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. Brad says:

    I once had a pediatrician named “Dr. Little.” He stood about 5 foot tall and about 100 pounds. Was his family small or did his name stunt his growth?

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  2. Donna says:

    When my son, who is now 18 yrs. old and in his first year of college, was in a rather prominent private pre-school/kindergarten, the school would hold an annual graduation ceremony for the kindergartners and the class entering into “kinder”. Each child had to put together a poster about himself or herself and include what he or she wanted to be when they grew up. For the two years that I attended those events I always walked away astonished that approximately half of the girls wanted to be princesses when they grew up. The posters of all of the boys related to some real and tangible profession or job, (i.e. pilot, football player, president, etc.). I still cringe when I am in public and hear a parent refer to his/her daughter as princess.

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  3. andy says:

    what about CLEO, who was a princess/queen?

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  4. Janey says:

    Donna’s story of the princesses is absolutely chilling (comment 18). Doug’s observation on the importance that parents apparently give to unambiguous gender labels is also interesting (comment 13).

    Why, oh why do we confine our children within such walls?

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  5. Sage says:

    Daughter’s names, Tiffany and Crystal. I hope they will become professional dancers.

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  6. Anna says:

    I wish that parents would stop naming their baby boys “Jackson” and “Tyler.” There are about forty of them in my daughter’s kindergarten class. It doesn’t get more boy-bander in training than that.

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  7. Naomi Park says:

    Look at this! CEO Park or Regional Senior Partner Park has a ring to it!

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  8. carol mccague says:

    I have been a career counselor for many years and up to the last five years the most successful women I interviewed were named Lisa or Nicole. Hands down, in every profession. In fact I would go so far as to say I never worked with a Lisa or a Nicole who hadn’t done well.

    Every Ray I ever worked with was very successful. Not Raymond, but Ray. Mike, of course. The most difficult name, I would say virtually a guarantee of problems, has been Jake. This does not apply to members of the Jewish community where Jacob is likely to be the name of a grandfather, and an honor to have.

    I would suggest that if you are considering naming your baby boy Jake, and if it is not a family name, please think again.

    It remains to be seen what the new successful names will be. It takes a while to build a career.

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