When you chose your baby’s name, you may think of ways to make the name unique. Many expecting parents want a special name for their child. You may also be looking at family names, celebrity names, and all sorts of inspiration for your baby’s name.

These are all perfectly normal ideas, but did you know that people’s names can have surprising impacts on their lives? Naturally, a name isn’t going to dictate every aspect of your child’s life. However, the choice you make for your baby may well have wider implications than you realize.

1. Easily Pronounced Names Get Picked

No one wants to struggle with pronouncing a name. This reluctance holds true when teachers are calling on students and when companies are selecting candidates for interviews. They don’t necessarily know they’re making this judgement call. Rather, they simply feel more comfortable with a name they recognize and know how to pronounce.

This phenomenon can carry through to social encounters as well. For example, studies have shown that first encounters between children go more smoothly when easily-pronounced names are involved. What’s more, people whose names are difficult to pronounce don’t fare as well on dating sites as people with easily-pronounced names.

2. Common Names Can Get Promoted

In that vein, studies have found that people with common names often achieve higher status positions at work. This phenomenon relates to the ease of processing information, in this case the name. People feel affinity for what’s easy. Sometimes climbing the professional ladder at work can come down to a supervisor’s feelings, so a common name can be a tipping point.

3. First Names Sometimes Drive Interests

People come to associate their identity with their names. Therefore, a name can sometimes drive that person’s interests – and even career path. For example, studies have shown that women named Laura gravitate toward becoming lawyers while men named Dennis often become dentists. That strong association with a name can draw people to interests with those same letters.

4. Names Come with their own Associations

Along that line, people often associate names with the ability to do specific jobs. In this case, the association has less to do with the letters that make up the name and more to do with images associated with the name.

For instance, you might expect someone named Colt to be a better football player than one named Percival because you associate speed and strength with the name Colt. Percival, on the other hand, might be expected to write poetry or something similar.

5. A Name’s First Letter has an Impact

A study has yielded a particularly surprising conclusion. People whose names start with a letter later in the alphabet are more likely to be impulse shoppers. The theory is that waiting for your name to be called leads to impatience – and, so, impulsivity.

Don’t be overly concerned that the name you choose will undermine your child’s life. Ultimately, the biggest indicator of your child’s success is going to come from your parenting – names are a minimal aspect of the equation. However, they can have an effect. Find out more about names and their associations from Nameclouds, the baby name research tool.