Halifax — A long-term Statistics Atlantic study that monitored 1,000 Maritime babies born in the 1980s and ’90s has revealed a trend that’s not surprising to anyone: a whopping 90 per cent of those infants who were bestowed with “creative” names now work at the mall or convenience stores, or are unemployed.
We met up with statistician Mark Jorgensen at the Halifax Shopping Centre food court.
“As far as their later success in life, there’s nothing worse than a ‘unique’ spelling of an existing name, either,” said Jorgensen, who was drinking a smoothie made by someone named Destinee. “Do you think any real employer is going to look twice at the resumé of someone called ‘Hailee’ or ‘Trystan’? Or ‘Cynthee-a’? Not bloody likely.
“You’d be better off giving your kid an ugly old-timey name like Gertrude or Herbert. At least those are recognizable as actual human names.”
Jorgensen said that these “unique” names eventually stunt the child’s progression in other arenas in life as well, such as romance.
“I don’t care if you’re intelligent and attractive, if your name is ‘Zayne’ or ‘Denim’ or ‘Percy’ then no one’s going to want to date you. Imagine introducing your new boyfriend to your parents for the first time by saying, ‘Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet Diesel.’ And certainly no woman wants to whisper, ‘Oh, Braiyden!’ in her lover’s ear. Or Cayden, Jaedyn — any variation of this lame name is pretty rough.”
And if it’s not immediately obvious how to pronounce the name, your child will probably be working at Burger King when they’re 45, the study reveals. “Daleyza, Jayceon, Saoirse, Bodhi — not only will no one hire them, but every single teacher all through their school years will have to get them to repeat their names. Is that what you want for your kid?” asked Jorgensen rhetorically.
Surnames used as first names are prevalent among 30- and 40-something mall workers, too, according to the study: Walker, Tucker, Anderson, Carter, Cooper, Davis, Griffin, Lennox, Mason, Parker, Wilson — all of these people will be happy to measure your feet to sell you a pair of running shoes, or suggest a pretty necklace that will match your new party dress.
“Then there’s the really trendy celebrity names, like Ashton, Jagger, Angelina, Beyoncé, Hendrix, Bardot, and the like,” continued Jorgensen. “It’s as if these are so deeply unoriginal that parents think they’re somehow ultra-original.
“And don’t even get me started on stripper names, or far worse, stripper names spelled backwards. Most of the food court employees here are named ‘Chardonnay,’ or ‘Heaven’ or its reverse, ‘Neveah’ — terrible. They’re right up there with hippie names like ‘Moonbeam’ or ‘Sunflower’ or ‘Blessing.'”
The latest problem of this sort is babies being named after Hollywood celebrities who have just recently been outed as sexual predators.
“Although it’s not their fault, people named Harvey or Louis — after Harvey Weinstein or Louis C.K. — now have a snowball’s chance in hell of finding employment or love, unless they lie about the name’s origin or legally change their name altogether,” said Jorgensen, shaking his head with pity.
“So it’s probably best not to name your kid after anyone you admire who might turn out to be a piece of trash.”