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Revenant Threshold
08-23-2008, 07:17 PM
As a incredibly generic-sounding, common seeming name, I mean.

alice_in_wonderland
08-23-2008, 07:23 PM
Yoshiaki Kobayashi

ElvisL1ves
08-23-2008, 08:51 PM
Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov

clairobscur
08-23-2008, 09:15 PM
In France, the "regular guy" would be called Mr Dupont (no particular first name attached, but Jean Dupont would be a good bet).


However, Dupont isn't actually the most common name, it's only ranks 5th or so. The actual most common name is :

-either the variants of "Lefevre" (Lefebure, Lefebvre, Le Febvre, etc..) if you count all variants as only one name. It means...Smith, in old French (*).

-or Martin if you allow only one spelling.






(*) Or rather Thesmith, since an article is generally part of a French name while it's English equivalent wouldn't have one. For instance, the French equivalent of Blake would be "Lenoir" (Theblak) and the equivalent of Wood would be "Dubois" (Fromwood)

Argent Towers
08-23-2008, 09:17 PM
Muhammed is probably the most common name in the Muslim world. Muhammed bin Muhammed?

bouv
08-23-2008, 09:35 PM
There tends to be lots of Wangs in China.

Chefguy
08-23-2008, 09:38 PM
There tends to be lots of Wangs in China.

[Jon Arbuckle]I wouldn't say you're fat, Garfield, but you have more chins than the Hong Kong phone directory.[/JA]

Argent Towers
08-23-2008, 09:39 PM
Hymie Goldberg is probably the most common name in Israel.

Sigmagirl
08-23-2008, 09:44 PM
Guiseppe Verdi is Joseph Green.

N9IWP
08-23-2008, 09:54 PM
Are you asking the most popular names, or "generic person" names like "John Doe" or "John Q. Public"?

Brian

clairobscur
08-23-2008, 10:02 PM
There tends to be lots of Wangs in China.



I've noticed that there seem to be a very limited pool of family names in China. Am I mistaken?

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
08-23-2008, 10:18 PM
Tyrone Washington?

Driver8
08-23-2008, 10:35 PM
In Afrikaans you have "van der Merwe", which is a pretty common and generic Afrikaans surname. It can be used slightly differently than "John Smith" though: you can use it to represent the Afrikaans ethnicity in jokes, as in "An Irishman, an Englishman and van der Merwe walk into a bar ...".

Derleth
08-23-2008, 10:39 PM
There tends to be lots of Wangs in China.More Wangs than Beavers at any rate.

Sunspace
08-23-2008, 10:40 PM
Germany: Hans Schmidt?

ISTR reading that 12% of the Korean population has the family name Kim.

robardin
08-23-2008, 10:54 PM
I've noticed that there seem to be a very limited pool of family names in China. Am I mistaken?
Not really. The common expression for "everyman" in Chinese is lao bai xing (the "X" is pronounced as a "sh" sound), which literally means "Old Hundred-Names", a reference to the idea that there are 100 standard family names among the ethnic Han. There are well over a hundred in reality, but less than a thousand, which when you divide by the 1B+ ethnic Chinese (Han) in China alone, gives you a lot of namespace collisions.

There's actually a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_family_names]Wikipedia article[/i] on this. Huh!

Zsofia
08-24-2008, 12:10 AM
One assumes that the Vietnamese everyman is a Nguyen, but I don't know that for sure.

clairobscur
08-24-2008, 12:31 AM
Not really. [......] There are well over a hundred in reality, but less than a thousand, which when you divide by the 1B+ ethnic Chinese (Han) in China alone, gives you a lot of namespace collisions.




Well... I would say that less than a thousand names is indeed, "a very limited pool". The article you linked to mention some names being used by around 10% of the population, for instance.

Actually, when I said " a very limited pool" I believed it was *less* limited than that, not more.

astorian
08-24-2008, 12:48 AM
Well, the LITERAL counterparts to "John Smith" are

Spanish: Juan Ferrer or Juan Herrera

German: Johannes Schmidt

Italian: Giovanni Ferrari or Ferraro (think about it- "Ferrari," the most prestigious sports car on Earth, means "Smith")

Polish: Jan Kowalski

Hungarian (Magya): Jan Kovacs

French: Jean Lefebvre

Scotland: Ian McGowan

Egypt: Yahya Haddad

Alessan
08-24-2008, 01:05 AM
Hymie Goldberg is probably the most common name in Israel.

