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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 21 December, 2014

What’s in a name? Quite a lot…according to Irish people anyway

We’re the happiest when it comes to our names apparently.

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DO YOU LIKE your first name? If you answered yes than you are part of the 87% of Irish people who do, a figure that is highest among a group of European countries asked.

A study that surveyed 1,800 people across eight countries in Europe has found that Irish people are not only happiest with their name, but also place a huge importance on it.

The research was commissioned by Coca-Cola as part of their campaign to add indigenous names onto their cans and bottles.

It found that 83% of Irish people feel that their given name reflects their personality well and also that 37% feel happy when they see their name being used elsewhere.

“The survey reinforces what I have always seen, people place a huge importance on their name and it has a significant the impact on their lives,” says clinical psychologist David Coleman.

It’s fascinating to see how much emphasis Irish people place on their names and what they mean in our lives. From a psychological perspective we know that everyone reacts differently to their name – some people love theirs whilst others use a different version or even change theirs during their lives.

People in the UK are the most likely to change their name with nearly one in four preferring to shorten it, with women more likely to do so.

It’s also good advice not to forget an Irish person’s name as we are also the most likely (76%) to feel more positively towards people who remember it.

We’re also tops in terms of religious names with Irish people twice as likely than the European average to have a given name inspired by religion.

Family tradition is still a very prominent source for names in Ireland with 27% influenced by family tradition and  only 9% influenced by the names of a famous person.

Read: What to do if you forget someone’s name immediately after meeting them >

Read: Irish name fail: No fadas accepted round here >

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