Our perception of someone based on their name often comes from a combination of personal experiences and pop culture. It’s never really fair to have a preconceived idea about someone based on their name, because, more often than not, those ideas are based on your personal perspective, which can result in thoughts that are stereotypical, unflattering, or downright discriminatory! In this case, we’re looking into the 20 female names that men associate with cheating or infidelity – at least, according to two surveys we’ve combined: one from international infidelity website Gleeden.com, and the other from a radio survey from radio Now 100.9. (So please, if you spot your name on here and plead innocence, remember not to shoot the messenger.)
With all of that being said, what really is in a name? It’s not like you chose it yourself (unless you did) – it’s something your parent or guardian picked for you! Just because you were named Amber or Olivia doesn’t mean you’re destined to step out on your SO, but according to these surveys, that just might be the case! Oh, and if you thought that we were being unfair with a list of just women’s names, don’t worry: another UK-based site found the top 10 names for guys, too!
First off, we have Amber, who came in at #20. We think this might be due to a few factors that would allow for this perception as well as the reality, according to Gleeden.com. To start, we have the idea that “Amber” is similar to other gemstone or jewel names, which has the unfortunate association of exotic dancers or escorts – think Crystal, Sapphire, Jade, Jewel, etc. It’s a stereotype, but it’s what people think of.
Next, when it comes to real-world examples, we have a few famous Ambers who don’t seem all that stable in the romance and relationship department: Amber Rose, ex of Kanye West, who worked as a dancer and has a fire Twitter game; Amber Heard, ex of Johnny Depp with a history of domestic violence; and Amber Portwood, ex-con and star of MTV’s Teen Mom. Sorry, Amber!
Katie seems like a pretty adorable name. Katie is the girl-next-door, the sweetheart who had a glow-up and now can get any man she wants. Ironically, the meaning of the name “Katie” is “pure”!
With that being said, this may have been chosen as a name associated with infidelity simply due to how common it is. Almost everyone in North America can name at least three girls named Katie off the top of their head, so by the law of averages, there’s bound to be some to crop up! The only majorly famous Katie we think might inform this perception would be Katie Price, who first began as a glamour model shooting some very scandalous photos before marrying three times. It seems to us that Katie could go either way, and so we apologize to any Katies who are pleading innocence!
Another popular name, which is ranked at #107 as of this year according to BabyCenter.com, Alexis probably earns her spot on this list because of the too-sexy, slightly illicit “X” sound within the name. Alexis can be dangerous, Alexis cane play fast and loose, Alexis can be the sexy tomboy but she might just break your heart. Adding a little bit of irony to this, “Alexis” can mean “defender of man” and “noble” – not exactly what springs to mind when you’re thinking of infidelity!
Alexis – with the exception of Alexis Bledel, who will never shake her Rory Gilmore image – is often the bad girl, like Alexis Neiers, who inspired The Bling Ring, or Alexis Knapp, who played the sultry Stacey in Pitch Perfect, or Alexis Love, the adult film actress.
Another extremely popular name, if you were a child in the ‘90s or early ‘00s, you probably had a few Nicoles in your class. Like Katie, we’re playing with averages here: since there’s more Nicoles, there’s bound to be more women of that name who indulged in an extra-marital affair or two.
Nicole is usually fun and flirty, which is what might get her into trouble. Her friendliness could be mistaken for flirtation and then she might find herself in a situation she didn’t anticipate, but which she doesn’t entirely reject. One of the most famous Nicoles is the late Nicole Brown Simpson, who was murdered by her ex-husband OJ, along with her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson believed that his ex-wife was having an affair with Goldman, which is what was said to have led to the murders, and which may be ones of the reasons why Nicole sits at #17.
Yep, you guessed it: another extremely common name! Jennifer can come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it’s hard to pin down an image to this name that could have people associate it with adultery (aside from the numbers that prove it to be so). For example, two famous Jennifers: Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez. Aniston is the girl-next-door type, breezy and California-cool. Sure, she might seem like she’s a bit tightly wound, but not a cheater. Then we have Lopez, who oozes sexuality and has left a string of men in her (very publicized) wake. Both can be heartbreakers!
Honestly, we think this entry might just be because so many of us have experienced a Jennifer (or Jen, Jenn, or Jenny) in our lives that one is bound to be adulterous. Unlike some other names, this one doesn’t scream “cheater” to us, but there you have it!
The name Rachel isn’t quite as popular as it used to be, ranking at #546 this year, compared to its height at #9 in 1996, but that doesn’t mean Rachel hasn’t had her fair share of relationship drama – at least enough to earn her a spot on this list!