No. No, it isn't.

(Seriously... Hymie? What is that, Welsh? I've never met a Hymie in my life).

There's no stereotypical Israeli name, but if there were one, it would probably be something like Avi Cohen or Yossi Levi.

dangermom
08-24-2008, 02:03 AM
Jens Jensen in Denmark. Or Hans Hansen. I did actually know a guy once named Jørgen Jørgensen....

flodnak
08-24-2008, 02:29 AM
The generic name used in Norway is Ola Nordmann for a man and Kari Nordmann for a woman - but "Nordmann" actually means "Norwegian", so these are more the equivalent of John Q. Public than John Smith. For the John Smith equivalent, take the same first names and stick them in front of Johanssen, the most common family name in the country.

TheLoadedDog
08-24-2008, 02:41 AM
Nguyen Van Kien (male)
Tran Thi Kim Hoa (female)

Actually, a lot of Vietnamese names would fall into this category, as they don't have a very big pool of them (though there are some rarer ones).

TheLoadedDog
08-24-2008, 02:46 AM
One assumes that the Vietnamese everyman is a Nguyen, but I don't know that for sure.

I just posted without seeing yours.

I think Nguyen is the most common surname, but there are some serious contenders for second place, such as Tran, Ho, Ngo, etc. Tran is probably #2.

There's a whole lot of cultural politics tied up in all this too, as a lot of the Vietnamese names are translations of Chinese ones (so "Ngo" is from the Chinese "Ng", and "Lam" is also Chinese). This is a good or bad thing depending on what side you're on (there's some historical tension there).

CairoCarol
08-24-2008, 03:31 AM
In Egypt the last names are often the same as first names, and (regardless of your gender) you take your dad's first name as your middle name. So take common Egyptian/Arabic names - Mohammed, Ahmed, Omar, Rashid, Sherif, Wahid, Adham, Walid, Hosni, Abdu, Abdul, Kamel, Gamal, Mustafa, Ragab all come to my mind immediately - mix 'em up any way you want, and there are probably a bunch of Egyptian men with that name. For example, I lived on Mostafa Kamel street, and the real estate agent who helped us find our apartment was also Mostafa Kamel.

Nava
08-24-2008, 04:00 AM
astorian, Juan Ferrer is Catalan and would be a Joan; you left out Juan Herrero and Juan Herreros ;)

In Spain we used to say "Juan Español" to indicate "your average Spaniard." I think the lastname Español (Spaniard) doesn't even exist.

Patronimics are very common (Martínez, García, Sánchez, Sanz...) but "a Rodríguez" is a man who's stayed in town while his family goes on vacation, so you won't see "Paco Rodríguez" used as a "John Smith" kind of name. Paco (Frank) and Pepe (Joe) are commonly used as the "John" part of "John Smith."

In the Basque country, the firstname used would likely be Antxón (Tony) or Patxi (Frank again); the lastname would be something long and convoluted, because although the most common Basque lastnames (Ochoa or Arregui, for example) aren't that long, we do have some darn long ones and those are the ones that stick in people's minds. For example, Larrameindíagoikoextea...

Jragon
08-24-2008, 04:08 AM
Is Schmidt really the "everyman" name in Germany? I'll admit I only took three years, but a lot of things I read used "Zimmerman" as the generic. The first name was usually Jens or Hans (occasionally Johannes/Johan but that was more with classical composer jokes). "Hans Zimmerman" always seemed like the generic name to me.

Jragon
08-24-2008, 04:16 AM
Missed edit:

Looking around, it appears Müller, Mustermann (sample man) and things that literally mean some type of "everyman" are used more.

Wikipedia also seems to have a list of "John Doe" equivalents in other languages now that I look, which backs up the "Mustermann" thing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doe

Opinion Sponge
08-24-2008, 04:40 AM
Missed edit:

Looking around, it appears Müller, Mustermann (sample man) and things that literally mean some type of "everyman" are used more.

