It’s understandable that parents-to-be want to pick a name that they don’t associate with anyone else. A name that none of the people or children they know have; or at least a name that doesn’t have a bad association because of certain children in the neighborhood or family. It has to be a name that’s really special and original because it was given to this child specifically.
Be cautious, however, when you pick an unusual name. Research shows that children with unordinary names have more trouble adjusting at school. They are more likely to feel like the odd one out and are a possible
target for bullies. An unusual name also turns out to have a negative effect on someone’s popularity, grades, mental health, and stress level at work. In an experiment done by Harari and McDavid, it was found that teachers grade a paper higher if written by a child with an ordinary name as opposed to an unusual or
unpopular name as opposed to when they were led to believe that the child had an unusual or unpopular name (see: Harari, H. & McDavid, J.W. (1973). Teachers` expectations and name stereotypes. Journal of
Educational Psychology 65, pp 222–225). Apparently, the teachers were influenced in their decision by the name that was on the paper. This same phenomenon has been reported taking place in work settings by
human resource professionals, and has been an influence in the case of authors`, actors` and artists` success.
Don’t make things too complicated! Even if you both manage to agree on a certain difficult
name, think about the fact that your child will have to go through life with it. Time and time
again your child will have to spell his name and explain its meaning. At school, and also later
at work, your child’s unusual name will make him feel like the odd one out.
“I’m a Turkish economist with a complicated and distinctively Turkish fist name. No matter what
position I applied for and how many application letters I wrote, I was turned down every single
time. Then I decided to change my name to Susie and to sign my letters accordingly. I was hired
Although Nickelodeon Parents and Preschool Network provides fun and useful info, none of its
content is meant to substitute for medical or other professional advice.
In other words, if you're having a medical, parenting, or other emergency,
we urge you to contact an appropriate professional (or dial 911!) rather than rely solely on us.
By using the site, you agree to be bound by our long-but-informative