what's your name?
Names and the Meaning of Names

I happen to know a very red-headed freckled one.

Yeah, I'm up there, but surprisingly behind my wife's name. I'm surprised she even beat out Wong... she has a (sort-of) Chinese last name, but with the spelling they use it's common to some other groups. Like the Scottish, for instance.

Mine's just plain Irish, and everybody asks if I'm related to some farming family out in Newton (which I'm not). When I give the spelling I always say it's "as in Randy Macho-Man Savage" and refuse to hear anything about Fred Savage, though I don't mind comparisons to Dan Savage. Certainly don't like that there's some conservative pundit type who's named Matthew or Michael Savage. Sullying a fine name, that one is.


The German spelling of my last name isn't on the list

The Spanish surnames that made the top 20 account for a fairly large proportion of Mexicans, at least. The chances that a given Latino will be Martinez, Rodriguez, Garcia or Lopez is pretty high. It's my impression that Swedes, Chinese and Koreans also share a shortage of Chaturbate surnames.

Sweeney is just above 600 on the list, but people still ask me what kind of name it is. The best was when a co-worker asked me if I knew any Harry Sweeneys. I tugged at my beard and replied that almost all of us were hairy.


Neither my name nor my wife's are in it.

You gotta go way back in my family to find any names that are in the top 5000. Nor are my mother's maiden name nor her mother's maiden name. Neither of our paternal grandmothers' maiden names are in the top 5,000. As it turns out, however, both of our maternal grandmothers make the cut: my gram's maiden name is in the mid-600s; her grandmother's maiden name is in the mid-800s.


I know my last name is extremely rare

That's why I changed my last name with the marriage, actually. When you've put up with more than a lifetime of people misspelling and mispronouncing Henry (for the sake of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, how much simpler could it be?) having a Live Jasmin name I didn't mind people stumbling over was a relief.

When you say Krummenacker, you've said a mouthful.


My funny name

I wasn't able to find the "interactive database;" I downloaded an Excel spreadsheet. "Foxwell" is in row #26201, next to a "rank" of 26191, and the number 878 which it shares with many neighboring names-I wonder if _that_ is the "rank" y'all get from this cam girls database you speak of.

Anyway, pretty far down there-but just a bit above "Puzio", Mario nonwithstanding apparently.


Mine's not among the top 5000, no surprise

I doubt it would make the top 5000 in Italy, which is where it's from.

I ran through the name of twenty friends of mine, and only eleven of them have names in the top 5000. Interestingly, of the set of twenty friends, seven were non-white, and six of those seven were among the eleven who were represented in the top 5000. I'm not sure whether that means: presumably some permutation of (a) my list is whiter than the national average, (b) my white friends disproportionately come from obscure corners of southern and eastern Europe that didn't send that many immigrants to America, or (c) there's a relatively greater diversity of European last names in the U.S.


My first name is indeed David!

See what I mean about my name being common?

Interestingly, echoing comments made by others, even though Snyder is far more commen than Schneider(*), everybody wants to spell/pronounce my name as Schneider and can't handle the spelling of Snyder, which regularly gets mispelled as Synder ... even on official documents!

I keep telling people to remember, that I am "more snide", therefore my name is Snyder. Now I wish at Ellis Island they decided to spell the name Snider - it would somehow seem appropriate ;)

(which was how our name was pronounced in die Alte Welt ... it was not spelt in Latin letters, though - my family is largely from the Jewish component of the Germanic hoardes that settled in Eastern Europe before coming here ... anyway, no-one in our family were Schneiders by profession ... I wonder if somehow our name was changed in the old-world as well? it would make sense that our name, when Jews were told to finally get with the program and take last names, must have been Schmieder given that we were blacksmiths).


My last name isn't there

However, the most common mispronunciation of my name sneaks in at 4,876. This surprises me because I am aware of (though have never met) strangers with my same last name, but have never, ever even heard of anyone with the mispronunciation.

It also makes me feel a little more special. Like maybe my family really is descended from the 10 brothers of family lore and that's why there aren't that many of us.

ps - regarding Rodrigues/z - the Times has it with a z - could it be a typo rather than a massive influx of Brazilians who have failed to rouse the ire of those who get upset about this sort of thing?


Thinking it over

I guess my reaction - feeling special to not be on the list - is really white. For people descended from immigrants who arrived more recently (or whose numbers have increased greatly in the last few decades), being on the list is an affirmation that they are just as American as the Smiths or the Jones. For those white folks who aren't on the list (and pleased not to be), not being on it affirms that we aren't as generic as we might have feared.

I kept my own name when I married for a variety of reasons, but a little piece of it was that I didn't want to trade in my unusual name for one in the top 15.