Survey Reveals the Sexiest Names
The second in a series of reports based on exclusive user ratings of names.
Can a name be sexy on its own, without a person attached? Absolutely. When we asked thousands of BabyNameWizard.com readers to rate the names in our Namipedia on "sexiness," specific name styles kept rising to the top. Most of those styles have shown staying power, sounding sexy for decades or even centuries.
Take a look and see whether these names send your heart aflutter:
If you're a Bob or a Gert, don't despair. Sexiness isn't a universal positive in a name. Every name style comes with tradeoffs, and what sounds good on a lingerie label may not serve as well for a salesperson or aspiring politician. But if you're looking for pure sex appeal in a name, here's what the results tell us:
1. Latin lovers never go out of style. Romance languages, especially Italian, dominate the sexiest boys' list. That romantic image goes back not just to film heartthrobs like Fernando Lamas and Rudolph Valentino, but all the way back to Shakespeare. Italy was his favorite setting for romance, and names like Lorenzo and, of course, Romeo are plucked straight from his plays.
2. Vive la différence. Italian names make a strong showing on the girls' list too, but French comes to the fore as well. The French girls' choices add a saucy flavor, with the flouncy diminutive Nicolette and the literarily erotic Anaïs.
3. Gender front and center. More than half of the names on the sexy lists end in the classic gender markers -o and -a.
4. Double your pleasure. Doubled letters seem to amp up a name's sexiness, especially for girls.
5. Hitch your wagon to a star. Almost 80 years after the publication of Gone With the Wind, Rhett and Scarlett both still hit the sexiest name lists. But they're newbies compared to Romeo, which is celebrating its 5th straight century of star-driven sexiness. Clearly, a romantic tale can attach itself to a name for the long term.
6. Deliver youth or excitement. The names rated least sexy for girls fit a clear formula. They're two syllables, packed with consonants, and old. Really old: as a group, they peaked in the 1890s. The boys' names are no spring chickens either, but at least they hit their popularity peak within the past century. It's a good bet that you know someone living named Bob, Ernest, Norman, Dick or Howard, but not Gertrude, Bertha, Agnes, Ethel or Mildred. The main marker of "unsexiness" for boys seems to be a lack of excitement. The names are all plain-spoken with heavy sounds.
But keep in mind...
These results are based on ratings from Namipedia visitors, the majority of whom are female. It's certainly possible that an all-male panel would choose differently. Yet the girls' style, including Italian and French names and double letters, does line up with a style heavily favored by the adult entertainment industry for targeting male customers. (Missing is a second common stage-name style: meaning names like Angel and Candy, which emphasize the role being played.) As for male names designed to appeal to a gay male audience, one 2005 study found a proponderance of simple boy-next-door stage names like Tom and Mark.
In the end, though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do the names on the list fill the bill for you?
Methodology Notes: Ratings were submitted by tens of thousands of BabyNameWizard.com visitors over the couse of five years, rating names they chose to visit on a scale of 1-100. Rankings are based on names rated by a minimum of 150 users. Alternate spellings may be dropped from lists to avoid repetition. Rare names (outside the current top 1,500 for boys and girls and no apperances in the top 500 in the past century) are excluded as they are easily dominated by a particular character, e.g. Sherlock or Bellatrix.