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Thread: Most frequent surnames

  1. #21
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by mirx View Post
    Perez = Son of Peter.
    Me llama mucho la atención ese significado. Quizá en la heráldica española se considere así, pero hasta donde yo tengo entendido Pérez es un nombre propio de origen hebreo.

    En Costa Rica: Hernández, Sánchez. Son los que tengo en mente. Pero consultaré la guía telefónica (es una excelente fuente ).
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    The first German name not refering to an occupation is on place 15: "Klein" (the small). I´m wondering what would happen if the German Mr. Small meets the Turkish Mr. Rock.

    The first non-Germanic name is on place 157 "Nowak" (Polish origin), place 587: "Yilmaz" (due to many Turkish immigrants), place 815 "Nguyen" (the former GDR had a lot of Vietnamese guest workers)
    It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably. (Immanuel Kant)

  3. #23
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank78 View Post
    The first German name not refering to an occupation is on place 15: "Klein" (the small). I´m wondering what would happen if the German Mr. Small meets the Turkish Mr. Rock.

    The first non-Germanic name is on place 157 "Nowak" (Polish origin), place 587: "Yilmaz" (due to many Turkish immigrants), place 815 "Nguyen" (the former GDR had a lot of Vietnamese guest workers)
    Yılmaz? Well, of course, not that hard to imagine.

    OK, I accept the common Turkish surnames sound a bit...harsh But Mr Klein and Mr Rock would get on well.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by swift View Post
    Me llama mucho la atención ese significado. Quizá en la heráldica española se considere así, pero hasta donde yo tengo entendido Pérez es un nombre propio de origen hebreo.

    En Costa Rica: Hernández, Sánchez. Son los que tengo en mente. Pero consultaré la guía telefónica (es una excelente fuente ).
    Swift, no sé de dónde con exactitud venga el nombre, lo que sí que al español llegó del latín. Y por supuesto que no me refería a Peter como nombre propio inglés, sino como la traducción de Hijo de Pedro. Tomando en cuanta que Pedro al español llegó de otro lado.

    Saludos.
    Last edited by mirx; 28th August 2009 at 7:48 PM.

  5. #25
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Maybe it has something to do with the Catalan version of the name, Pere. Or with the related surname, Peris (-is in Catalan surnames is like -ez in Spanish, so there's Peris, Gomis, Ferrandis...).

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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by swift View Post
    Me llama mucho la atención ese significado. Quizá en la heráldica española se considere así, pero hasta donde yo tengo entendido Pérez es un nombre propio de origen hebreo.
    Pérez, según entiendo, es el hijo de Pedro, que significa piedra. Es el equivalente de Pierre, Peter y Piero. Nuestros apellidos acabados en -ez, si no me equivoco, derivan del genitivo latino.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    And now, a note from your friendly neighbourhood moderators:

    This thread came perilously near to being closed, because it asked for - and received - lists. Technically it should have been removed immediately, since the cultural guidelines are quite explicit about not responding with these.

    However, the cultural moderators have lives apart from WordReference (who knew? ) and missed this thread for a day or so.... and some of the posts have been quite informative and interesting.

    We are therefore making an exception for this thread only. Current posts will be allowed to remain. Subsequent posts that consist of lists only, with insufficient explanation or context, will be deleted.

    The thread will remain open as long as everyone is content to abide by these rules.

    cheers
    Last edited by Chaska Ñawi; 7th October 2009 at 12:51 AM. Reason: typo
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  8. #28
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    The Finnish surnames refer mostly to the place where the family lived, and there's very often the ending -nen or -lainen. Another very common ending is -la.

    Until this year Virtanen has been the most common name, and it can be interpreted like this: Virta = river; Virtanen = someone who lives on a river. Similarly, the third common name is Nieminen: Niemi = cape; Nieminen = someone who lives on a cape.

    Still some 150 years ago the surname was the same as the name of the farm. When a person or a family moved to another place, they often took a new surname.

    There are only a few Finnish surnames referring to a profession. Seppä (smith) with a couple of variations is the most common.

    Under the threat of closing this thread I won't put a list of the most common Finnish surnames, but it might be interesting to know that just a few months ago the surname Korhonen overtook the so far leader Virtanen, just as suddenly as Räikkönen overtook Fisichella in Spa today. (Maybe Korhonen used the KERS?)

    Korhonen probably means someone who lives on a high place (korkea = high) but this is only my own guess.

