It turns out that if you want your children to be writers, you should consider naming them Kate and Simon.
In 2014, Verdant Labs used public records to analyze common names by profession in the United States. They found that people with certain names are disproportionately more likely to have various careers. They based this analysis on the relative frequency of a name’s appearance rather than anything else. (Otherwise there would be an awful lot of categories featuring the name John.)
Of course name trends aren’t happenstance – job discrimination based on name is still alive and well – but the findings from Verdant Labs are interesting nonetheless. For instance, spelling makes a difference. Hanna without an ‘h’ at the end of her name is likely to be a journalist, whereas Hannah with an ‘h’ is more likely to be a poet.
Though the study looked at many job types, I’ve highlighted the most writerly of those here.
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Journalists: Hanna, Gideon, Jonah, Alastair, Angus, Louisa
Librarians: Abigail, Margot, Nanette, Julia, Eleanor, Johanna
Poets: Edgar, Hannah, Celia, Anne, Dorothy, Edmund
Writers: Kate, Harriet, Simon, Graham, Colin, Edith, Emma, Frances, Julian, Abraham, Louise, Eleanor, Charlotte, Annie, Ian, Helen, Lucy, Alice, Edgar, Dorothy
— — —
Sadly, “Kristen” doesn’t appear in any of these lists, so I suppose I have to forge my own fate. But what about you? Do you see your name listed here? Shall we all change our names to Edith or Graham in hopes of achieving literary success?