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What does your name say about you?

The first thing we learn when meeting new people is their name, and it seems that this can cost you your first impression. For every name we already have preconceived ideas about what that person will be like and that judgement can come quickly. So Uswitch has revealed the names of the savviest energy switchers of the last 20 years - and separately polled Brits on the perceptions around common names in Britain.  

The name Sarah comes top as the most common female switcher, saving a staggering £15.7 million over the last 20 years. Whereas David on the other hand is top of the male names saving 3x more than Sarah at £50 million. 

The top Uswitch savers:

What’s in a name?

Research into perceived characteristics of the UK’s most common names showed that women called Karen are thought to skive off when they’re meant to be working from home (19%), and are most likely to stockpile loo roll (18%). In her playing hooky however, Karen is voted as one of the most ‘fun’ by Brits (17%).  

On the other hand, an Elizabeth or a Margaret will be honest, intelligent and thrifty, and the people you’d most trust to look after your money and house-sit when you are away (20% and 19%). 

Richard, James, and David are most likely perceived to become self-made billionaires (20%, 19% and 16%), while Susan, Margaret and Sarah are most likely to be bargain hunters (19%, 18%, 17%). 

Perceived attributes of typical UK names (as voted for by the nation):

Karen: Considered most likely to spend her month’s salary in one go but is also a lot of fun because of it. She is perceived as most likely to marry for money.

James: Intelligent and fun.

Julie: The most generous one.

Paul: Thought of as dishonest, jealous and is most likely to forget his facemask - but he is also fun and generous.

Margaret: Conservative with her money and likely to be one of those who stockpiled toilet roll, but she is reliable, someone you can trust with your house while you are away and least likely to be fined for indecent exposure in public.

Sarah: Will always buy a round at the pub. She’s extravagant, fun and quirky. Go on Sarah!

John: Perceived to be boring and most likely to forget to wash his hands, but he is very trustworthy.

Nicola: The least stingy, rather wasteful but quirky and tech-savvy.

Susan: Not to be trusted with your money, and not likely to be a self-made billionaire. She’s also prone to stockpiling in a pandemic but she is also fun and intelligent.

David: Intelligent and grumpy but you can trust him with your money.

Top ten names....

Least likely to buy a round at the pub:

  1. Andrew

  2. Michael

  3. John

  4. Peter

  5. Paul

  6. Margaret 

  7. Mark

  8. Karen

  9. David

  10. James

Most likely to be a bargain hunter:

  1. Susan

  2. Margaret 

  3. Sarah

  4. Helen

  5. Karen

  6. Julie

  7. Elizabeth

  8. Claire

  9. Emma

  10. Peter

Most likely to stockpile toilet roll:

  1. Margaret 

  2. Susan

  3. Karen

  4. Elizabeth

  5. Helen

  6. David

  7. John

  8. Andrew

  9. Peter

  10. Sarah

Most likely to skive off when working from home:

  1. Mark

  2. Andrew

  3. Karen

  4. Paul

  5. Michael

  6. James

  7. David

  8. Julie

  9. Emma

  10. John

Most likely to become a self-made billionaire:

  1. Richard

  2. James

  3. David

  4. Michael

  5. Andrew

  6. Elizabeth

  7. Mark

  8. Paul

  9. Peter

  10. John

Commenting on the research, Uswitch energy expert Sarah Broomfield says

“It’s fascinating to see how the nation perceives the characteristics of our top switchers’ names. We applaud all those Sarahs and Davids who’ve been busy switching over the last 20 years to save money off their energy bills.

“According to the research, if you want your children to be considered as being financially savvy, calling them Richard helps - but if you want them to actually be savvy, call them David”.

“It’s incredible to think that we’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion by helping them switch energy providers over the last 20 years, and we look forward to helping save the next £2.5 billion.”

Research methodology 

  • An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 2,004 respondents from the UK. The research fieldwork took place on 28th August – 1st September 2020. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

  • The total average savings made by each name is calculated thus – average savings made over the past 20 years is £252 multiplied by the number of switches made by each forename. Please note Uswitch regularly reviews the average savings figure and it is updated across our website, marketing materials and customer facing content on a quarterly basis to reflect the latest savings possibility. As of 1st of July 2020, the average Uswitch saving is £387 per month on energy.

  • The referenced £2.5 billion energy savings figure is the estimated total average energy savings since 2000. This is an estimated figure, as internal data dates back 2006, only. The figure has been calculated by using a forecasting graph, plotting the trend in savings figures from available data in 2006 backwards to 2000.