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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Hakro View Post
    The Finnish surnames refer mostly to the place where the family lived, and there's very often the ending -nen or -lainen. Another very common ending is -la.

    Until this year Virtanen has been the most common name, and it can be interpreted like this: Virta = river; Virtanen = someone who lives on a river. Similarly, the third common name is Nieminen: Niemi = cape; Nieminen = someone who lives on a cape.

    Still some 150 years ago the surname was the same as the name of the farm. When a person or a family moved to another place, they often took a new surname.

    There are only a few Finnish surnames referring to a profession. Seppä (smith) with a couple of variations is the most common.

    Under the threat of closing this thread I won't put a list of the most common Finnish surnames, but it might be interesting to know that just a few months ago the surname Korhonen overtook the so far leader Virtanen, just as suddenly as Räikkönen overtook Fisichella in Spa today. (Maybe Korhonen used the KERS?)

    Korhonen probably means someone who lives on a high place (korkea = high) but this is only my own guess.
    Having a special interest in anything Finnish, thank you for sharing this, Hakro.

    I forgot to add, another common surname here is the one that ends with "-türk(Turk)": Öztürk, Şentürk etc. And like in Finnish, few surnames are related to a profession in Turkish.

    It surprises me, although people were called as "son of..." or "X from (city/village name etc)" before having surnames in Turkey, they're not in the list of most common ones.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Macunaíma View Post
    Other translatable names on the list are: Oliveira (olive tree), Pereira (pear tree), Costa (coast), Carvalho (oak).
    Some of those names match the Galician Pereira, Oliveira, Costa, Carballo.

    The most common names in Galicia are the ones thet end in -ez, already mentioned as son of. Son of Pero (Pérez), son of Nuño (Núñez).

    Name places are also common, with the particularity that many of them have two versions.

    Costa (coast) and Dacosta (from the coast)
    Vila (city) and Davila
    Campo (field) and Docampo
    Ponte (bridge) and Daponte
    Castro (fortified village on top of a hill) and Docastro.

    There is, too, a terrible name quite common here: Expósito (abandoned at birth). I can only imagine that, due to the massive male emigration during past centuries, the number of illegitimate chidren spread like fire.

    And there is one that is quite common in the Rías Altas: Dios.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    I found very interesting this Discussion and I saw it was in September the last post.

    De todas maneras (sigo en español que me fluye) quisiera agregar que en Argentina no hay un estilo de apellido definido debido a la colonización y a las inmigraciones que hemos recibido de Europa.

    Por tal motivo, la guía telefónica de Buenos Aires (la cual ha recibido gran número de inmigrantes españoles) tiene numerosas páginas para González, Pérez, Gutiérrez. Los apellidos españoles abundan, de este tipo y de los vascos como Olartechea-Urtizberea-Berea-Dolagaratz. Los hay catalanes como Llavallol-Serrot-Prat-etc. También los hay frances como Auge-Betancourt-Dubois, etc. y de muchas otras nacionalidades.

    Por otro lado, en Bs. As. compiten apellidos españoles con los italianos del sur que ha sido otra fuerte inmigración, aunque éstos se han asentado más en el litoral de Argentina. Corrientes tiene una fuerte influencia Guaraní, Santa Fe ha recibido inmigración italiana y también austríaca, polaca y alemana (judíos) por lo que abundan los apellidos de orígen alemán y polaco. Misiones por ejemplo (limite con Brasil) son todos apellidos italianos y alemanes.

    Los apellidos aborígenes: en quechua-tupí guaraní-mocobí-mapuches-tehuelches-onas, etc., etc... No conozco ninguna persona que tenga un apellido originario de nuestra tierra
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  12. #32
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivonne do Tango View Post
    Los apellidos aborígenes: en quechua-tupí guaraní-mocobí-mapuches-tehuelches-onas, etc., etc... No conozco ninguna persona que tenga un apellido originario de nuestra tierra
    En Canada los sacerdotes y oficiales cambiaron los apelidos de la mayoría de los originarios, sino los Inuit (Esquimales). No sé porqué lo mismo no se ocurrieron en occidente de Bolivia, pero allá quedan mucha gente con el apelido Mamani, Poma (= puma), Pachacopa, Apaza, y otros apelidos aymaras y quechuas.
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  13. #33
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Over in Wales - Jones, Evans, Williams and Hughes. Have a look at the teams for the Rugby Internationals to get a flavour.

