Did You Give Your Baby An Ivy League Name?

We all have big dreams for our children – success at work, wonderful friendships, a loving relationship and family. But could our name choices impact our children’s futures negatively, even if we don’t pick an out-there name like Facebook or Moon Unit? Especially if our dreams for our children involve a fancy degree from an Ivy League school?

Well, if you believe Gawker, having the most popular name from the year you were born may make it more likely that you don’t get that slot at Harvard. They compared the list of most popular names from 1994 with the current roster of Yale undergrads, and discovered that there wasn’t a whole lot of overlap. Many of the top baby names, including Ashley, Amber, and Morgan for girls, and Anthony, Brandon, and Kyle, didn’t appear on Yale’s list. But Yale’s list included a bunch of names that are on the current popularity list. We see Sophia, Abigail, and Emma for girls – and Samuel, Benjamin and Charles for boys. (I have to say, I was heartened by the fact that my daughters names, Katharine and Margaret, were both on the Ivy League list.)

Which falls in line with the research showcased in Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. they showed that there is a definite baby naming trend – the upper classes (those more likely to be able to foot the bill for a Yale education) choose the up-and-coming names. Those names soon start to catch on, and as they reach the peak of popularity, the upper classes move on to a new name.

So if you want to know what could be the next new and up-and-coming names, simply start checking out the rosters of swanky preschools in your area – then place your bets as to what’s on the baby-name horizon.

Image: Graduation cap by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com

Add a Comment
Back To In Name Only

Find a Baby Name

Browse by

or Enter a name

  1. by MJ

    On March 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    If you check out the preschool rosters where I live at least, you’ll see really stupid names like Braelynn or Coleton <– spelled like that. If I have to give my kid a nonsense name to get them into Yale, I'd rather they just went to regular university. Lots of successful people go to state Universities or even community colleges and go on to do great things. Is an Ivy League school worth a dumb name?

  2. by NoAdditives

    On March 8, 2013 at 12:07 am

    MJ, I don’t think it’s about having an unusual name, it’s about having a non-popular name. There’s a difference between the two. My kids names, Audrey, Harrison, and Vivienne, aren’t popular, but since they are traditional and sophisticated, I bet there are a fair amount of them at Ivy League schools.

  3. by Harvest Michael

    On April 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Do you even know a Harvest?