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Are Names Destiny?

May 22, 2012 Pamela Redmond

One question we’re asked frequently by interviewers: Are names destiny? Does the name you choose determine who your child becomes and how their future unfolds?

Some name sources certainly promise that choosing the right name can be an important factor in determining whether your child is successful in life.  And some studies have suggested that some names can help your child earn higher grades in school or be judged as more attractive or live longer, while others can set them up for a life of crime.

Madonna has been quoted as saying that she always felt her distinctive name set her up to be a star.  And Italian baby naming books make character and life predictions — honest, happy, lucky with money — based on the names.

And then there are the parents who wait to take a measure of their newborn child before they choose a name, along with those who claim their son or daughter IS a Felicity or a Rufus, an Aurora or a Joe….whatever that means.

What do YOU think? How much power do names have to shape who we become?  How has this played out with your children, and with you and your own name?  Is it a factor in which name you choose, and how and why?

Take our basic poll:

But please also give us your thoughts and details on how names have (or have not) been linked to destiny in your own and your children’s lives.

If you feel that names have a lot of influence, please tell us how you think this works. Does the meaning or the image of the name exert some magic influence? Have you or has your child been conscious of living up to a name of a revered family member or hero? Do other people respond to you or your child differently because of a name, and what kind of affect does that have?

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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