10:12 AM

Emeritus Professor Authors Chapter in New Book on Names and Naming in Latter-Day Saints’ Culture


Bellevue University Emeritus Professor of Psychology Cleveland Evans, an expert on names and their meaning, recently had a chapter published in a new book titled, “Perspectives on Latter-day Saint Names and Naming.”

Evans’ chapter in the book focuses on baby names and whether LDS children’s names are distinctive. Evans compared state-provided name data for Utah and Colorado, a neighboring state with a significantly lower LDS population, over the past 40 years. 

Evans found that Utahans’ naming choices are similar to parents in other states, but there is a tendency to anticipate name fads. For example, names such as Kaden, Brayden and Jaden all ranked in the top 25 in Utah in 1998 but none of those three names broke the top 100 in Colorado that same year. However, all three names became much more popular in the early 2000s across the United States. 

“I think this began before the internet and social media, though as with many other cultural factors, those modern technologies have accelerated the process. There is obviously something about LDS culture which contributes to what makes Utah names so popular,” said Evans.

The book, which was edited by Dallin D. Oaks (lead editor), Paul Baltes and Kent Minson, is available for purchase on Amazon.

About Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with more than 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everywhere online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (