A study published late last year looked at how frequently parents mixed up their children’s names. The results were rather predictable:
Respondents whose names shared initial or final sounds with a sibling’s reported that their parents accidentally called them by the sibling’s name more often than those without such name overlap. Having a sibling of the same gender, similar appearance, or similar age was also associated with more frequent name substitutions.
But what I found interesting was the study’s focus on how like-names affected parents, not kids.
The abstract starts: “When parents select similar sounding names for their children, do they set themselves up for more speech errors in the future?”
The answer is yes, parents do set themselves up for speech errors when they give their kids similar-sounding names. I think this is something we all know intuitively, I’ve just never seen it spelled out like this before.
For those of you with siblings: how often did your parents mix up your names?