People having simple and easy- to-pronounce names are more likely to be considered for job promotions and also special treatment by teachers, a new study has revealed.

Whereas, people with difficult and tongue-twisting names like MacEochagan, face a tougher time getting ahead in life.

Melbourne researchers looked at dozens of surnames from different nationalities and discovered that the "name pronunciation effect" plays a major role in determining how people are perceived by others.

Lead author Dr Simon Laham, from Melbourne University's School of Psychological Sciences, said easy-to-pronounce names were generally judged more positively.

The secret is not necessarily in having a common name, but one that your friends and peers won't stagger over.

"The effect is not due merely to the length of a name, or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but rather how easy it is to pronounce," the Herald Sun quoted Dr Laham, as saying.

Sherman, O'Sullivan and Philippidis ranked highest among the easiest to pronounce, while Farquharson and Loughnane lacked fluency.

Melbourne software expert and translator Oksana Katorjevskaya, whose surname was judged the second-most difficult, said colleagues and clients have long struggled with her surname.

But her first name has proven to be even bigger hurdle.

"You get a bit insulted when people don't make an effort to pronounce or spell your name correctly," said Katorjevskaya, who has done masters in linguistics and moved from Russia a decade ago.

She revealed that she did not notice any advantage when she took the surname Smith during a previous marriage.

The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.