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Pick a Winning Name for a Girl
By Bruce Lansky

(FeatureSource) "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 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 unisex 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 name book is "Baby Names Around the World (Meadowbrook Press; $13.00). Article provided by FeatureSource

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