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Shorter First Names Means Bigger Paychecks, Study Says

I love looking at baby names and as I’ve said before, I like going for the new and unique. Many of us look at the meaning of the name, the spelling, the typical gender it’s given to, and the origin before we give the official name to our baby-to-be. It’s one of the big first decisions we make as a parent, and the last thing we want is for our child to grow up hating their own moniker.

When we think about our children, we want them to grow up to be healthy, happy and successful. For some, success is defined in the typical way — how well someone does in their career and how much money they make. The online career site, TheLadders, analyzed data around first names from TheLadders’ nearly 6 million members against variables such as industry, salary level, and location and showed that first name really does matter.

They found a few things that I think are quite interesting using their data. Women made on average 22% less than their male counterparts, a statistic that I’ve heard before. One stat that I haven’t heard before reading their findings was that for each additional letter in a first name, accounts for a $3,600 drop in salary — for each letter. When it came to nicknames verses real names (like Bill in place of William), the shorter nickname still proved to make more salary each year. Additionally, people who have a name that is on one of the top 25-most popular names lists tend to make on average, $7,000 more a year than the names on the rest of the list. Who knew?

In the spirit of this study, let’s take a look at some baby names that, if this study is true, could help your child earn more income as adults:

  • 20 Short Baby Boy and Baby Girl Names 1 of 21
    baby names

    If a shorter name really does mean more income, you may want to choose from the shorter name lists.

  • Lynn 2 of 21
    ID-1008609

    Lynn made the top of the list for The Ladders top paid female name. With just four letters, it would be hard to get much shorter and who can beat the top of the paid list?

  • Tom 3 of 21
    ID-10013759

    Tom made the top spot on the highest paid male name and shows that sometimes, going with the nickname is better. 

  • Melissa 4 of 21
    ID-10010274

    It's one of the larger names on the list, but it is the second highest paid female name.

  • Rob 5 of 21
    ID-10027557

    The nickname for Robert, Rob alone was the second highest paid male name, according to The Ladders data.

  • Cathy 6 of 21
    ID-10032326

    While this is not a name I would choose for my child, being the third highest paid female name -- it's hard to ignore. 

  • Dale 7 of 21
    ID-10033717

    Short and sweet, Dale was named the third highest paid male name with The Ladders data collection. 

  • Dana 8 of 21
    ID-10033735

    A nice 4-letter female name, Dana was named in the top 5 highest paid female names at number four, according to The Ladders.

  • Doug 9 of 21
    ID-10034554

    It would seem the four letter "D" names do well when it comes to making money. Doug was the 4th highest paid male name according to the data collected by The Ladder

  • Christine 10 of 21
    ID-10056610

    A name I was surprised to see listed as the 5th highest paid female names. It's not really that short, but seems to work according to The Ladder

  • Wayne 11 of 21
    ID-10059464

    Wayne rounded out the top 5 highest paid male names according to The Ladder. A letter extra, but still quite short. 

  • Anne 12 of 21
    ID-10058695

    A shorter name, Anne is traditional and if you drop the "e" at the end, maybe there's even more earning potential.

  • Mark 13 of 21
    ID-10068914

    Mark would fit the bill when it comes to short names and the idea that sometimes going with the nickname makes you  more successful. 

  • Bryn 14 of 21
    ID-10073852

    It's not a name that is too common, but makes a gorgeous short name for a girl. 

  • Kent 15 of 21
    ID-10077506

    Another strong 4-letter name for a boy, Kent can be used as the whole name or as a nickname. 

  • Cloe 16 of 21
    ID-10090015

    A pretty name that still goes with the shorter name, but you can add an extra to be Chloe if you like the look of that better. 

  • Jude 17 of 21
    ID-100147056

    A strong-sounding boy name that still sounds like it could be a nickname and nice and short.

  • Dawn 18 of 21
    ID-100142302

    A pretty name for a sweet girl, Dawn is a full 4-letter name that still sounds unique and pretty. 

  • Tony 19 of 21
    ID-10090946

    A strong boy's name that has been around a long time, I know a lot of fun Tony's which could persuade me to choose this name one day. 

  • Rose 20 of 21
    ID-100152321

    I think this name is so understated. It's pretty, feminine and only 4 letters. 

  • Bill 21 of 21
    ID-10090946

    I have to say, I'm surprised this name didn't make the top paid male list. Bill, a nickname for William -- is a strong name for a boy... and only 4 letters too. 

Photo credits: photostock
Source:  Los Angeles Times;  TheLadders

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