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The Name Game: What Your Name Says About You

What’s in a name? A lot, according to some recent research. Dr. Smartass has your guide to interpreting what your name tells the world.

By (@doctorsmartass)

April 5, 2010

Got a question for Dr. Smartass? E-mail doc [at] esarcasm.com.

Dr. SmartassYour name, my dear readers, speaks volumes about your personality. Those volumes may or may not be true, mind you, but that doesn’t make their effect any less significant on everyone you meet.

From my inbox:

Dear Dr. Smartass,

My wife and I are about to have our first child, a boy, and we can’t agree on a name. In the name of science, what would you suggest?


TJ, your science-minded nature makes your dear Dr. S smile. But onto your question: Assuming you can’t convince your wife to name your son in my honor — Dr. Smartass would be a lovely name for a young lad, wouldn’t it? — there is some science that may help guide your decision.

A study from the smart-sounding folks at Hertfordshire University finds men and women make all sorts of assumptions based on your name. When it comes to females, ladies with soft-sounding names that end in “e”-sounds tend to be deemed the most attractive; for us gents, short and harsh-sounding names lead outsiders to assume we’re sexy stuff.

It’s not just looks, either: The researchers also found consistent perceptions about people’s success and luck based purely on their names. Some of the specifics:

Say My Name

  • Most attractive: Ryan and Sophie
  • Least attractive: George and Ann

  • Most successful: James and Elizabeth
  • Least successful: Brian and Lisa
  • Most lucky: Jack and Lucy
  • Least lucky: John and Helen

You can see some more of the most favorable male and female names here. But far more significant are your trusty doc’s own personal findings:

What Your Name Says About You

  • People whose names we don’t know — especially upon meeting them in the bed the next morning — are always far less attractive than we initially believed them to be.
  • Anyone named Brad will be an arrogant douchebag.
  • The likelihood of your forgetting someone’s name moments after you learn it is inversely proportional to how good-looking the person is.
  • Anyone named Logan is a complete and utter asshole.
  • People who go by multiple names (“The name’s John, but my friends call me Alan”) should be avoided at all costs.
  • A girl named Nicki will put out on the first date. If it’s spelled Nikki, a date isn’t even required.
  • The same goes for Britney/Brittany.
  • Anyone named Rachel should be approached with extreme caution.
  • If a person goes by two first names (Jimmy Jack, Mary Sue), it’s safe to assume they will be horrible in bed.
  • Anyone who goes by a slightly vulgar doctor-based pseudonym will be a lab-coated sex god.


  A person’s name reveals many things
  So find him one that’s fit for kings.
  And if you fear he’ll become a shlock,
  Your answer’s simple: Just name him “Doc.”

Until next time,

Dr. Smartass

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