Wikipedia also seems to have a list of "John Doe" equivalents in other languages now that I look, which backs up the "Mustermann" thing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doe


Hi all.First post as a Newbie.Here is a snippet from Wikidictionary concerning Chinese surnames.
吴 / 吳 (Wú) is the 10th most common Chinese surname in the 2006 List of common Chinese surnames, but used to be the 8th most common in 1990.

Noone Special
08-24-2008, 05:19 AM
Hymie Goldberg is probably the most common name in Israel.No. As Alessan already mentioned -- Avi Cohen (I'm pretty sure this is, in fact, the actual "most common" firstname/lastname combo. And Cohen is definitely the most common last name.)

For a "generic" name, you often see something like "Yisrael Yisraeli"* being used where "John Doe" or "John Smith" may be used in English -- although there really aren't all that many of them! (Just as I suspect there aren't that many "John Doe"-s in the English speaking world, actually....) The "stereotypical" cartoon character popularized by Dosh to signify "The Typical Israeli" was named "Srulik (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srulik)," which is a nickname for "Yisrael"

* Which is sort of like naming a "generic" Londoner "Britt England" :)

Martini Enfield
08-24-2008, 05:46 AM
"Fred Bloggs" was a very common one when I was growing up- "Joe Bloggs" was another one that often appeared too.

Westrogothia
08-24-2008, 06:21 AM
the generic swede is called medelsvensson, which could be translated as "average joe".
medel means average and svensson is a common surname in swedish (son of sven - sven's son)

Crowbar of Irony +3
08-24-2008, 07:21 AM
I am would sure that in most Chinese communities is Mr. Tan

Given that

1. Tan is the most common surname ever
2. In the hanyu representation, lots of Chinese surnames translates to Tan.

Lars Aruns
08-24-2008, 07:27 AM
Italian: Giovanni Ferrari or Ferraro (think about it- "Ferrari," the most prestigious sports car on Earth, means "Smith")
While Ferrari is indeed a very common surname in Italy, the third in frequency if I recall correctly, the most common one in Italy is Rossi, that means Red (as in red-haired), which is funny because there are so few natural red heads here. The most common name, the equivalent of John Smith, is Mario Rossi.

The average everyman is called il Signor Rossi, Mr Rossi.

HMS Irruncible
08-24-2008, 07:57 AM
Everyman in Japan is Tanaka-san. His first name isn't usually mentioned, but if he did, he might be Taro Tanaka.

Working in the software biz, it seems like 80% of Indian names are the same 5 or 6 ones, usually something like Sanjay Gupta, Ram Kumar, Tanya Subramanian. The other 20% appear to be randomly generated 64-character strings containing one space.

puppygod
08-24-2008, 08:30 AM
In Poland everyman is called either Jan Kowalski or Jan Nowak.

astorian
08-24-2008, 08:46 AM
astorian, Juan Ferrer is Catalan and would be a Joan; you left out Juan Herrero and Juan Herreros ;)


Fair enough- problem for me is, in America, the traditional Spanish rules went out the window. "Juan Ferrer" might be unheard of in Spain itself, but in Mexico or Puerto Rico or among Hispanic-Americans today, combinations that sound unnatural to a Spaniard are not unusual.

Napier
08-24-2008, 09:04 AM
>Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov

In Russian, isn't the last name Pavlov more common? I heard (while studying Russian in the late 70s) that Russian telephone directories do not even list names as common as Ivan Pavlov, because there would be page after page of them. IIRC names are less numerous and more shared in Russian than in the English-speaking west. And, IIRC, the patronymic wouldn't be used in typical lists of names, in the same way that the name Jonathan "John" Smith would typically be listed without the nickname "John" included. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

Acsenray
08-24-2008, 09:34 AM
\Working in the software biz, it seems like 80% of Indian names are the same 5 or 6 ones,

It's odd you would say this, because among the Indians I know there is little overlap in names. There is a huge number of names for Indians to choose from, especially considering that (1) Almost any Sanskrit word can be repurposed into a name, and (2) New Sanskrit words are easily created. (Not that all or even most Indian names are Sanskrit, necessarily, but that's just one factor.)

usually something like Sanjay Gupta, Ram Kumar, Tanya Subramanian.

