What’s the latest trend in the baby-naming game? Old-fashioned names rule the roost! According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there’s an unofficial 90-year rule for names. In other words, names become popular in 90-year cycles.

Right now, the most popular old-fashioned names are those your grandparents may have had. For girls it’s: Ava, Clara, Hazel and Sadie. For boys, it’s: Ethan, Hugo, Leo and Milo. And last year, the #1 girl’s name was Emily, while Jacob topped the list of boy’s names.

So, to quote Shakespeare, “What’s in a name?” Well according to Anne Bernays, author of The Language of Names, people form instant opinions based on names. For example, Kylie, Caitlin and Dylan are considered active and athletic. Tiffany, Brooke and Alexis are seen as beautiful and popular. And Megan, Tyler, and Josh are viewed as friendly.
So, here’s how to alter someone’s first impression of you by making a few simple tweaks to your name:

  • If you’re a woman and you want to seem more feminine, end your name with “A” or “IA.” In a lot of languages, that’s how feminine words end. So if you’re Julie, try going by Julia. If you’re Sophie, try Sophia.   
  • If you want to seem more approachable, use a nickname instead of your given name. Psychologists say that nicknames make people seem more familiar and inviting. So if you’re Margaret, say, “Oh, all my friends call me Meg.” It makes a person feel like they're instantly in your inner circle.
  • If you want to appear more professional, use your full name. Studies show it projects success, intelligence and reliability. So, Timothy seems more powerful and in-charge than Tim.