The Most Common Names For Writers, Librarians, and Poets

Margret Aldrich

Staff Writer

Margret Aldrich is a writer and recovering book editor who has worked with authors from American Indian activist Winona LaDuke to punk-rock guitar legend Cheetah Chrome. (They were equally intense and equally fantastic.) She is also a former editor, blogger, and librarian at Utne Reader, a magazine celebrating the best of the alternative press. Based in Minneapolis, Margret is a devoted Little Free Library owner who wonders what to do when a Sarah Palin biography shows up in one's LFL. Her book about Little Free Libraries—and how they spark community, literacy, and creativity around the world—came out from Coffee House Press in April. Twitter: mmaldrich

While we at the Riot are taking this lovely summer week off to rest (translation: read by the pool/ocean/on our couches), we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Wednesday, July 8th.

This post originally ran January 15, 2015.

7311177554_14a3ec70e9_mIf you change your name to Celia or Edmund, you just might become the world’s next great poet.

A recent analysis by Verdant Labs, the maker of the baby-name app Nametrix, tracks the most common names for different professions, from lawyers to librarians.

“These names are most disproportionately common in these professions (not to be confused with the most common),” the Washington Post points out. “For example, ‘Trey’ is the #1 guitarist name, which means that Trey shows up very often in that profession relative to Trey’s overall popularity.”

Mark Edmond, founder of Verdant Labs, says he wasn’t exactly surprised by the list results:

“On the contrary, it’s the reverse that’s astonished me; I’m amazed at how well the names fit their professions. I wrote the name and profession analysis software purely on a hunch, so it was a ‘eureka!’ moment when I fired it up for the first time and saw the results.

For example, the most disproportionately common writer names seem very fitting.”

#1 – #10: Kate, Harriet, Simon, Graham, Colin, Edith, Emma, Frances, Julian, Abraham

#11 – #20: Louise, Eleanor, Charlotte, Annie, Ian, Helen, Lucy, Alice, Edgar, Dorothy

Here are the disproportionately common names for other literary gigs on the list:

Poet – Edgar, Hannah, Celia, Anne, Dorothy, Edmund

Librarian – Abigail, Margot, Nanette, Julia, Eleanor, Johanna

Journalist – Hanna, Gideon, Jonah, Alastair, Angus, Louisa

On the flip side, some non-bookish names include the ones that follow. (Though who’s to say that your friendly neighborhood mechanic, rock ’n’ roll drummer, or stuntman isn’t curling up with My Struggle at the end of the day?)

Mechanic – Randy, Patrick, Dave, Rick, Jerry, Fred

Drummer – Billy, Mickey, Joey, Dave, Tommy, Chad

Stuntman – Alex, Erik, Eddie, Tom, Terry, Ben

See the full chart below or visit Verdant Labs’ website. And note that if you don’t want your kid to become an insurance salesman, steer clear of Garrett, Patty, and Clark.




Top image by Betsy Weber, courtesy of Creative Commons. Chart courtesy of Verdant Labs.