Kids with Certain Names Are Likelier to Be 'Naughty' or 'Nice,' Study Finds

The "nice" list includes monikers like Emma, Jacob and Hannah, while "naughty" names were found to include Joshua, Olivia and Benjamin

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Photo: Getty

What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot.

A 2014 study, which has recently resurfaced, saw School Stickers look at reward data logged by teachers to determine trends related to which names tended to have the best behavior versus which names belonged to children who needed “to work extra hard in the run up to” Christmas, to get in Santa Claus’ good graces.

Some of the most well-behaved students, according to the U.K.-based site? Emma, Jacob and Hannah, while “naughty” names were found to include Joshua, Olivia and Benjamin.

“We launched MyStickers seven years ago and in that time, 4 million rewards have been redeemed with over one million of those being in the last 12 months,” the site explained. “This is how we track which children have been naughty and which have been nice throughout the year.”

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Baby sitting on a rug. Getty

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The complete lists of names are shown below.

“Nice” Girl Names

  1. Amy
  2. Georgia
  3. Emma
  4. Charlotte
  5. Grace
  6. Sophie
  7. Abigail
  8. Hannah
  9. Emily
  10. Alice

“Naughty” Girl Names

  1. Ella
  2. Bethany
  3. Eleanor
  4. Olivia
  5. Laura
  6. Holly
  7. Courtney
  8. Amber
  9. Caitlin
  10. Jade

“Nice” Boy Names

  1. Jacob
  2. Daniel
  3. Thomas
  4. James
  5. Adam
  6. Harry
  7. Samuel
  8. Jack
  9. Oliver
  10. Ryan

“Naughty” Boy Names

  1. Joseph
  2. Cameron
  3. William
  4. Jake
  5. Joshua
  6. Jamie
  7. Lewis
  8. Benjamin
  9. Ethan
  10. Luke

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The last time the study was conducted, in 2015, saw multiple changes. Courtney, Laura and Bethany had switched from the naughty to the nice list — the latter of which saw new additions like Lily, Mia and Ellie. Notably, Georgia and Abigail switched from the nice list to the naughty one.

As for the boys, Benjamin, Lewis and Ethan jumped to the nice list, while the naughty list included many of the same 2014 monikers (Joseph, Joshua and Luke) plus a few new ones such as Owen and George — as well as some that were previously on the nice list (James, Samuel and Daniel).

According to School Stickers Managing Director Neil Hodges, the annual holiday lists were intended to be “just a bit of fun and not meant to be taken seriously.”

“There are many children called Leah and Joseph who are perfect little angels, just as there are many called Harry and Anna who Santa is watching!” he said in 2015. “We’re proud that our products motivate and inspire young people, whatever their names!”

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