'Smith' is still the most commonly used surname in every English-speaking country around the globe, a study has found.
Lending firm NetCredit has researched the world's most common family names by country by charting its usage in a series of maps.
The maps show that Smith is still the most frequently used surname in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company also researched the etymology1 of each name and categorised them.
A surname has five possible starting points, according to the study: An occupation, a personal description, the name of a place, the name of an ancestor, or to signify a link to a benefactor2.
The name 'Smith' originates as an Anglo-Saxon term for a metal worker or blacksmith.
Similarly, the most popular surname in Luxembourg is 'Schmit', which derives3 from a similar German root.
In the US, the name is so popular that it's shared by one in every 121 residents.
In Ireland, where Irish is the national and official first language, Murphy is the most common surname.
A four-year-study by the University of the West of England in 2016 found that over 90 percent of the 45,602 surnames in the English dictionary are native to Britain and Ireland.
The use of surnames in England started around the 14th Century but eventually became law when King Henry VIII ordered that all new births be registered in the name of the father.
Some reports put the very first use of surnames as early as 2852 BC in China.
- 最新評論 進入詳細評論頁>>