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Naming Baby For Success

Want to give your child a headstart in life? Name them well! Studies have shown that names can shape behaviours and expectations because they carry personality, socioeconomic and cultural connotations.

Bad names may affect your child’s confidence and set them up for a lifetime of inconvenience and prejudice. Good names, on the other hand, may help your child stand out, and even give them a boost professionally.

Cultural and Ethnic Associations

Many cultural and ethnic names are beautiful and a popular choice for parents who are proud of their heritage. However, a series of studies in the U.S. have found that when two identical fake resumes were sent out, the one with a traditionally Caucasian name would regularly get more interviews than the one with a minority or ethnic-sounding name.

In fact, it’s not just job recruiters and HR managers that could judge individuals based on their names, even classmates and teachers do. A group of kindergarten students told one researcher that a Jamal was more likely to bully them than an Adam, and that a Sarah is smarter than a Shaniqua.

Spelling and Pronunciation Checks

In the bid to lend uniqueness to a child’s name, some parents may choose an unusual spelling. However, be careful about names that can be overly challenging to spell and pronounce. You may be setting your child up for a lifetime of confidence issues and exasperation as they are constantly forced to spell it out to teachers, colleagues and service staff.

Not only that, people are naturally more comfortable with names that are familiar to them, which explains why people with easy-to-pronounce names were found to be more likable and successful than those with hard-to-pronounce names.

Gender and Identity

A name can also powerfully affect how a child identifies with him or herself. Girls with names that are relatively feminine may often be drawn to humanities subjects whereas less feminine names may be more likely to choose maths and science courses.

Unisex names or names with some male characteristics tend to portray a strong image for a woman applying for a job. On the other hand, a boy with a name that sounds too feminine may have a lower self-esteem or be subject to bullying in school. Research suggests that boys with names traditionally given to girls have been found to be more likely to misbehave in school compared to boys with more traditional or masculine names.


It’s natural to be influenced by pop culture and trends of your time, but overly trendy or “cutesy” names may give some people the impression that your child cannot be taken seriously, especially in the corporate world. If you do consider names of your favourite celebrities or TV characters, always be mindful of any negative associations that could lead to typecasting.

Unique or Classic, always think Long Term

Whether you want some uniqueness or prefer to be more traditional, think long term.

Unless you are bent on nurturing your child down the path of a circus act career – in which case, the more show-stopping the better! – it’s generally safer to think of names that showcase professionalism, strength and can look positive on a resume.

Remember, first impressions count and a name is often one of the first few hurdles to get past to know the person. A unique name can make someone appear more interesting and memorable – think Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. However, if this hurdle is set too high, people may also be less likely to bother to try.

Disclaimer: All content on this Website is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical and/or other professional advice for your specific condition. Please do not disregard medical and/or other professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. Always seek medical advice before starting any new treatments.


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