Blog Verdant Labs

Hannah, Emma, Joanna - Poet, Historian, or Venture Capitalist?

In response to the title, Hannahs are particularly apt to be Poets, Emmas Historians, and Joannas Venture Capitalists.

Next question: What do August, Hannah, and Jules have in common?

It turns out that people with those names are more likely than others to be playwrights. How about Casey, Vincent, and Roy? Plumbers.

This name & profession correlation is another interesting phenomenon we encountered while building the name metrics for the Nametrix baby names app.

For any given profession, it turns out that there are certain names that appear more often in that profession than in the general population. Here's a chart with 6 of the names that are the most disproportionately common in 37 professions.

In our post on, we talk a bit about how the analysis works:

While developing the Nametrix app, we analyzed public records to find the most inordinately common names in each profession.

Take Elvis, for example. There aren’t all that many Elvises out there, but a particularly high percentage of them are musicians. As a result, Elvis ranks high among musician names. Elvis isn’t the most common name among musicians — that’s likely to be John or some other very popular name. What’s interesting is that it’s way more common among musicians than you might expect, given how rare it is. In other words, it’s common in that profession relative to its overall frequency.

Fortunately, the math behind this isn’t too complicated. Here’s another example, this time with some numbers. In our sample of two and a half million people, a whopping 1.9% of Arnolds are accountants. Contrast that with just 0.55% of Shanes. Arnolds therefore appear to have a much higher tendency to be accountants than Shanes.


So, do our names influence where we go in life? Or do the social, geographic, economic, and other factors that might have influenced how our parents named us also direct our career paths?

Here's the graphic in a few other formats: