According to a report by NPR, conservatives and liberals don’t just disagree politically – they also have different ideas about what makes a good baby name. And the split isn’t what you’d think.
It turns out that liberals favor more traditional names like John or Rachel. While conservatives actually tend to be more creative and favor more androgynous names – for example, Paislee, Liberty, Rykan, or Scottlyn. Of course, there are still plenty of parents giving their kids popular, fashionable names – but only about 8% of kids are being given the 10 most popular names, as opposed to 25% during the baby boom.
The big question is “why?” Laura Wattenberg, the author of “The Baby Name Wizard,” tells NPR that it’s a simple matter of demographics. Women in conservative areas tend to have their first children earlier, and younger mothers favor creative names. Mothers in their 30s and 40s prefer more traditional names – although whether that’s just a generational preference is certainly debatable.
It may also be a matter of parents hoping that a “different” name will help their child stand out more – making them more memorable when applying for college and jobs. Of course, this can backfire: just ask anyone who suffered through high school with an unusual name.
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Photo credit: Christina Rutz
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