Sunday Summary 2.7.16TS Elliott called April the cruelest month, but my votes goes to February. It’s still cold and dark, and the excitement of the holidays is behind us. Happily, we had a few warmer-than-average days in Washington DC this past week, but I’m still longing for spring!

Now, a serious question: do you believe in the resume test? As in, you should name your son William instead of Wiley or Wyclef, because he’ll have an easier time getting a job?

I just don’t see it. My husband works in a conservative field, and his colleagues have had all sorts of names – a consequence of a global work environment. And when I hired – in government, universities, and nonprofits – diversity was always an imperative. Throwing out a resume because of a weird name? I never saw it happen.

And yet, I hear parents refer to it all the time.

So let’s have a poll.

On a lighter note:

That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. I think name bias also depends on where you live. I live in rural Oklahoma and work in the school system, I definitely hear assumptions about people based on their name alone all of the time.

  2. Evexy is a Spanish girls name; I found plenty of people with the name, but what it means I have no idea.

    I did notice on the original notice that Juriet’s parents were Hispanic.

  3. Regarding name bias, I think it’s worse in lower level management or retail positions than in professional fields. Then again, they are always doing studies showing the bias in academia against females or students of color who seek mentors or ask professors for help.

  4. We didn’t quite do you choose I choose, but I vetoed his number one girl choice first time around, and with the second baby, I couldn’t think of anything new to trump the name he’s adored since his teens. So we used it, and I… Don’t love it. It’s funny, since it’s super stylish with the name nerds, is always been recommended, us hardly ever used (not in the top one thousand), is stylistically similar to my other daughter’s name, and has tons of stylish sounding nicknames. But it’s not me. I’m constantly searching for something else to call her. I’d thought I’d grow into it, but seven months on, I am still not warming up.

  5. The bias against overtly women’s names on resumes is, sadly, still a thing, and probably will be for a long time (at least a generation, I suspect). I’ll admit, I fell prey to unwarranted assumptions on the basis of name alone, once last year — badly enough that I think my disconcertion showed and I feel pretty bad about it. A student had emailed me to set up an appointment during my office hours and I jotted the name down. Given the name, I expected to see a girl; when a guy showed up, I figured it was someone who hadn’t made an appointment and asked his name.

    He’s planning on an academic career in mathematics — a bad place to be a woman — and I’ve considered recommending that he think about publishing with initials rather than his given name in full, to avoid any unwarranted bias. I hate that I even have to consider recommending it to him.

    1. I went to college with men named Ashley, Tracy and Stacey.

      And just last week I had a phone conversation with a woman named Xavier!

      I think (I can only hope anyway) these gender-flexible names will be more common and help eliminate some of the biases.