The Power of a Name

There was a time where I didn't like my name. "Maryn" was too different; people had trouble pronouncing it; and there were never any coffee mugs for sale that had my name printed on it. But as an adult, I sing a completely different tune. I love my name. I've never met another Maryn; I've only heard of others. (You know, a "friend of a friend" kind of thing). And that, in my opinion, has allowed me to grow into my name in any way I choose.

These thoughts—and more—come into play when deciding upon the perfect moniker for your baby. Everything matters: Does it roll of the tongue easily? How does it sound with your baby's last name? Is it the right number of syllables?

Turns out, naming a hurricane is just as complex. (Who knew!) A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, found that female-named hurricanes caused the most deaths: an average of 45 death in storms named after women as compared to an average of 23 deaths in storms named after men. What these findings suggest is that perhaps people perceive storms with female names as being less dangerous, and therefore are less likely to flee harm's way.

Now that's a lot of power in a name—and that's precisely why parents-to-be spend so much time deciding upon the perfect name for their baby, since it's a big part of your child's first impression.

According to Time.com, past research conducted by David Figlio at Northwestern University set out to find exactly what effects your child's name will have on his future. Among his conclusions: Kids with so-called "linguistically low-status" names (such as those that include letter combinations almost never seen in middle-class families, like "kz") were treated differently and were more likely to be referred for special education than their peers. Boys with girly-sounding names, like Shannon, Ashley and Courtney, were more likely to have behavior problems in middle school. And females with linguistically feminine names (like Anastasia) were more likely to stick with arts and humanities classes in school than their androgynously named (like Jordan) counterparts.

These findings reinforce the idea that a name has influence on a child's future, making the answer to, "What are you going to name your baby?" all the more complex.

Your perfect little person needs the perfect name. Here's how to pick a great name for baby.

For thousands of ideas, try our Baby Name Finder. Or, keep dreaming up names on the go, with our free Baby Names app for Android or iPhone.

Image: Baby names list via Shutterstock

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