I read a few years ago, about a study (no links right now, blogging from my phone) that was looking into whther ethnic or made-up names had a negatvie impact on career prospects, and by extension, life success. The rather obvious conclusion was that, yes, it has a negative impact, with legitimate ethnic names (Miguel, Olga, Hitomi, for example) being less problematic than obviously made-up "Black" names like Shaniqua or Shontelle, or even worse, something based upon a product name (amazing how many kids are named after something advertised on TV- what kind of idiot names their kid "Colgate"?)
Then there's the phenomena mentioned in Freakonomics about lower class people naming their kids after higher status kids from the generation before; thus "Amber" goes from being a unique, upper-middle-class name in one generation to the most common name among strippers a gen later.
The last couple years have seen an explosion from (presumably) statistically zero boys named Barack in the United States, to however many tens of thousands now.
One wonders if a few years from now there will be some remorse over that akin to all the boys named "Adolph" in 1930's Germany...
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