The problem with trying to find a "generic" Indian name is that most names will act as ethnic or sectarian markers of some kind.

If you meet a "Sanjay Gupta" you can be about 90 percent certain he's a Bengali.

"Ram Kumar" -- well technically, he could be from anywhere in the north, but he's definitely not South Indian, and he's probably from north central India.

"Tanya" isn't really an Indian name at all, although a lot of Indians do have it. It's like an Irish person named Giuseppe or a Russian named Francoise.

"Subramanian" is definitely a South Indian, so it can't be an everyman name.

And you can be certain that all of these people are Hindus.

The other 20% appear to be randomly generated 64-character strings containing one space.

Then those 20 percent are almost certainly South Indian. Although, if you look closely, they're not so random. There will be a fairly regular alternation between vowels and consonants and if you are familiar with Indian names, you'll usually be able to split them up into familiar components, as if they were something like Matthewmarklukejohnian.

Acsenray
08-24-2008, 09:50 AM
Ram Kumar

Oh, and there's a good chance that "Ram Kumar" is hiding his real family name from you, like Ravi Shankar and Kishore Kumar did.

cmkeller
08-24-2008, 09:57 AM
This thread brings to mind an exchange on a school-based sitcom whose name I don't recall (I think Martin Mull played the teacher).

Anglo student: "Well, how common is the name Jawaharlal anyway?"
Jawaharlal, a student of Indian descent: "Half the people in India are called Jawaharlal."
Anglo student: "What are the other half called?"
Jawaharlal: "Mrs. Jawaharlal."

Windwalker
08-24-2008, 10:46 AM
I am would sure that in most Chinese communities is Mr. Tan

Given that

1. Tan is the most common surname ever
2. In the hanyu representation, lots of Chinese surnames translates to Tan.

Is that the Mandarin version?

The most common surnames I come across are probably:

Li, Wang, Hu, Zhang, Chen, Liu, Zhao, Ma


I don't really know what the most common given names are, but I do know that Ming (the character that means brightness/intelligence/clarity/etc) is used a metric shit-ton, either by itself (e.g. Yao Ming, everyone's favorite basketball giant), or with another (e.g. Zhao Yiming, my dentist).

clairobscur
08-24-2008, 11:20 AM
astorian

In Spain we used to say "Juan Español" to indicate "your average Spaniard." I think the lastname Español (Spaniard) doesn't even exist.



Probably not. Names have been used to tell apart people with the same first name, so having a name like "español" that could apply to anybody would defeat the purpose. You would find people called "Lespagnol" in France, on the other hand. Given to people who moved from Spain to France, or maybe simply went once to Spain, making the name unique in the man's community.


That's the reason why "Smith" (or its equivalent in other languages) is so common. There normally was only one smith in a village, so it was perfect to identify a particular man (as opposed to "Farmer" for instance). And there were smiths in almost all villages, making the name widespread.

clairobscur
08-24-2008, 11:32 AM
Wikipedia also seems to have a list of "John Doe" equivalents in other languages now that I look, which backs up the "Mustermann" thing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doe


I looked at the part about France, and it's incorrect. The names mentioned aren't used in a legal context (except for "X"'. One commonly bring charges "against X", for instance) They're the equivalent of John Smith, not of John Doe.

clairobscur
08-24-2008, 11:41 AM
They're the equivalent of John Smith, not of John Doe.


Sorry. Just noticed that despite the article being about "John Doe", the table actually lists the equivalents of "John Smith".

ElvisL1ves
08-24-2008, 12:02 PM
You would find people called "Lespagnol" in France, on the other hand. Given to people who moved from Spain to France, or maybe simply went once to Spain, making the name unique in the man's community.

FWIW, in this part of the US "L'Italien" is a common name (not like "LeBlanc", though). The bulk of the ancestral-French population in New England came through Quebec and New Brunswick, FWIW. But I've never heard of anybody named "Le Canadien" or "L'Acadien".

