“Anakin” Makes List of Popular Baby Names
“Anakin, you’re breaking my heart!”
Padme may not be the only mom to say that in the future. According to a recent release from the Social Security Administration, Anakin was one of the most popular baby names in American in 2014.
Admittedly it didn’t rank up there with Noah, the most popular name (19,144) or Liam (18,342) or Mason (17,092). But it did manage to make the top 1,000 names with 218 children named after the future Darth Vader.
Naming a child can be one of the first challenges parents face. No one wants a moniker that lends itself to a bad nickname or mean-spirited joke. But the effect of a name can be more far-reaching. According to an edition of PBS Digital Studios’ BrainCraft, the mere “act of writing our name over and over again throughout our lives can result in something called implicit egotism—a kind of obsession with the letters and sounds involved in our own names.”
Two Harvard professors conducted a study in 1948 on names. They found that men with common names were more likely to be academically successful than those with unusual names. In the following decades, other researchers have confirmed their findings. These studies have found that names may influence much more than grades. They may impact career choices, the choice in marriage partners, where a person chooses to live, and even charitable giving.
In a 2004 study, economists Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan created five thousand fictitious resumes for job ads posted in the classifieds in Boston and Chicago newspapers and sent them out. They used either “White-sounding names” or “African-American-sounding names” combined with a resume that included either higher-quality or lower-quality career experience. According to the study, “White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews” regardless of the resume quality.
David Figlio, a professor of economics at the University of Florida authored a study about the impact of names as well. He said, “in ways we are only beginning to understand, children with different names but the exact same upbringing grow up to have remarkably different life outcomes. If you want to give your child a name that connotes low status, then you need to be aware of the consequences.”