The Popular Name Game
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The Popular Name Game

And the awards go to …

The Popular Name Game

Ashley, Emily, Jessica, Hannah, Kayla, Sarah, Samantha and Taylor.

You’ve probably heard all these names before, because they are the most sought-after female names in the country and popular baby names from the 1990s. But what’s in a name, and how does it affect you?

The origins and meanings of some of these names are super cool. Consider Emily, from the Latin name Aemilia, meaning "striving.” Others have more biblical origins. For example, Hannah actually comes from the Hebrew for "favor" or "grace of God." In the Bible, Hannah is the mother of Samuel. The Greek and Latin version is the popular Anna. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, is another name that we hear frequently. If you want to learn more about the meanings of names, check out the baby center.

Having a common name means you already have a connection with someone you don't know. Luckily — or not-so-luckily — I've never met another female with my name. If you do run into someone with the same name in a work environment or class, you know the struggles of being Jessica A. B. C. etc ... or creating nicknames like K2 or Baby Kayla. 

Perhaps the most popular names may not stay the most common. In an individualist society, many parents are opting for "unique" names. The following graph shows a decline in naming children more popular names. Still, people tend to value classic male names.

So are you more likely to succeed or fail with one of the most common names? Probably neither, though we do tend to make assumptions based on names. 

Let's be real. Many times have you looked at a roster and thought, "This girl is going to be a ----", even before meeting her. We also associate names with people we know or know of. Taylor Swift comes to mind every time I hear the name Taylor. 

Sociologist at NYU, Dalton Conley, has found that children with more unusual names may have better impulse control, because they are used to people challenging the validity of their name. Any Kimye fans? Check out Conley's take on their baby.

We define ourselves and give life to our names. Sometimes we wish we didn't have to share it. Other times we just want to blend in. The way I see it, some people just have a better time finding souvenirs with their name on them in a gift shop. 

And if you love Buzzfeed as much as I do, you'll enjoy this video for an alternative take on girls' names. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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