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Will An Unusual Baby Name Affect Your Child's Chances In Life?

Posted: 04/15/2014 5:48 pm

Written By Marianne Litman for BabyPost.com

Baby names have been in the news a lot this past week: people were examining the latest celebrity-inspired trend (Game of Thrones baby names) and the rise in baby boy names ending in the letter N. Even with all the "trends" and media attention, the process of choosing a name is really difficult. You have to consider nicknames, meanings, how it sounds with your last name and possibly tying in some sort of familial link. And then, you have to find a name you both agree on!

But how important is a child's name in the long term? Does having an unusual name affect a child's chances in life?

There have been numerous studies that have tried to examine the effect an unusual name has on an individual throughout their life. It is believed that an individual's identity is partly formed by the way we are treated by other people and that a name may influence our interactions with the world around us. The BBC notes that early studies found links between having an unusual name and dropping out of school, loneliness and being disturbed.

But these studies may not ring true in today's society of Blue Ivys, Apples and Zumas. A study by Richard Zweigenhaft (a psychologist at Guilford College), The Other Side of Unusual First Names, found that upper class individuals with unusual first names are more likely to be in the "Who's Who" elite and that socioeconomic class, race and sex are more important factors to a person's chances in life than a first name.

Related: The 9 Worst Celebrity Baby Names

Dalton Conley, a sociologist at New York University and author of Parentology: Everything You Wanted To Know About The Science Of Raising Children But Were Too Exhausted To Ask, gave his children the choice to name themselves. His daughter stuck with E, the name her parents first put on her birth certificate, while her brother added multiple names to his given name. He now goes by Yo Xing Heyno Augustus Eisner Alexander Weiser Knuckles Conley.

"I don't think I've saddled them with some horrible burden. They like the fact that they have unique names now." Conley believes that giving kids unusual names will actually help them learn impulse control. Because they may be teased or have to explain their name, they will learn to control the emotions and impulses, "which is of course a great skill for success."

Baby names used to be heavily based on tradition, and while for some cultures this is still the case, name selection is becoming more a matter of choice. As it always has been, the choice ultimately comes down to the parents. But, according to science, having an unusual name may actually help your kid out in the long run. So let your imagination roam and embrace the Bear Blus, Audio Sciences and Bronx Moglis of the world!


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  • North West

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's daughter.

  • Penelope Scotland

    Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick's daughter.

  • Kal-El

    Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim's son.

  • Moroccan and Monroe

    Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon's twins.

  • London and Cash

    Slash's sons.

  • Apple

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's daughter.

  • Tu Morrow

    Rob Morrow's daughter.

  • Banjo

    Rachel Griffiths' son.

  • Pilot Inspektor

    Jason Lee's son.

  • Blue Ivy

    Beyonce and Jay-Z's daughter.

  • Zuma Nesta Rock

    Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale's son.

  • Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches and Pixie

    Bob Geldof and Paula Yates's daughters.

  • Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily

    Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence's daughter.

  • Astala and Phaedra

    Peaches Geldof's sons (yes, it runs in the family).

  • Sage Moonblood

    Sylvester Stallone's son.

  • Ocean, Autumn, Sonnet and True

    Forest Whitaker and Keisha Nash's children.

  • Memphis

    Bono and Ali Hewson's daughter.

  • Blue Angel

    Not to be outdone: The Edge's daughter.

  • Princess Tiaamii

    Katie Price's daughter.

  • Harley Quinn

    Kevin Smith's daughter.

  • Rocket, Racer, Rebel and Rogue

    Robert Rodriguez's sons (we'll allow the daughter's name, Rhiannon).

  • Bingham

    Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudson's son.

  • Coco

    Courtney Cox and David Arquette's <s>clown</s> daughter.

  • Destry

    Steven Spielberg's daughter.

  • Camden John

    Nick Lachey's son.

  • Audio Science

    Actress Shannyn Sossamon's son.

  • Striker

    Footballer Tommy Williams and Nicola McLean's son.

  • Jermajesty

    Son of Jermaine Jackson

  • Kyd

    David Duchovny and Tea Leoni's son. We see what they did there.

  • Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Belle

    Brue Willis and Demi Moore's daughters.

  • Pirate

    Song of Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis.

  • Bluebell Madonna

    Geri Halliwell's daughter.

  • Seven, Puma and Mars

    Erykah Badu's son and daughters.

  • Free

    Barbara Hershey's son (who then changed his name to Tom when he was nine).

  • Buddy Bear, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey

    Jamie and Jools Oliver's son and daughters.

  • Bronx Mowgli

    Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz's son.

  • Denim and Diezel

    Toni Braxton's sons.

  • Dweezil, Moon Unit and Diva Thin Muffin

    Frank Zappa's son and daughters.

  • Jermajesty

    Jermaine Jackson's son.

  • Moxie Crimefighter

    Penn Jilette's daughter.

  • Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven

    David and Victoria Beckham's sons and daughter.

  • Hopper

    Sean Penn and Robin Wright's son.

  • Ireland

    Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger's daughter.

  • Liberty Beau

    Ryan Giggs and Stacey Cooke's daughter.

  • Speck Wildhorse

    John Cougar Mellencamp's son.

  • Shiloh Nouvel

    Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter.

  • Prince Michael II

    Michael Jackson's third child (also known as 'Blanket', because Prince Michael II just isn't silly enough).


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