Winner, Loser, and Marijuana Pepsi

We wrote in Freakonomics about two brothers named Winner and Loser.


Winner became a lifetime criminal; Loser a detective in the NYPD. The story of these two brothers matched the findings of my academic research with Roland Fryer, which found no impact of a child’s name on her life.

Now, from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, we have the story of three sisters: Kimberly, Robin, and Marijuana Pepsi Jackson. Just like Loser before her, Marijuana Pepsi has made something of her life, earning a master’s degree in education.


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  1. MikeW says:

    Is it that the name has no impact, or that some people may try harder in life when labeled with such a “negative” name? Therefore there may be an inverse correlation between a negative name and a positive life outcome. Maybe these names have a boy-named-Sue effect (cue the Johnny Cash music).

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  2. John says:

    Didn’t Shakespeare cover this?

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  3. OMW says:

    Absurd names make for great sentences!

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  4. naskar says:

    On the contrary, I think the story actually shows that her name impacted who she became.

    “She has no doubt that her difficult childhood and the way she tenaciously rose above her name have helped her to reach kids with problems.”

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  5. noah says:

    Do her friends call her Mary Jane Pepsi?

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  6. deriuqer says:

    So does she like pot more or less than her siblings? That could be an effect of the name, right..?

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  7. Caliphilosopher says:

    Wait – you’re claiming that the name of a person has NO impact whatsoever on their life? Then why even bother naming the child?

    We should be more careful with outrageous claims here.

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  8. keith says:

    Well, that’s a relief for the kid named “Adolf Hitler” whose parents couldn’t get a bakery to frost his birthday cake. However, I want to know what Moxie Crimefighter Jillette has to say about it.

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