“Probably I would be better off if I didn't date E women. With me it’s always been Laurie, Jenni, Candy, Maggie, Debbi, Stacey — all my life, just me and the cheerleading squad.” That's how Adam Davies begins his novel “the frog king; a love story.” And it's a pretty good approximation of how “E names” for girls come off — to guys in general and to college-admission directors and potential employers in particular.
I suppose that prototypical “E names” are Barbie (a beautiful doll) or Dolly (a doll with a bubbly personality). Of course, not every “E name” comes across that way. Two exceptions are, for example, Jessie (an athletic tomboy who is fun, friendly and smart) and Demi (smart, pretty and popular).
It isn't easy finding a name for your baby daughter if your vision for her is that she will go to college and possibly graduate school, find a career as a professional or in management and eventually attract a quality mate. An “E name” may make it harder for a woman to be taken seriously.
If you'd like a name that projects an image of competence, intelligence and strength of character, it's wise to avoid girls' names that end in “i,” “ie” or “y.” Look for names that either end in “a,” have no vowel at the end or are often used for boys.
For example, consider these names ending in “a” and the impression they make:
Aisha: athletic, competitive and outgoing
Alexandra: regal and strong
Amelia: associated with Amelia Earhart, a smart, strong-willed adventurer
Carla: bright, independent and outgoing
Cayla: pretty, wealthy, vivacious and unique
Coretta: attractive, professional, smart and fair-minded
Chandra: tall, bright and vivacious
Erica: strong-willed, rich and on the go
Jana: attractive, hardworking and strong
Tasha: tall, pretty, well-dressed and adventurous
Here are some names that end in a consonant that also communicate brains and talent:
Elaine: smart, business-minded and a trendsetter
Eleanor: ambitious, hardworking, serious and smart
Helen: graceful, smart and well-educated
Leigh: wealthy, sophisticated and ambitious
Meredith: pretty, classy, smart, independent and rich
Finally, you might want to consider uni-sex names that work well for both genders:
Casey: athletic, cute and spunky
Chris: confident, athletic, outgoing and energetic
I've given you guidelines for selecting girls' names that come across as smart, competent and strong. There are, of course, many exceptions to these rules. Here's the acid test: Imagine yourself as the director of admissions of a selective college or as the human relations manager of a business, hospital or law firm. Then ask yourself, all other things being equal, which name says, "Choose me; I'm going to be successful"?
Bruce Lansky is the No. 1 author of baby names. His latest baby name book, The New Baby Name Survey (Meadowbrook Press), discusses the subjective impressions of names.
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