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Episode 2

Names

What do dogs know about their own names? And is there any science about what to name them? Alexandra talks to a researcher with some answers, and takes a walk…

Most Popular Names … for Dogs

…kicks, I’ll put in parentheses each name’s rank among the most popular boy or girl baby names in the U.S. If a dog name doesn’t have a number next to…





China: More People, Fewer Names

…they change their names to something more common. Even more interesting is this bit about Chinese surnames: By some estimates, 100 surnames cover 85 percent of China’s citizens. Laobaixing, or…



The Most Popular Names for British Pets

…on the human list. Here are the results, along with each name’s corresponding rank on the list of child names: TOP DOG NAMES: 1. Molly (24) 2. Max (29) 3….



An App for Names

…of the U.S. You can also see names ranked within professions, e.g., these are the top three names for guitarists: Trey Rusty Sonny I have no idea how well Nametrix…



Bad News for People With Hard-to-Pronounce Names

…or Leszczynska, for example): “Studies 1–3 demonstrate that people form more positive impressions of easy-to-pronounce names than of difficult-to-pronounce names.” While the first three studies focused on surnames, a fifth…



Do Street Names Matter?

…when she later gave birth.) We found that names didn’t seem to matter. Black women with “distinctively black” names had nearly identical — maybe even a little better — outcomes…



The Unpredictability of Baby Names

Because we had a chapter in our book about the socioeconomic impact of baby names, we’ve blogged many times about baby names in the past, including just the other day….




If you like baby names, you will love this

…site, Laura Wattenberg, has a book on baby names called “The Baby Name Wizard.” I haven’t read it, but given the software, I’m guessing it is a better-than-average baby names



Episode 122

How Much Does Your Name Matter? (Replay)

A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny?

Episode 122

How Much Does Your Name Matter? (Replay)

A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny?

Episode 122

How Much Does Your Name Matter?

A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny?

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…




Breast milk and baby names

…Looking for ways to fund her charity, Jill’s latest idea is to write a fun, smart book on baby names. Towards that end, she has posted a short baby names



Xcellent Names for Drugz

Ever wondered why so many prescription drug names are loaded with x’s and z’s (Celebrex, Flomax, Zocor etc.)? “[U]se of these letters relates to the imperative to make a brand…




Bad Names for Online Dating

…your chances of getting a date in the online dating universe: The main finding here was that people with unfashionable names like Kevin or Chantal were dramatically more likely to…



Sure-Fire Baby Names

Abby Haglage reports in The Daily Beast of an apparent uptick in firearm-inspired baby names. In 2002, only 194 babies were named Colt, while in 2012 there were 955. Just…



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Episode 31

School Start Times, Brand Names, and Too Much Ground Beef: TMSIDK Episode 31

…with AJ Jacobs (author of It’s All Relative) as real-time fact-checker. We filled this episode with insights about the true value of ground beef, sleeping in, company names, and more….

More on Street Names and Property Values

A while ago Levitt posed the question of whether the name of a street (such as “Pleasant Avenue” or “Massacre Lane”) could have an effect on the price of its…



What Kind of Deodorant Does Mathias Want?

In Freakonomics, we wrote a good bit about first names — how popular names move their way down the socioeconomic ladder, how “high education” names differ from “low education” names,…



Barack’s Prosody Problem: A Guest Post

…first names with stressed first syllables – think WILL-iam, or RICH-ard. One-syllable names are also stressed when you say the candidate’s entire name – think BILL CLIN-ton or GEORGE BUSH….



Episode 26

Memory Champion Nelson Dellis Helps Steve Train His Brain

He’s one of the world’s leading competitors, having won four U.S. memory tournaments and holding the record for most names memorized in 15 minutes (235!). But Nelson Dellis claims he…

Episode 78

Why Do We Put Things Off Until the Very Last Minute?

Also: what does your name say about who you are?…

Episode 387

Hello, My Name Is Marijuana Pepsi!

Research shows that having a distinctively black name doesn’t affect your economic future. But what is the day-to-day reality of living with such a name? Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, a newly-minted…

This Week’s (In)Appropriate Names

Aptonyms are the gifts that keep giving. You toss out one or two here on the blog, and readers keep coming back with more. This week’s aptonyms include: A home-schooling…