Your Baby Name Choice Reveals Your Political Leanings

baby eating lemonChoosing a baby name may be one of the hardest things a parent has to do. I'd say it's harder than potty training -- which has become my nemesis right now. Giving your kid a name, whatever name it is, is the one single word your kid is going to hear for the rest of their life. It's a BIG deal. It also says a whole lot about you as a parent. It even reveals your political leanings.

Conservatives tend to choose a certain kind of name, and liberals prefer names with a certain kind of sound. 

Before I reveal, let’s take guesses. Let’s think about the kid names Leo and Kevin. If you had to choose who belongs to the liberal parent and who belongs to the conservative parent, what would you guess?  

According to these findings, Leo’s parents are probably liberal. Kevin’s mom and dad are more likely conservative. Liberals tend to choose softer sounding names, while conservatives pick names with hard sounds like the letters K, B, and D make. Left-leaning parents also tend to like more unusual baby names and right-leaners go a more traditional route.   

The study’s researcher Eric Oliver of the University of Chicago admits it’s probably a submiminal thing parents are doing. "I don't think people are really aware of why they're being drawn to certain names," Oliver told LiveScience. But it's happening. The study looked at birth records of 545,018 babies born in California in 2004, representing 52,589 different names. They counted unique spellings. They matched the records to neighborhoods and sorted the neighborhood’s voting leanings. "The fact that we would find any kind of systematic differences, much less the magnitude of differences that we found — I really did not anticipate that," Oliver said.     

They results also showed that the less educated the parent, the more likely they were to give their child either an uncommon name or a unique name. This was also true for educated liberals -- they liked more unusual names like Esme or Finnegan. Or more feminine-sounding names like Leila, Liam, Ella, or Sophia. These types also preferred names with an "a" at the end. Obama did name his daughters Sasha and Malia.

Educated conservatives tend to go the popular name route or give their kids names with a harder sound like Kurt, Rick, or Megan like John McCain's daughter. The Palins did go with mostly hard sounds for their kids Track, Trig, Bristol, and Piper. But they also have a Willow, which bucks that trend. Interesting.

Don't go getting passing judgments on your friends and neighbors if their kids have names that lean in either direction though. This is a study, not exact science.

What do you think? Does your political leanings keep in tune with this study's findings?



Image via Nadia Phaneuf/Flickr

baby names, politics


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shesl... shesliketx

This is interesting in theory, but I cannot ignore the fact that geographical region must have some influence on baby names. I am very liberal, my husband is very conservative and we live in Texas. Our sons are named Jackson and Wyatt, fairly traditional, but not overly common.

Lindsay Renee Edwards

hmm. it might have some basis. I have 4 kids. 2 with more "traditional" names, with B's D's and other hard letters in them, and 2 softer, 1 which is unique.

so i have hald liberal names, half conservative names, and i'm a moderate.

prplecat prplecat

I'm a liberal who named my kid Colin...hard "K" sound at the beginning.  Blows that theory. 

Andre... Andreamom001

Uneducated conservatives choose liberal names and educated liberals choose liberal names while uneducated liberals choose popular could this study possibly determine this by studing names and neighborhoods?

As a poor, educated Christian independent who lives in a conservative area but who has liberal parents, I guess I can choose whatever names I like.

early... earlybird11

Haha worst study ever. Half the people I know blow this out of the water. I'd say 9 out of 10 of my friends are conservatives who gave their children uncommon names

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Apparently I was a republican eight years ago and I'm now really liberal. Wrong and wrong.

LadyM... LadyMinni

Wait, are you saying that more traditional people choose traditional names while more progressive people choose progressive names? I never would have thought of that in a billion years.

James Dimitri Devon and Fiona Isobel Octavia Natalie Alexandra are my kids. Even though names like Dimitri, Devon, and Isobel may be considered more unusual by spelling, they are actually the traditional spellings of the names. Okay D-I-M-I-T-R-I is one of many traditional spellings of the name, but it was the only one I liked and could remember.

I'm an independent. That must explain it.

tuffy... tuffymama

I'm a southern libertarian from comfortable circumstances with a decent education, and my kids' names are classic and traditional, but also a bit unusual. No other child I have met has my oldest's first three names, and my LO has a VERY old second name that relates to part of his heritage.

Ginger Sadler

Intresting theory not sure what it says about me, I'm a libertian/constitionalist. My oldest is Eden Ruth (at the time Eden was an unusal name) and my youngest is Crimson Lily lol.

Megan Michelle Stone

I'm a conservative and have an Autumn, Sylas, and Calliope

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