Several fun lists about the challenges of a unique name have made the rounds of the interwebs recently, which made me think it was time for a list of benefits.

And thus the following Top 13 benefits of a unique name list was born:

1. I got What’s your URL, Dave Smith?

2. Like Madonna, and Cher, last names are optional.

3. No chance of getting on a no-fly list because the authorities confused you with another person with the same name.

4. Similarly, security clearance applications take very little time due to the ease and quickness of the background check. I got my last one in the time it took to walk three blocks back to the office. My boss waited three months.

5. That blissful feeling when, after forty years of searching, you finally get an off-the-shelf mug with your name.

els mug

6. When someone mentions you in a story at a party, nobody asks “which Elsbeth?

7. Frequent Starbucks name blunders inevitably lead to adopting a superhero name for ordering which is surprisingly fun. If you can’t spell or pronounce Elsbeth, you may call me Elektra.

elektra coffee

8. If the barista spells your fake name wrong, you won’t mind because it’s not your name.

9. Long lost friends have no problem finding you. (Arguably this could go on the disadvantages list too. )

10. Slough off any responsibility for friending people on social media with a simple “It will be much easier for you to find me”.

11. You can do things like leaving notes on food in a communal fridge that say ‘property of Elsbeth’ without worrying that someone else will take it as an invitation. ()

12. If you are ever teaching or giving a presentation, it provides a great option to lighten things up. I like to use it as a way to decide who wins swag at seminars. “First person who pronounces my full name properly gets this suspension trainer”.

13. You have a very easy out with telemarketers: “May I speak with Elizabeth please?” “Sorry, there is no Elizabeth here.

Do you have a suggestion for my list? If so, please add it in a comment and if I like it, I’ll include it (with credit of course).

Elsbeth Vaino, aka Elizabeth Viano, aka Elsa Wino, aka Elvis Vanio, aka Lizbet Vain, aka Elektra is a personal trainer in Ottawa, Canada.


  1. Another pro about having a unique name would be leaving a lasting impression as people tend to remember words or names that are new since they quite often take some practicing to say correctly.

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