People Who Do Studies About What Children's Names Mean For Their Grades, Their Future Salaries, Their Luck Factor, Blah, Blah, Blah

Today, this story caught my eye.  Kids with A and B names are better students than the rest of us.

My top of the class brother's name starts with A so I immediately started blaming my name for my lack of math skills.  Of course I've been average my entire life, I didn't have a chance!  I was doomed from the moment I was name Jenni.  Half-assed J - there you sit, right near the middle of the alphabet.  Damn my parents for not thinking harder about my name!  Imagine what I could have done if they'd just named me A.  No name, just the letter!  I could have been President or I could have cured cancer or something like that.  Instead, I'm just average Jenni.  Just living my average life because of my stupid name.  Don't try and convince me that it's not my name that makes me average.  I know what you'll say:  Jen, just look at your idol, Tina Fey.  Tina is a T name and she is above average.  That just shows what you know.  If you were a real fan like me, you'd know that Tina's real name is Elizabeth.  The fifth letter of the alphabet.  Pretty darn close to "A".

My brother, of course, is a high powered attorney living a jet-set lifestyle on the other side of the pond where he shops for fancy shoes like these for all of his upcoming formal events he's always being invited to.  (I haven't been to a formal event since Prom 1990.)

But instead of staying mad at my parents and their lack of originality (Jennifer was a top 5 girls' name for 20 years - way to think outside the box, folks), I decided to be mad at the people who conduct these asinine studies.

As parents, we've already got so much pressure on us not to screw up these little people and it all starts with the name we give them.  We think long and hard about what we're going to call these little wrinkled blobs (that all look alike to me).  How can we set our little wrinkled blob apart from the others in the nursery?  With a name.  The perfect name.

We've pored through the books and fought with our spouse for this one moment.  We've got our list and it was pretty hard to come up with.  Oh sure, there are some easy ones to avoid:  Adolf, Kathie Lee, Osama, Barney.  But, then you venture into odd ones like:  Fern, Winifred, Barry, and Fraser.  Are those strong and unusual names ripe for revival?  Will those names make the blob unique and help he/she to stand out from the sea of Aidens and Avas?

Will Humphrey be a successful businessman or will Alexander take the promotion because he's got an "A" name? What about Agnes?  She's got an A name, so she should be good in school, right?  But is Agnes a successful name?  Or a lucky name?  Arrgggghhhh!

Who is paying for these studies?  Who reads them (besides me)?  Do they mean anything?  Probably not...right??  Are we sure they don't??

All I know is my blob naming days are behind me and I'm glad that's over.  I named one kid an unpopular Old Testament name and the other one a family name that seems to remind most people of their dead dogs.  My kids are screwed.  What do you expect from a J name??

I'm going to say these studies are for entertainment only and have no scientific value.  I can't buy into this crap and start renaming my kids now!  Sure, my brother was a better student than I was, but it has nothing to do with his name starting with A.  I'm positive it's because he was tall and we all know tall people are more successful in life.

42 comments:

Whitney said...

Fml.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Pretty much.

Not quite there Nicole said...

Just started reading your blog...normally blogs bore me to shit but you are really funny and I have a smart, know it all, lawyer brother named Aaron.

Kate said...

I am a wee mite obsessed with names. I read that study.

Useless Housewife said...

My full name is Alyson but please note the fucked up spelling. Thanks Mom and Dad. Aly suits me perfectly but at 40 I hate having my name called in the stores and seeing several toddlers turn around.

Laurie said...

Wait. I named my kids A and B names, and didn't even know I was doing a good thing! :D And, of course, my kids are geniuses. As an L name, I can't believe I did something so right! Clearly I'm way better than you, therefore I challenge you to a thumb war (because I'm a wimp and can't win any other contest of strength or wit).

~Aimee~ said...

Aww, crap. I have an A name and it's served me well. But I gave my kids J & K names. Guess I've doomed them. Or maybe I just averaged it out, since their dad has an S name. ;-)

Adam B said...

That's something that really bugs me - "scientific" studies that try to claim that something like a name contributes to their success. It seems like they're everywhere. Correlation does not imply causation. You'd think all these "scientists" would understand the scientific method.

Katie Fritzsche said...

I've got serious issues....all I got out of this was guessing your children's real names: Phoebe and Rex? Elijah and Sophie? (The name of my not-dead-yet dog) Abigail and Spot??? Goliath and ...I'm out of dog names. Oh! Fifi.
Seriously...driving me insane.

