10 Exploratory Essay Topics on “What’s in a Name”?

Topics and ideas
Posted on October 27, 2016

Names are an important part of our identity. Most people like to think that they are just nouns that help us differentiate people. But have you ever wondered what’s in a name? What is its significance and why do we need one?

In our first guide, 10 facts for an exploratory essay on what’s in a name? You’ll be entertained with solid facts on names, so you can write a perfect exploratory essay on it.

In our second guide, we share 20 topics on “what’s in a name” for an exploratory essay to give you a head-start, so you can start writing immediately. We’ve also included a sample essay in this guide which would greatly help you in completing your assignment.

Finally, in our third guide, how to write a deep exploratory essay on what’s in a name? we share useful tips and methods to enable you to write a perfect exploratory essay and gain the admiration of your professor.

Our first and second guides include 14 references combined and you will have no problem finding sources on the facts and topics we’ve discussed.

Without further ado, here are 10 facts on “what’s in a name”:

  1. Many people feel that names have something to do with our facial appearance. However, when the enthusiasts conducted two experiments on different occasions, they found out otherwise. The experiment had involved American and British participants where American females showed potential and supported the hypothesis, while British participants didn’t. This showed that there was nothing that could prove the correlation between names with faces.
  2. Research has apparently found that people’s names really affect them throughout the course of their lives. Here’s how names can affect your life:
    • Masculine names given to women bring success in the legal profession.
    • Boys with feminine names tend to misbehave in schools.
    • Women with attractive names are seen as physically attractive too.
    • Our name can be a significant success factor when applying for a job or choosing to live in a particular town/state or country.
  3. While Democrats and Republicans have never seen eye to eye on political issues, it seems they also prefer to go with different names. When an app about names was under development, an interesting phenomenon was discovered – Democrats prefer different first names than their Republicans counterparts.
  4. According to a study that was published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, middle names can improve self-esteem of a person. If you’ve got a chance to see how doctors and lawyers sign forms, you’ll notice that they use their middle name as initials.
  5. A recent study shows that women with feminine names tend to lose their interest in mathematics as they feel “too feminine” to handle such complex and/or logical subjects. However, when a female has a masculine name such as Harley, the tide turns and such women have shown a keen interest in math and science.
  6. When German researchers sent out 47,000 emails to online dates without photos, guess what happened? They discovered that there were several names which received more profile visits than other names. Alexander and Charlotte were two names that appealed the most to these online daters, while Kevin and Mandy were among the least appealing.
  7. A recent study conducted in Germany found that people with unattractive names smoke more than those who have attractive names. This is because attractive names appeal more when you are out on the internet to find a date, and when you don’t have one, the chances of finding a decent date drastically go down. This leads to a sense of rejection and low self-esteem, which is a precursor to heavy smoking.
  8. It might seem stereotypical, but a recent study conducted on British families showed that parents tend to choose bigger names for boys and shorter ones for girls – not alphabetically, but how they sound. For example, most parents prefer to name their boy James or Joel, typically conveyed with vowels like ‘a’ and ‘o’, while girl’s names are preferred with ‘i’ and ‘e’ vowel sounds , as in Jill or Emma.
  9. Believe it or not, people tend to think that they have chosen a unique name that hasn’t been chosen before. A study at UC Davis shows otherwise. The study found that people choose names that are fashionable, and not because they have a correlation with religion or family legacies. In fact, people tend to follow trends that are started by “cultural” elites rather than obscure names that are either created by religion or family legacies.
    Besides, fashionable names are recurring in nature, hence no one can have unique names.
  10. Did you know? People seem to trust strangers who have an easy to pronounce name rather than someone who has a name like Czeslaw or Ratynska? A study was conducted by UC Irvine and concluded that people with easy names are more trusted than people with hard-to-pronounce names.

Interesting facts, were they not? Now, let’s head over to 20 Topics on “What’s in a Name?” for an Exploratory Essay, so you can start writing without any delays. Don’t forget to read our last guide on how to write a deep exploratory essay on “What’s in a Name?”.

Our final guide is perfect to familiarize you with the methodology behind writing an exploratory essay and how to format it properly, while making it interesting to read. We are certain that our guide will help you leave your professors in utter amazement.


  1. Robin S. S. Kramer, Alex L. Jones, (2015) Do People’s First Names Match Their Faces? Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis Vol. 12, No. 1 http://www.jasnh.com/pdf/Vol12-No1-article1.pdf
  1. Kenneth M. Steele, Laura E. Smithwick, (1989) First Names and First Impressions: A Fragile Relationship, Sex Roles, Vol. 21, Nos. ⅞ , Mars Hill College http://www1.appstate.edu/~kms/documents/SteeleSmithwick1989.pdf
  1. Jochen E. Gebauer, Mark R. Leary, Wiebke Neberich; (2011) Unfortunate First Names Effects of Name-Based Relational Devaluation and Interpersonal Neglect, Sage Journals http://spp.sagepub.com/content/3/5/590.short
  1. Mark, (2014) The Politics of Names, Verdant Labs http://verdantlabs.com/blog/2014/11/13/political-names/
  1. Jeanne Sager, (2014) The Baby Naming Rule You Can’t Afford to Break, The Stir http://thestir.cafemom.com/pregnancy/171947/the_best_name_to_give%20
  1. Northwestern University, (2010) DAVID FIGLIO DISCUSSES HOW NAMES CAN AFFECT LEARNING, The School of Education and Social Policy http://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/news-center/inquiry/2010-spring/faculty-news.html
  1. Pamela H. Mitchell, (2005) What’s In A Name? Volume 21, Issue 6, Pages 332–334 http://www.professionalnursing.org/article/S8755-7223(05)00148-1/fulltext?mobileUi=0
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