  14. #34
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    Hi all,

    The suggestion of Stevea is great to watch the most frequent surnames in a country. In our Rugby selection "Los Pumas", you will find Italian, Spanish, Catalan and from País Vasco surnames (also in Hockey "Las Leonas"). In football is very commom the italian surnames: Batistuta-Maradona-Mascherano-Caniggia-Paletta-Battaglia-Abbondanzieri-ect., etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaska Ñawi View Post
    En Canada los sacerdotes y oficiales cambiaron los apelidos de la mayoría de los originarios, sino los Inuit (Esquimales). No sé porqué lo mismo no se ocurrieron en occidente de Bolivia, pero allá quedan mucha gente con el apelido Mamani, Poma (= puma), Pachacopa, Apaza, y otros apelidos aymaras y quechuas.
    En Argentina, aunque deben haberlos, son contados con los dedos de la mano. En otros países de latinoamérica como Bolivia o Perú es más habitual conocer apellidos originarios, pero en su gran mayoría son españoles.

    Es muy común conocer personas con rasgos indígenas llamados Acuña, León, Paniagua, Navarro, etc.
    Last edited by Mate; 14th October 2009 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Unir mensajes consecutivos.
    Hasta la victoria... Siempre. Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

  15. #35
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    I cannot add much more to what other people have said about Spanish surnames: the most common of them are derived from patronyms -like in Russian, but not so overwhelmingly, yet unlike Russian, (nearly) always -actually I can't think of a single counter-example- from the father's christian name.

    These are the most common 20 surnames in Spain, as of 2008.

    García (from the christian name García, inexisting now but quite popular during the Middle Ages)
    González (son of Gonzalo, of Germanic origin)
    Rodríguez (son of Rodrigo, ")
    Fernández (son of Fernando, ")
    López (son of Lope, somehow deriving from Latin "lupus", wolf)
    Martínez (son of Martín)
    Sánchez (son of Sancho, a popular name in northern Spanish Middle Ages of pre-Roman origin and unclear etimology)
    Pérez (son of Pedro)
    Gómez (son of Gome, of Gmc or.)
    Martín (son of Martín)
    Jiménez (son of Jimeno, analogous to Sancho)
    Ruiz (son of Ruy, short form of Rodrigo)
    Hernández (son of Hernando, from Fernando)
    Díaz (son of Diego)
    Moreno (tan or brown/black haired)
    Álvarez (son of Álvaro, of Gmc or.)
    Muñoz (son of Muño)
    Romero (rosemary, or pilgrim, particularly if to Rome)
    Alonso (from the given name Alonso, of Gmc or.)
    Gutiérrez (son of Gutierre, ", cognate to Walter)

    So Spanish most common surnames are, except for very minor exceptions, derived from patronyms -used in the Middle Ages instead of surnames- themselves deriving from such names as were popular then. This could make the misleading impression that the great majority of surnames in Spain are like this, but it these 20 amount only to the 25% of all the Spanish population. However, in the next 80, only 21-23 -I have doubts regarding whether those two are or not patronyms- are so, scattered among them.

    As I can extract from a random list of names, choosing always rather common ones as far as I can discern, we have general toponyms -Vargas (slopes), Moral (mulberry tree), Castillo (castle), Puga (hill, in some romanic Spanish language, but not Castilian), Serrano (somebody from the mountains)- descriptive surnames -Hermoso (fair), Rubio (fair-haired), Calvo (bald)- simple nouns whose relation to the person I cannot see clear -Guerra (war), Flores (flowers)- concrete toponyms -Zamora (a town in western Spain), Alfaro (a town in La Rioja, in northern Spain), León (a city in north-western Spain, seat of the kings of the former homonymous kingdom; also "lion"), Navarro (somebody from Navarre, former kingdom and region of Spain)- denoting status -Caballero (knight), Conde (count)- and indeed professions -Pastor (shepherd), Arriero (muleteer), Cirujano (surgeon)- although they are much rarer with the exceptions of "Pastor" and "Herrero" (smith), or religious -Salvador (saviour), Santana (saint Anne)... With this I intend to give a hint of the most common types of surnames -after the patronyms- given that these are only about one third of the total.