Rachel is a great girlfriend name: she’s unassuming, pretty but not XXX-rated, relatable but not boring. However, it could be that her perceived normalcy is what makes it so easy for her to slip by into infidelity undetected! One of the most famous fictional Rachels, we have Rachel Green of Friends, played by the afore-mentioned Jennifer Aniston. Rachel Green was a flake, a woman who jumped from relationship to relationship – even standing up a man at the later – before finally ending up with Ross. That flakiness might influence people’s perceptions, even if Rachel doesn’t deserve it.
Rebecca is the kind of name that is both romantic and current. If you choose to use it fully, it conjures up ideas of romantic heroines, who may or may not step out on their husbands or otherwise engage in illicit affairs. To go by Becky is more of a good-girl type, and one that probably wouldn’t be considered to be a cheater’s name. Becca, or Beca, are sportier, sassier, but still friendly – clearly, it’s the Rebeccas that guys feel the need to watch out for.
Meaning “bind” or “tie”, Rebecca could be the femme fatale, the one who ensnares her male prey to use as she likes before releasing him – or destroying him. Its popularity has definitely waned over the past few decades, but it’s still used frequently enough to nab the #14 spot!
In 1991, the name Kayla peaked at #12 on the list of most popular baby girl names, which puts her in the prime age group for having had at least a few relationships – and maybe she wasn’t entirely faithful in all of them. Kayla is a name that seems bubbly and fun, likeable and maybe a little sporty. Kayla can be the guy’s girl and the girl’s girl, and it might be that appeal that has her dabbling in infidelity.
To our knowledge, famous Kaylas are few and far-between, unless you look to YouTube or Instagram stars, but there are a couple who have appeared in the pages of Playboy (Kayla Rae Reid and Kayla Collins) who may have tipped the scale in the favour (or disfavour) of being the name of a woman who isn’t opposed to cheating.
Olivia comes over to us from the UK survey, and while it may not be as popular on our side of the pond, it certainly is over there! It’s also incredibly popular recently, being among the top 4 names for girls since 2008!
In terms of popular culture, there are plenty of beautiful celebrities with the name Olivia, but none that are prone to much scandal (see: Olivia Cooke, Olivia Palermo, Olivia Wilde, Olivia Munn, and Olivia Culpo), which makes us wonder how this name got here in the first place! Olivia seems to be the strikingly beautiful type, who can offer just about everything – the perfect combo of beauty and brains. It might be because of that that men perceive the name as to be associated with cheating” Olivia is the girl he wants but can never get!
Hannah is the adorable type, blonde and blue-eyed. Maybe she began life a little chubby, a pigtailed cutie who eventually lost her baby fat and blossomed into someone gorgeous, However, she might still see herself as that short chubby girl on the inside, and it could be that self-esteem that has her stepping out on her guy – but we’re totally speculating her.
Honestly, Hannah had a few years of major popularity from 1997-2007, before a very noticeable drop-off, but it’s still old enough to have earned a few relationships that went south at its peak! Aside from Hannah Montana, played by Miley Cyrus, there aren’t as many famous fictional Hannahs or media personalities with this name, so we’re just chalking this one up to biased personal experiences!
This one might be due to none other than Taylor Swift, she of the multiple boyfriends and dating record as famous as her music. While Swift tends to paint herself as the victim in all of her past relationships, the good girl screwed over by the guy, many of her critics tend to think that Swift is really a manipulative b-word, pulling the strings to keep selling records. Because of that, it’s quite possible that the listing of this name may have something to do with the pop star’s reputation.
Additionally, as a gender-neutral name, it could be that, since it can also be used for a boy, the name Taylor might also encompass the libido – and thus, inclinations towards adulterous relations – that come with the male territory!
Elizabeth is the kind of classic name that spans generations. It can be used on grandmothers and newborns, and so it’s not likely to ever be removed from the roster when it comes to naming. Due to that, averages and ages should be considered as to how this name managed to crack the top ten.
When it comes to famous Elizabeths in relation to cheating, it might be that Elizabeth Taylor is the one taking one for the team. Famously married to seven husbands in her lifetime – including a second marriage to Richard Burton – Taylor wasn’t exactly the paragon for fidelity. In fact, she even stole another woman’s husband! We think that perceptions might have something to do with the way someone chooses to shorten this name, and perhaps a Liz is less inclined to be faithful than a Beth.
Brittany is bubbly. She’s usually popular, often rude, and frequently beautiful – at least while she’s younger, because Brittany doesn’t always age well. Brittany is often spoiled, and her immaturity is usually evident no matter how old she is. After all, how do you take a 60-year-old woman seriously if her name is Brittany?
Probably in some thanks to Britney Spears (we acknowledge the different spelling), Brittany can be perceived as a bit of a hot mess. She’ll run through men and her experience with them will show. Brittany is a little bit older, with the name having peaked at #3 in 1989, and so she’s racked up enough failed relationships to earn her spot on this list. Owing to her wild side, sometimes Brittany just can’t help herself!