Katie Fritzsche said...

Feel like taking pity? a hint, a clue....
Xkatiesuzix at yahoo. Or Katie loeffler fritzsche on fb.

Or y'know, my insanity could be on your hands, your choice..... :)

FFW said...

I will tell you---I have an "A" name, and I certainly pass for dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks some days. My kids err on the side of complete ding-dongs sometimes, and they are both "A"s as well.
So, I guess that means that I want my money back?

Jen said...

Jen, Jenn, Jenny, Jenni, Jennifer, JENAFA is the best name ever. Learn it, live it, love it. Chicks wanna be us, we have more fun than the average broad and guys love to say Jenni.

I think we'll be ok

Unknown said...

I'm so surprised that the Baby Name Wizard (http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager#) didn't make it into this blog. I am obsessed with seeing how popular names are historically. That said, my DIL wanted to name my granddaughter "Reagan" or "Kennedy" and all I kept thinking was, "really? dead presidents?"

RachRiot said...

I don't buy into that bullshit. B is at the top of the alphabet-- so go ahead and name your little girl Bambi if your dream is to see her up on a pole someday.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I did that too...I guessed Samuel and Maggie, or Joel and Lucy. ( I could only think of male Old Testament names off the top of my head ) I may be just a tad bored at work...

Unknown said...

My name is Amy and I'm completely mediocre in every way. My husband has a middle of the alphabet name and he's an Ivy League PhD. Asinine is right!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

My M name daughter is going to be mad. Let's not let her know about this. Thank you.

The Crimins said...

Daughter's got to be Maggie. Everybody had a dog named Maggie. And the boy's probably Malachi because I'm pretty sure Jen's into that "all my kids names start with the same letter" thing. Or maybe they're Judy and John, a whole family of J's. Except wait - I'm not biblical enough - John's in the New Testament...

The Crimins said...

My sister - before we had kids - loved those names and a few others and that's exactly what I said. Dead presidents? Two of her kids are Taylor and McKinlee though so I guess she stuck with it. :)

AmyK said...

My name is Amy. I win at everything.

capsfan said...

Damn that Ava name becoming so popular! It wasn't that popular when we named her that 10yrs ago, only b/c we liked it! If middle of the alphabet is bad, I feel sorry for X,Y,Z. Although if my name started with those, I would cheering, "woohoo, my grades suck!" Whatever to that study, people get paid for that shit?

Signed, loser from the middle of the alphabet.

AJ said...

It's okay. I'm sure your kids Job and Fido will be fine.

Kelly G said...

Named my middle kid "Wesley"....as if being a middle isn't bad enough, he's a middle kid, stuck at the end of the stinkin' alphabet. 'Course, my hubs and I are "J" and "K" names, so I guess it's the apple-and-the-tree...

Veronica said...

Since my name starts with a 'V', I'm going to consider it a win that I can even walk erect. That I can usually form coherent sentences and get myself through the world with minimal destruction in my wake? All icing on the cake, baby.

Jen Fitz said...

This Jennifer who was born in early 70's had 6 Jennifer's in my 1st grade class and 8 Jennifer's in my pledge class for sorority in college. Seriously. BEST NAME EVER! :)

Unknown said...

My Name starts with an A... and I did NOT get good grades (I am smart... just hated school) - I am doing well, my son's name starts with a B... my daughter's name starts with a C and my hubby starts with a D... I think we are going to be a bunch of WINNERS! (assuming it's true. WHICH I DON't). Lame.

Jill H said...

Not sure about the "A's" being better, but I teach kindergarten and when you make class lists there is not much to go on, but we draw straws when it comes to "J" names 10-1 it's bad news - {I'm the 1, HA) My daughter is a dead dog too :) It WASN'T popular when I named her, now I know too many - AARGGH.

Unknown said...

Great Jen. Thanks I have a thing for shoes and you show me these amazing handmade shoes......that fit right into my Downton Abbey love affair.

Thanks now I have to get a job to buy a pair of these shoes.

Jen said...

My mom tries to make like she didn't hop on the Jennifer bandwagon by saying that she named me after the actress Jennifer Jones in the movie "A Portrait of Jenny". I have another friend who swears her parents named her Jennifer because they never heard it before. I was born in 1973 and she was born in 1971. Gimme a break, goofball parents!!

Lucky Mama (Little Rock Mamas) said...

