Billionaire Baby Names

Parents want the best for their children, and that begins as early as choosing the baby’s name. But there are distinct differences in how the wealthy name their babies as opposed to the rest of us. In studying the family trees of the Wealthiest Families of the Forbes 400, it is clear that there are definite baby naming rules that are followed by the 1%. An extremely wealthy family is more likely to use family names to “brand” the child. To these parents, it is important that the child is recognized as coming from their particular line, attaching the social and financial prominence of the family.

The most common baby naming practices of the wealthy:

1. Honor Thy Father

First sons are historically given the exact same name as their fathers. This gives them the suffix of Jr. until they, themselves give a son the same name, at which point the Jr. turns into the II.  Take the Hearsts, for example. There is William Randolph Hearst, the media mogul. His son is William Randolph Hearst, Jr., and his son the III.  WIlliam Sr.’s second son was named Randolph Apperson Hearst, using his own middle name and his wife’s maiden name. This brands Randolph as coming from both families.

2. Honor Thy Mother

If the mother is from a prominent family, most likely her birth (maiden) name will be used on one or more of the children, either as a first or middle name. Although the practice of using surnames for first names is centuries old for wealthy families, it has been popularized in the past two decades by the general public. But unlike the wealthy,  99% families are more likely to choose a surname unrelated to their family tree. Examples: Taylor, Harrison, Jackson.

3. Biblical Names

If a family name has already been used, then the wealthy turn to traditional and/or biblical names. Traditional biblical names like John, James, and Elizabeth are safe and free from ridicule. Social perception is extremely important to wealthy families and therefore they are less likely to use creative and/or unique names for their children.

The least common baby naming practices of the wealthy:

1. Unusual Names/Created Names

Very rarely will the wealthy choose a baby name that is difficult to spell and/or pronounce. That’s not to say that the rich will not choose ethnically diverse names. Take Ivanka Trump, for example. Ivanka is a diminutive form of Ivana, her mother’s name. Although the name is Slavic, it is easy to pronounce and easy to spell.

2. “Kreatyve” Spellings

Uisng a “kreatyve” spelling on a common name is both bold and cowardly: parents will use a common name for conformity, yet they will spell it differently to be unique (i.e. Genniphyr for Jennifer). The rich have no interest in garnering this kind of attention, nor would they set their child up for possible teasing or embarrassment. A creatively-spelled name also can burden a child, as he or she will have to spell it for people the rest of their lives.

3. Incorrect Use of Generational Suffixes

A family of status will know how to use generational suffixes (Jr., II, III, IV, etc.) They would never, for example give a son a different middle name as the father and call him a Jr. Nor would they ever follow the practice of heavyweight champion George Foreman, who named all of his sons George, using the generational suffixes to tell them apart.

4. “Wealthy” Names

The wealthy would never give their children names that allude to their wealth. In fact, these names are almost exclusively used by mid- to low-income households which seek to elevate the perception of their status. Wealthy names are most often brand names that are associated with prosperity and money. Examples include Porsche, Tiffany, Madison (Ave.), Crystal, Prince/Princess, Riviera, and Cash. So if you want to follow the trends of the rich, choose a baby name from a branch of your family tree, use a traditional spelling, and avoid names that are obviously opulent. Jennifer Moss is the founder and CEO of and the author of “The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book” (Perigee, 2008). Jennifer has one daughter named Miranda Margaret–both family names.

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  • lily


  • Chad

    I know a shitload of rich douchebags in Dallas naming their kids things like: Crispin, Harrison, Sawyer, Moss, Orwell, Berkeley, Manson, Kingsley. It’s seriously the stupidest bullshit on earth. And yet, everyone calls me a douche for being a low-class Chad.

    • JohnnyLurg

      Really? Manson? Like Charles?

  • daniel

    Hi I am curious does anyone have problems who are named the same as their father? For example, my dad uses my name on all types of stuff like property, taxes, businesses etc for (i think tax cuts)? Does anybody have a better idead for the purpose? thanks.