Meaning “worthy of love”, perhaps Amanda made this list because she wants to spread that love around! Hitting its peak in the ‘80s, the name Amanda is almost eponymous with the mean girl who is a little too pretty for her own good. Plus, there are a couple famous Amandas who seem just a tad unhinged.
Amanda Bynes and Amanda Knox, respectively, are two of the most famous Amanda-named celebs, with the former having had a very public meltdown before leaving Hollywood indefinitely and the other accused (and then re-accused) of murdering her roommate. Hey, you need a little crazy to be able to cheat on your SO, right? Additionally, one of the most famous Amandas in pop culture was played by Heather Locklear in the soapy drama Melrose Place, which saw her run through every male character on the show and earn a distinction as one of TV’s biggest b-words!
When you think of the name Samantha, one of the first people that might come to mind is Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall on HBO’s Sex and the City. Samantha made no apologies for her s*x drive, and her plotlines frequently revolved around her bed partners or other X-rated exploits. We think it’s no coincidence that her name would end up just outside the top 5 names for cheating women!
Hitting its popularity peak in the 1990s, Samantha is both spunky and a little bratty – the kind of girl who would be tempting but also a warning. She’s the type who will post all about her relationship online, but chew her guy out if he doesn’t measure up (and you’ll know about that, because she’s share that info too).
Meaning “princess”, it might be that girls named Sarah (or Sara) expect to be treated as such is why they’re ranked so highly as a name most likely to cheat!
Sara/Sarah is a name that ages well, so it’s not one often associated with a “trashy” persona, or someone who might be called “easy”. It is, however, pretty popular, with a steady rate of children being named in either spelling, so this is likely another instance in which too many men have been burned by a Sarah/Sara, and so have some to associate the name with infidelity. To us, Sarah/Sara sounds like the cool girl type, the one who’s laid back and fun-loving, and who likely doesn’t cheat without her relationship being on its last legs, but hey, it has to happen often enough for her to make the #5 spot!
Emily is one of the most popular names ever, boasting an impressive reign at the number one spot for 11 years, from 1996 to 2007! Meaning “eager”, it’s clear that too many Emilys were itching to have their cake and eat it too when they stepped out on their SOs, which is what put them in the #4 spot!
In addition to famous Emilys Emily Blunt and Emily Deschanel, who don’t strike us as the cheating type, we have many models named Emily (see: Emily Ratajkowski, Emily sears, Emily Didonato, and Emily Ferguson), a profession that is linked to infidelity and thus could colour the perceptions of men, making them more likely to choose this name as one likely to cheat. We’re not saying that any of the above-named ladies were ever unfaithful, but statistically, they’re likely to be!
Look, Ashley is a crazy-girl name. She can be crazy-hot, crazy-intense, crazy-sexy, or just plain crazy. She’s the one who will always stay until the club closes and will have the wildest flings you couldn’t even dream of. With all its different spellings, it’s like girls named Ashley (or any variation) are having an identity crisis, and so they will cheat on their SO because they want something different. Also the requisite mean-girl name in teen comedy-dramas from the 1990s, Ashley will cycle through guys and wonder why she can’t find a good man. She’s the type to get extremely jealous without understanding that relationships – and fidelity – are a two-way street.
Reaching its height of popularity in the late ‘80s to mid-‘90s, Ashley and all her spellings have clearly made a mark on men – and on extra-martial dating sites!
Girls named Jessica seem to have a reputation for being beautiful and mean. They are usually popular in school, and never seem to suffer from the same adolescent awkwardness the rest of us do. The name was a huge trend in the 1980s and 1990s, which means we hit 2050, we’ll be seeing a lot of geriatric Jessicas, which is gonna throw us all for a loop!
Jessica just sounds like the type of girl to be a bit b*tchy to everyone around her, even her friends and boyfriends. It honestly doesn’t surprise us that this name made it to the number two position, owing to its popularity a couple decades ago and the fact that almost everyone has known a Jessica in their lifetime and more often than not, that Jessica was just awful! Cheating just doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility for women with this name, sorry.
Finally, we’ve got our #1 spot on the list, which is a relief for some and a blow to anyone named Megan (or Meghan). According to the surveys, Megan was the top name of women most likely to cheat, based on the data collected on their site. Sorry to any dude involved with a Megan!
The name Megan means “strong” or “able”, which might indicate that women with this name feel that they don’t need no man, and so will pick and choose who they want to be with, regardless of their own personal relationship status! In terms of celebrity, Megan might be most closely associated with Megan Fox who, to our knowledge, has not been unfaithful to husband Brian Austin Green but often plays man-eater types, which may have influenced this perception (plus, you know, the evidence to support it!).