These days celebrities are naming their babies some unique — some would say weird — names. Beyonce and Jay’s little girl is Blue Ivy. Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple (though the name is catching on). And then there is Erykah Badu, who is a whole different category. Her son is Seven Sirius and her daughter is Puma.
None of these are among the most popular names just released by BabyCenter, which revealed their annual list of top 100 baby names for 2012. Ahead of the pack for boys is Aiden once again (as it has been for eight consecutive years); Sophia is tops for girls, as it has been for three years running. New to the top 10 are the names Mia and Jack. For girls the others in the top 10 include Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Lily, Zoe, Chloe, and Madison. Rounding out the top 10 boys names are: Jackson, Ethan, Liam, Mason, Noah, Lucas, Jacob, Jayden, and Jack.
“BabyCenter’s name list is based on the names of 450,000 babies born this year to mothers registered with the BabyCenter website,” reports Moms Today.
Some names may seem cute at the time, but did you know it could affect your child’s future job propects—and even education? According to various studies, a name can affect how a child is perceived in school and how an adult might perform on a job. In fact, according to one study, “49% of teachers make assumptions about children based on their name,” reports Business Insider.
And it’s not just the teachers who make judgment calls on kids because of their names. Other kids do as well. One study by parenting club Bounty.com, found that five-year-olds judge their classmates by their names. “Making decisions based strictly on names, four- and five-year-olds told Jack Daniel, a professor of communication at the University of Pittsburgh, that Sarah is smarter than Shaniqua, that they would rather play with Megan than Tanisha, and that Jamal was more likely to take a bite out of their sandwich than Adam,” writes Business Insider.
After school, a person’s name could steer them to one profession versus another, according to the magazine. “Unique names might not benefit your child when it comes to a future job hunt. Career success is often predicted on gender stereotype. And women with feminine names like Emma, Marta and Winnifred are expected to succeed as nurses and hair stylists. Men named Frank, Hank and Boris are expected to succeed as plumbers, truck drivers and electricians,” says Business Insider.
Try getting a high-end executive gig with the name Twanna. You might not even get an interview, an investigative report by 20/20/ABC discovered. Like it or not, racist views — whether overt or subconscious — can cause employers to turn down potential employees just based on their name. “Job recruiters are 17% more likely to download resumes with white-sounding names than those with black-sounding names,” reports Business Insider. Roland Fryer, an economist and assistant professor at Harvard University, told the site, “A distinctively black name tells us that a person typically comes from a neighborhood that has higher poverty, lower income, more likely to have teen mothers, et cetera.”
So, a name is more than just a name.