Vivian may very well be a social worker. Stuart is apt to be a biologist. Bonnie? The odds are she is an interior designer. What’s in a person’s name? According to Verdant Labs, everything! While developing the app Nametrix, which helps people learn the origin of names and is used to assist parents in baby naming, they stumbled across something fascinating. In analyzing public records, they determined an inordinately high number of people with certain names in specific professions.

According to their research, it is all based on simple math. Here is an example: In their sample of 2.5 million people it was found that 1.9% of Arnolds go into accounting, while only 0.55% of Shanes end up in this profession. Therefore, there is a higher tendency of Arnolds to become accountants than Shanes.
In crunching the numbers some of the researchers’ findings weren’t so surprising: Police officers, fire fighters and race car drivers tend mostly to be men. Women are more often librarians, social workers and graphic designers.

Other findings are a bit more interesting: Football coaches are most likely to have one-syllable names such as Rich, Mike, or Bill and Hebrew names such as Yosef, Moshe and Shlomo are extremely popular names for rabbis – who knew?

It is interesting to note their research did find some very high correlations. The study particularly points out that a large percentage of people named Elvis (I’m assuming men, but what do I know) are most likely to become musicians (I wonder why?) It does not mean that most musicians are named Elvis, but that the propensity to become a musician is much higher if you have this name.

Have a look at Verdant Labs’ chart which illustrates the top six common names most associated with each profession.

Six Most Disproportionately Common Names in Various Professions
[View a JPG infographic of the names/professions chart]

Before you go changing your kids’ names, take all of this new research with a grain of salt. The researchers of the study are quick to point out that other factors such as social, geographic and economic are more likely to influence our career paths than our name. For my name? I am most associated with being a police officer. Hmmm. Sometimes I do feel I am in the wrong profession.

They insist you shouldn’t pick your baby’s name based on the occupation you want him or her to pursue in the future. As well, researchers caution that choosing Holly for your daughter’s name does not mean she will automatically grow up to become a world-renowned surgeon. She will still have to go to medical school first. Now there is good advice!

According to their study, here are some top names for specific professions.

    Accountant: Maribel, Charmaine, Kurtis, Mindy, Adele

    Biologist: Stuart, Suzanne, Sara, Cheryl, Janet

    Car Salesman: Clay, Travis, Pete, Allen, Bob

    Drummer: Joey, Mickey, Billy, Chad, Tommy

    Electrical Engineer: Harvey, Eugene, Bernard, Edwin, Charles

    Farmer: Duane, Marlin, Delbert, Darin, Mavis

    Firefighter: Brandon, Darren, Ryan, Jason, Jeremy

    Fitness Instructor: Virginia, Rebecca, Julie, Pamela, Karen

    Football Coach: Rich, Mike, Bill, Dan, Jim

    Football Player: Reggie, Jermaine, Darnell, Quinton, Nate

    Geologist: Henry, Frederick, William, Leonard, Hugh

    Golfer: Bud, Willie, Tommy, Bobby, Johnny

    Graphic Designer: Vanessa, Alison, Diana, Jan, Kurt

    Guitarist: Mick, Richie, Trey, Sonny, Buddy

    Hair Stylist: Lori, Raymond, Patricia, Susan, Robert

    Historian: Herbert, Adrienne, Henry, Emma, Theodore

    Insurance Salesman: Dalton, Garrett, Patty, Brent, Clark

    Interior Designer: Elise, Marjorie, Martha, Lynne, Bonnie

    Journalist: Alastair, Gideon, Hanna, Jonah, Louisa

    Judge: Archibald, Lise, Josiah, Clement, Louise

    Lawyer: Norton, William, Sanford, Cecily, Augustus

    Librarian: Nanette, Margot, Abigail, Johanna, Eleanor

    Mechanic: Dave, Patrick, Randy, Fred, Jerry

    Meteorologist: Joe, Bill, Scott, Mike, Jeff

    Photographer: Zoe, Bruno, Hugo, Annie, Noah

    Poet: Celia, Hannah, Edgar, Edmund, Dorothy

    Police Officer: Louis, Kevin, Wayne, Kim, Timothy

    Rabbi: Chaim, Shlomo, Judah, Meir, Yosef

    Race Car Driver: Robbie, Johnny, Bobby, Sebastian, Luigi

    Rancher: Boyd, Leland, Leroy, Judy, Roy

    Social Worker: Jeannette, Stella, Penelope, Constance, Marsha

    Soldier: Zachary, Jacob, Jeremy, Kyle, Joshua

    Songwriter: Richie, Mick, Sonny, Benny, Billy

    Stuntman: Eddie, Erik, Alex, Ben, Terry

    Surgeon: Sherwin, Harris, Barrett, Sanford, Holly

    Venture Capitalist: Joanna, Guy, Shawn, Nicholas, Alexander

    Veterinarian: Wayne, Sara, Peggy, Tracy, Gene

    Waiter: Joshua, Sarah, Amy, Elizabeth, Lisa


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of He can be reached at