This article investigates the consequences of the detraditionalization of naming practices and the social meanings imputed to first names. It does so on the basis of an exploratory, qualitative study designed to investigate contemporary naming practices and the social meanings assigned to first names, as well as data taken from a representative quantitative study designed to test the relationships between social background and cultural practice and the choice of first names along with the consequences of the namesâ€™ social meanings. Strong relationships persist between social background (class) and choice of first name. Because the latter is strongly related to taste patterns and cultural dispositions, first names are strongly suggestive of the social characteristics and levels of cultural capital pertaining to the childâ€™s parents. The results highlight a strong relationship between parentsâ€™ level of education and cultural tastes and practices, on the one hand, and the first names they select for their children, on the other. As a consequence, the first names and educational achievement of children are also strongly related. Further examination casts doubt over these findings, however, and the relationship is shown to be a spurious one due to the association between the selected first name, on the one hand and the cultural practices of the parents and their offspring, on the other.