and Margaret Jake, Manuel, Ron and Todd
Entrepreneurial and Professional Lorraine and Sylvia Gregory and Ted
Talented Tina Neil
Wealthy Audrey, Paige and Victoria Lucius, Edmond and Claude
Blue-Collar Roxy Arnie
Refined Indira, Calista and Grace Nigel, Alistair, Vaughn
Ambitious Leigh Cedric
Organized Julianne  
Outgoing Bernadette, Christy, Elaine, Gwen, Joy, Kathy, Kim, Patricia, Nancy and Wendy Allen, Cole, Danny, Ed, Gary, Jim, Russ and Rob
Accountants (Nerdy) Minerva and Ingrid Myron and Reynold
Teachers Trudy Thomas
Wealthy Lawyers   Drew

Negative Names

People Thought They Were…










A Jerk







Joyce and Myrna


Rhea and Maud

Old and Overweight



Candy, Kiki and Vanna

Source: CareerBuilder.com and Behind The Name

The most stunning piece of information is from a study of twins that the writer cites. A Professor Figlio created a feminity index for women’s names.

Feminine Names

The study then examined the effect of naming girls very “girlie” names and found the following:

Girls who are given very feminine names, such as Anna, Emma or Elizabeth, are less likely to study maths or physics after the age of 16. The effect is so strong that parents can set twin daughters off on completely different career paths simply by calling them Isabella and Alex, names at either end of the spectrum. A study of 1,000 pairs of sisters in the US found that Alex was twice as likely as her twin to take maths or science at a higher level.


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