Archives for naming

Cast Your Vote for the 2011 Name of the Year

t’s time for the annual Name of the Year contest.  The 2008 winner, Destiny Frankenstein, is still our favorite, but there are some strong contestants this year.  Among them:  Sanmorteeno Battle, Yolanda Supersad, and Dr. Loveday Conquest. Cast your vote here. Read More »

Newer Places Breed Newer Names

A new study finds that parents in newer, “frontier” states choose less-common baby names than parents in older states (like the original 13). “In New England states, more babies were given the most popular boys’ and girls’ names than they were in frontier states – those in the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest. Statistical analyses showed the longer ago a state had achieved statehood, the more likely it was to have a higher percentage of people with one of the top 10 most popular baby names. The results held even after the researchers accounted for other factors that might impact baby-name choices, including population density, ethnicity of a state and median income.” Read More »

Zyzmor’s Revenge?

In the SuperFreakonomics section about various “birth effects,” we cited some research about the downside of having a surname that begins with a letter late in the alphabet: It is common practice, especially among economists, to co-write academic papers and list the authors alphabetically by last name. What does this mean for an economist who happened to be born Albert Zyzmor instead of, say, Albert Aab? Two (real) economists addressed this question and found that, all else being equal, Dr. Aab would be more likely to gain tenure at a top university, become a fellow in the Econometric Society (hooray!), and even win the Nobel Prize. Read More »

Xcellent Names for Drugz

Ever wondered why so many prescription drug names are loaded with x’s and z’s? Scrabble gives a hint. Read More »

Rough Name, Rough Start?

A criminal’s name. Read More »

Vote Now for 2010 Name of the Year

Voting for the 2010 Name of the Year contest has begun. Read More »

When Is a Naming Law More Than a Naming Law?

A number of countries have passed naming laws, forbidding citizens from giving their kids certain types of names, but North Korea’s new naming law is more meaningful. Read More »

"Kevin Is Not a Name — It's a Diagnosis!"

We’ve written extensively about the consequences of baby naming. The name you choose for your children can affect his “Google-ability” or even get you in trouble with the law. A new survey of 2,000 elementary school teachers in Germany finds that your children’s names may also affect how teachers perceive them (translation available here). Read More »