Hiring Someone to Name Your Baby is Now a Thing

You’ve just gotten the best news in the world: you’re expecting a baby! Over the next nine months you’ll create your baby registry, sleep as much as possible in preparation for those newborn weeks, and hire a name consultant. Wait, rewind….While most parents go through baby-naming books or check the year’s most popular boy and girl name lists to determine what they will (and won’t) name their new child, a strange trend is emerging:

…[A]s Bloomberg reports, a Swiss company called Erfolgswelle will now spend 100 hours to find a baby name–for the low price of around $29,000. Not all professional naming outfits charge Swiss prices, mind you. A New York firm is charging merely a few hundred bucks to name a baby.

Forget naming your kid after grandpa or grandma. And never mind that cute trendy name you had your heart set on. Naming is big business for one main reason: a name has the potential to determine a lot in a person’s life.

Well, it’s a truism that what you’re called is important. Your name can potentially affect your personality and what people think of you. The NBER studied “racial names” and found applicants with names that “sound African-American” often have a harder time finding a job, for example. Democrats and Republicans also favor different names, giving your name more meaning, albeit unintended.

People who are fascinated with names are well aware of the Baby Name Report Card, which scores names based on the following criteria: “Popular-Fun,” “Ethical-Caring,” “Successful,” “Masculine-Feminine,” and “Overall Attractiveness.” This may sound silly but people are paying to make sure their kid goes into life with a stacked deck, in name at least.

Want your child be the president in fifty years? Better think twice before randomly choosing that first name. Your kid will thank you for it.