    On the contrary, Basque surnames are nearly always toponymical, either the name of a house -most of the times named after the place where it stands, which would be a general toponym- or the name of a village, which usually has also the form of a general toponym, in that it can usually be separated in its constituent parts, and each makes sense on its own in the language spoken today; or a general toponym itself. Thus, it is not easy to distinguish between them. Although the most common surnames in all the four Basque-speaking provinces are patronyms from the crown of Castile such as I just showed -due to heavy internal immigration, mostly from western Spain during the 20th century, even though they did occur before- a half or more of people's surnames are of Basque origin in areas where Basque is spoken or has been spoken until recently -in other areas, autoctonous romanic developments are found, mostly patronyms and toponyms. In the list of the 50 most common surnames in each province, below the top ten the local ones tend to predominate.

    A non-exhaustive list shows:

    Uriarte, Iriarte -between town(s)
    Urrutia -a place far away
    Madariaga -a river side with pear trees
    Arana -valley, plum (tree)
    Goñi -a village, apparently related to "goi" (top)
    Etxeberria/Etxebarria -new house
    Ochoa -wolf
    Huarte/Ugarte -island, between waters
    Elizalde/Elizondo -next to the church
    Aguirre
    Arrieta -place with rocks
    Odriozola

    as somewhat common Basque surnames, although by no means comprising an important portion of the population of Basque-speaking areas, as a lot of surnames exist scattered throughout the territory, some as full of colour as Ansoátegui, a toponym itself derived from an antroponym (a variation of Sancho) and a suffix indicating "place", Galzaraborda -shed by the road, or Aguirregomezcorta, a compound surname from "Aguirre", "Gómez" and "Corta", meaning "pen", "stall" or "stable".

  16. #36
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by ewie View Post
    Nickname surnames also constitute some of our commonest surnames: Brown, Green, White, etc.
    Can anyone explain why Brown, Green, White, Black and Grey are common surnames but Red, Yellow and Blue are not?

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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivonne do Tango View Post
    Los apellidos aborígenes: en quechua-tupí guaraní-mocobí-mapuches-tehuelches-onas, etc., etc... No conozco ninguna persona que tenga un apellido originario de nuestra tierra
    In Brazil, soon after the independence from Portugal in 1822, many families, in a wave of nationalism, adopted names of indigenous origin; interestingly enough, this happened chiefly among aristocratic families who supported independence, many of them descendants of Portuguese noble houses, so it isn't very common nor very authentic . In my city of origin, Diamantina (once the richest city in the whole Portuguese Empire), there are two such cases: the Cangussu family and the Pitanguy family (among whose members is the plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy). Other names taken from indigenous peoples I can remember are Tupinambás and Pirajá (the latter was adopted as the family name of a Viscount). Modernly, it is common for indigenous people to adopt the name of their ethnic group as their surname when they leave their aldeias -- in Minas Gerais, I know of the Krenák and Maxacali groups who adopt this practice.
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  18. #38
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulalessar View Post
    Can anyone explain why Brown, Green, White, Black and Grey are common surnames but Red, Yellow and Blue are not?
    An interesting question. In Spain, "Blanco" (white) is most common, then "Pardo" (brown), then "Rojo" and "Bermejo" (both meaning red), while "Negro", "Verde" (green), Amarillo (yellow)... are rarer.

  19. #39
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by javier8907 View Post
    An interesting question. In Spain, "Blanco" (white) is most common, then "Pardo" (brown), then "Rojo" and "Bermejo" (both meaning red), while "Negro", "Verde" (green), Amarillo (yellow)... are rarer.
    In Norway colour surnames are very rare. Of those who have such names, Brun (=Brown) and Rø(e)d (=Red) are the most common. A few are named Grøn(n) (=Green). Other colour are in practice absent. There are of course ancestors of immigrants that have colour name in their own langauage (Schwartz, White, Amarillo etc).

    Most surnames in Norway are of type "-sen" which corresponds to "-son" in English. The rest are mostly names describing nature elements, like -berg/-fjell (rock/mountain), -vann (water), -ås/-li/-bakke (hill), jordet (field), -myr (moor), -skog (wood), etc. I would guess that the colour names are a kind of description of nature. Røed may for instance describe that the family has its origin at a place with red sunsets or very strong autumn colours.
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  20. #40
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    So Erik the Red would have come from such a place...

    I would rather say they come from nicknames, as many other surnames in a lot of languages. Without thinking much I can remember another instance of a nickname related to colour, Fulques Nerra (black), from the French 10th-11th centuries.

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