What’s in a name?

Naming a child has always been characterized as an important step in parenthood. Since ancient times, parents have aspired to give their children the most befitting and meaningful names. Although many parenting tactics of old have been replaced by newer methods, giving your child a significant name should not be abandoned.


Several psychologists and professors have given implication that a lot of weight does lie in a name. Professor James Bruning of Ohio University says, “The impact of names comes from how people expect to see you.” According to this educated professional, individuals tend to follow career paths that fit their name. Whereas a child named Lamar or Chris may grow up to be a famous sports player, Alexander or Julius may become great political figures.

A name also implies one’s social standing. According to David Figlio, professor of Economics at Northwestern University in Illinois, children with unusual names are viewed as persons coming from lower social classes while those with common names are considered members of higher social standing. Figlio states, “In the US, there are distinctive names that signify higher classes, and names that might connote lower class.” David believes that children with uncommon names are treated differently by teachers.

What are your thoughts? Are children with uncommon names treated differently? Is there great significance in a name? Or, Is the current name game a product of stereotype?



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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