If I Name My Daughter ‘C.E.O,’ Will She Become One?

A survey by BabyCenter, a popular Web site for expecting mothers, found that 58 percent of parents believe that the name they give their baby will contribute to his or her success in life. Apparently they didn’t read Freakonomics, or at least they didn’t believe it.

So what qualities did these parents want their chosen names to have?

For boys, parents and parents-to-be said it’s most important that a baby’s name convey strength (55 percent), followed by individuality (47 percent). For girls, the qualities most frequently cited were femininity, individuality, and kindness.

No word on whether “Fido” makes the cut in either of these categories.


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  1. Andre3000 says:

    How is Temptress doing?

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  2. Jason says:

    Well my parents gave me the middle name Cain, but failed to give me a brother to see how it would have played out. But this hockey mask wearing, homicidal maniac phase has been quite fun.

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  3. AlexW says:

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    But you’ve got to wonder if Jesus would have been crucified if he was named Doug of Nazareth.

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  4. chris says:

    Didn’t Freakonomics provide a brief case study of brothers named “Winner” and “Loser” whose levels of success were considerably divergent? I realize the point was that trends in baby naming were the result of such factors as socioeconomic status, and not the cause, but I think Freakonomics provided numerous examples of names that negatively impacted a child, and thereby his or her success (eg. Temptress). So the answer to the question, “does a person’s name contribute to his or her success in life?”, isn’t “no”, but rather “not as much as you might expect”.

    I have no doubt that if you named your daughter CEO, it would significantly impact her success in life… however, it might not be in the direction you desire, so perhaps it’s best not to play around.

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  5. Doug Nelson says:

    What strikes me is how the primary things they want the name to convey is the gender and that there’s only the one. I’ll bet they’d get an entirely different picture if BabyCenter charged for registration.

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  6. di says:

    The respondents were all individuals who actively participate in the mommy-industrial complex as typified by these websites. No parenting decision exists that can’t be made more complex, more judgmental, and require the purchase of more stuff. Heaven forbid you name your son after your favorite uncle instead of buying six baby name books and making a research project out of it. That’s cheating!

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  7. frankenduf says:

    anybody old enough to remember WKRP in Cincinnati?- there’s a great scene where the nerd character converses with a jock:
    Jock: I like to think a man’s name convey’s something about his character- My name’s Steele, what’s yours?
    – Less

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  8. discordian says:

    If you name your child CEO is he/she destined to be subpoenaed by congress?

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