Oh Lord, with Yavonda as my name, I'm doomed and I never knew it. Sheesh, I'm surprised I'm smart enough to breathe being at the back of the alphabet like that. At least I named my kid Alaina. One of us is ranked higher than the amoebas in the muck.

Raabster said...

Ugh. I teach middle school. My list of "do NOT use these names!" list was very long when I decided to become a parent. However, right at the top were "Br-" names:
Brad, Braden, Brandon, Brady, Brody, Brendan, Braxton, and Brennan; Brittany, Brooke, and Brooklyn; Breanne, Brianna, Breanna, Bryanne, Brynn, and Bree; Brian and Bryan and Bryson; Brett, Britt, Brent, Bryce, Bruce, and Brock. A few years ago, I had 27 students (out of 87) whose names started this way! Trust me, their names had NOTHING to do with their academic success nor their futures. Don't even get me started on Alyssa, Alissa, Alicia, Alycia, Alisha, Allie, Alli, Ali, Alie, Alana, Allanis...I once had FIVE of these on one class list...and there wasn't a Rhodes scholar in the bunch.

I picked a traditional, middle-of-the-alphabet, grounded name for my son, and I'm so happy that I did...in fifteen years of teaching over two thousand teens, I've only ever taught four with the name I picked for him! Whew.

Raabster said...

I can relate! I was also born in '71. The very first kid I met in kindergarten? A girl named Jody, spelled exactly the same way as my mother spelled my name. We had different middle names, so our friends tacked on those when we were playing together. By Grade 5, another Jodie had joined us. By Grade 6 we met Jodee. That's when the teachers called us by our last names and didn't even bother using our first names. Then a BOY named Jody moved into the class below. There were only eight classes from Grades 1 through 7 at this school. EVERY parent claims that a) they hadn't heard it before or b) they liked Jodie Foster.

To add to this, Jody-Anne and I didn't KNOW that our name was spelled the "boy's way" until we were 10 years old (I think it was Grade 4) and we were so pissed! There were certainly no cutesy locker stickers or name-bracelets with OUR name on them.

Raabster said...

hahahahah!!

Raabster said...

I immediately thought of Toby. Or Sadie. Or Max. But I agree with Maggie and Lucy, too.

For some reason, Esther comes to mind. Or Ruth. Certainly not Zipporah or Vashti!
OT names for boys are still very popular, so is it Gideon or Jedidiah?

Raabster said...

There were so many boys named James on campus my freshman year of university, that the entire dorm of 26 girls asked out one each for a huge group date, and there were spares! That was a fun evening.

Raabster said...

I love that book...I lend out my copy often.

mugschatz said...

I was given a solid (though relatively uncommon) M name, had a mediocre-to-abysmal academic run -- despite being an advanced reader -- until high school, and did well enough on SAT's to get into my one and only college choice. Met my B half when he was on academic probation, and clung to him as he switched majors and graduated on the Dean's List. He is Golden Boy wherever he has worked, yet can't remember to shut the back door when leaving the house. I, on the other hand, have always had a tough time keeping up with basic work assignments, but am the one who always remembers where I last saw his keys, cell phone, glasses, pill box... The kid has an equally uncommon M name, and is woefully a Mini Me, only more dedicated to school work despite being even more distractable than her mother. Depending on who is asking, we did indeed name her after the famous poet, and don't mention we actually heard the name on an old sitcom...

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Zipporah was my number one pick until Hubs nixed it.

Jenni said...

You know what's also weird? When you meet someone who has the same name as you but spelt differently and you can't help but think it's wrong every time you read it.
I am a Jennifer (used only by my family!) and in my final year of uni I lived with a Jenniffer. That's not a name! I've occasionally come across Jeniffer and that's weird enough but double n double f is just trying to make a fairly common name unique (or not being able to spell!) and it's really silly.
I was known as Jenni-with-an-i for a while as well, to distinguish me from another Jenny. However she was top of the class so this study definitely can't be true! Besides, our registers were always ranked by surname so with my 'T' I was always right down near the bottom anyway.

Jenni said...

Also my Dad wanted to call me Stella and my mum vetod it...lucky leap up the charts if this study is right!

me said...

Oh Dear! Now I understand why my son had trouble focusing. He is doomed with his Z name. But, even though his name IS a Z name, it is actually a shortened version of an A name. So, does that make it average? At least I moved upward, my middle child is an L and my youngest a D.

Unknown said...

My guesses are Ephraim and Sadie

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