I think we have all heard some bad baby names from time to time. I won’t mention any specifically because I know that what I consider to be a bad baby name is probably someone else’s first choice, but I think it’s safe to say we all have our opinions. I’ll admit I’m very much a traditionalist and our baby’s name had to be one that people know, can spell and can pronounce easily.
Our criteria for baby names was derived mostly out of my concern for how our child would fare in school. I was bullied mercilessly as a child, not over my name, but my size, and it’s been important to me to make sure that I do all I can to reduce ways my child could be bullied. I know that there’s plenty I can’t control, but his name I can.
And a recent study shows that my concerns about “bad” baby names are legitimate.
A study conducted in Europe and published in the journal, Social Psychological and Personality, showed that people with bad or unappealing names were less likely to be chosen on a dating site. The prospective matches were shown only names, ages and location (though they had already pre-set the age/location parameters on their search, so those were not a factor) and they decided who they would and would not like to meet.
The study showed that those people with unusual or unappealing names were chosen significantly less frequently than those with more appealing names. In the study, the most appealing name was shown to have 102% more profile views than the least appealing name, and that’s no small margin.
Obviously there is more to life than online dating profiles, but this study gives a pretty clear picture that names can have an impact on social relationships, but that’s not all.
Another part of the study looked at education level, smoking status and other demographic factors of those with different names in the same society. The results showed that those people given unappealing or “bad” baby names were more commonly smokers, had a lower level of education and demonstrated lower self-esteem than their peers with more common or appealing names.
I realize that naming your baby is one of the most personal decisions a parent can make, but studies like this suggest that it’s one we should really take our time with. It turns out it’s not just important for us, but it may also have a big impact on our children’s futures.
Read more from Katie on Overflowing Brain!
Picture from someecards.
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