It’s All in the Child’s Name … Or Is It?


A positively unscientific look at people’s names and their professions nevertheless yielded some interesting results. LinkedIn provided the information; Ragan.com offered this summary:

Want your kid to grow up to be a CEO? Name him Peter, Bob or Jack. Oh, she’s a girl? Then try Deborah, Sally or Cynthia.

At least that’s what some people are concluding from LinkedIn’s data crunch of the names of 100 million professionals on its network.

Anyone who has sat staring bleakly at the potbelly of a patrolman writing a speeding ticket may be interested to hear the top three names for cops are Rodney, Pete and Darrell.

If you’re grooming an athlete, you may wish to try Ryan, Matt or Jessica—although gender may matter: Nobody wants nose tackle named Jessica, even if there is a coach named Lovie.

As for HR, the top names are Emma, Katie, Claire and Jennifer (but then you already knew that).

As for the nicknamed male CEOs—the Bobs and Jacks—vs. the more formally named Deborahs and Cynthias, LinkedIn has this observation:

“Onomastics specialist Dr. Frank Nuessel suggests that shortened versions of given names are often used to denote a sense of friendliness and openness. Female CEOs, on the other hand, use their full name to project a more professional image.” 

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