I’m not American, but I still find it interesting, if pointless, to observe that my surname (that is, my secret identity when I’m not fighting crime) was ranked #5662 in the last census there. The name I was born with, which was different, for reasons I can’t be bothered going into at the moment, is ranked #2666.
‘Wonder’, however, was ranked 48,816th. That’s cool.
It would seem that no-one in America has the surname ‘Chicken’. Go figure.
‘Kim’, number one with a bullet here in Korea, is only #233 in the States. Korean surnames are in and of themselves an interesting study. There are only about 270 last names in Korea, but the five most common – Kim, Lee (variously romanized as Yi or Rhee (actually pronouced ‘Ee’)), Park (Pak, Bak), Choi (Choe, Chae), and Chong (Jong, Jung, Chung) – belong to more than 50 percent of the population. Kims make up 22 percent of the population, or about 10 million people, and the Lees (Rhees, Yis) comprise about 14 percent.
America’s number one? ‘Smith’, of course. Why is it that I’ve only met one person named ‘Smith’ in my entire life? And further, why the heck would that name be so common? There couldn’t have been that many blacksmiths around, back in Ye Olde Oldentymes…

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Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Powers is ranked 314. Common are dirt in Ireland, though.
    Want to hear of a coincidence? When I was in Yakima Valley Community College, there was another Shelley R. Powers – exact same spelling – attending at the same time. Played havoc with the records (she was fine arts, I was pre-law and politics).
    Totally unrelated, but I thought I would fill up your comments with trivia.

  2. Sorry – common “as” dirt in Ireland.

  3. That’s ok, burningbird. If you say the first sentence wuth a brogue, it sounds almost Yeatsian. or Yeastian. or something.
    Anyways,speaking of dirt-common Irishness, I’m stunned that my surname checks in at #1795. I suppose I shouldn’t be cos although I’ve never met another non-relative McNally in the flesh,there’s at least one other of the clan at the ‘filter. Who’d o’ thunk?

  4. There may not have been all that many blacksmiths, but they were apparently a randy and fecund lot. Must have been the broad shoulders and stout thews.

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