You might be well versed in the origin and meaning of your name, but do you know how your name is viewed by others? A researcher in the UK unveiled findings from an experiment in which 7,000 people were given a list of common male and female names and asked which they considered to be lucky, attractive and successful. The results indicate that people seem to be influenced by stereotypes when it comes to assigning meaning to names. Names like James and Elizabeth rated high for success while Lisa and Brian did not. Why? Experts believe that names hold historical significance: Elizabeth, a royal name, may connote a sense of power, while another name may be associated with defeat or disaster.
The jury is still out on whether having a name that rates high on the success scale will give you an advantage professionally, but it’s something to consider when giving a child a more unusual name, like those celebrities often choose. Keep in mind, however, that these name rankings might have an obvious British bias to them.
Here’s a look at how names in the survey stacked up in order:
Most Successful: James, Elizabeth, Caroline, Richard, Michael, Helen, Olivia, William, Andrew and Amanda
Least Successful: Brian, Lisa, Ryan, Lucy, Stephen, Katie, Emily, Lewis, Julie and Ian
Most Lucky: Jack, Lucy, Katie, Christ, Lisa, Sophie, Ryan, Peter, James, Emma
Least Lucky: Helen, Elizabeth, John, Ann, Thomas, Caroline, Karen, Jane, Richard, William
Most Attractive: Sophie, Ryan, James, Rachel, Olivia, Karen, Katie, Jack, Sarah, Chris
Least Attractive: Ann, Jane, George, Thomas, Peter, Helen, John, Elizabeth, Richard, Caroline