Gala Matrix Fire
08-24-2008, 12:10 PM
NOT a real name, but if you're going for "Mr So-and-so" or "John Doe" in Spanish it's Fulano (with his two friends, Mengano and Perengano) and in Arabic it's Fulan, Abu-Fulan, al-Fulani, or a combination of the above.

Gala Matrix Fire
08-24-2008, 12:18 PM
Apparently the Italian for "Tom, Dick, and Harry" is 'Tizio, Caio e Simpronio.'
I don't know Italian, though, so I may be wrong about that.

Maastricht
08-24-2008, 12:30 PM
The top ten real existing surnames in Dutch are:

-De Jong (the Young)
-Jansen or Janssen (Johnson)
-De Vries (The Frisian)
-Van de Berg (From the mountain)
-Bakker (Baker)
-Van Dijk (From the Dyke)
-Visser (Fisher)
-Smit (Smith)
-De Boer (Farmer)

Most common usage to indicate "everyman", is the literal translation of the English "Tom, Dick and Harry" Which would be, in Dutch, "Jan, Piet of Klaas" .

"John Smith" would be " Jan Janssen" but that isn't used often.

We don't really have an expression for "John Doe". "de onbekende" (the unknown) is closest.

"John Q. Publiq" is translated as "Jan Publiek".

clairobscur
08-24-2008, 01:23 PM
FWIW, in this part of the US "L'Italien" is a common name (not like "LeBlanc", though). The bulk of the ancestral-French population in New England came through Quebec and New Brunswick, FWIW. But I've never heard of anybody named "Le Canadien" or "L'Acadien".


Family names have been fixed long before Canadians moved to the USA, or even French people moved to Canada.

ElvisL1ves
08-24-2008, 01:24 PM
Certainment, monsieur. I should have put a smiley on that.

Horatio Hellpop
08-24-2008, 01:39 PM
I have this totally suspect impression that everyone in Iceland has the last name of Guðmundsson or Guðmundsdóttir.

Mister Rik
08-24-2008, 03:16 PM
That's the reason why "Smith" (or its equivalent in other languages) is so common. There normally was only one smith in a village, so it was perfect to identify a particular man (as opposed to "Farmer" for instance). And there were smiths in almost all villages, making the name widespread.
I was discussing this very thing with an African-American roommate I had years ago whose last name was Smith. He said, "That's true. My great-grandfather was a blacksmith." He was unsuccessful at keeping a straight face while he said it.

The Flying Dutchman
08-24-2008, 05:21 PM
Juan Valdez, Columbain

Jan Kees, New York, pre revolution

John Henry, American

pravnik
08-24-2008, 05:23 PM
In Czech, Jan Kovář would be a literal "John Smith."

Hypnagogic Jerk
08-24-2008, 05:33 PM
(Seriously... Hymie? What is that, Welsh? I've never met a Hymie in my life).
Hymie Goldberg might be your stereotypical New York Jewish name, but I'd be very surprised to see someone with that name in Israel. And "Avi Cohen" sounds so much better anyway.

Hymie is, I believe, a diminutive form of Hyman. I've read on this very board that some Jews in North America tended to give their children names that were relatively common "English" names, but at the same time sounded like traditional Jewish names. In time, these names became associated with Jews as well. Hyman is supposed to sound somewhat like "Chaim".

There normally was only one smith in a village, so it was perfect to identify a particular man (as opposed to "Farmer" for instance).
However, "Farmer" is a common last name anyway.

FWIW, in this part of the US "L'Italien" is a common name (not like "LeBlanc", though).
Lallemand and Langlois are also relatively common French-Canadian names (very common, in the case of Langlois).

In Quebec, John Smith would probably be called Tremblay, but I'm not sure what his first name would be (presumably Jean). But, as Jragon's link suggests, "Joe Blow" is used as well to refer to an unknown person.

An Gadaí
08-24-2008, 05:38 PM
Paddy Murphy, Paddy Reilly. The literal one would be Sean MacGabhainn.

Dr. Drake
08-24-2008, 05:47 PM
Is this true in Irish as well (Pádraigín Ó Mhurchú or what have you)?

An Gadaí
08-24-2008, 06:16 PM
I do not know Dr. Drake.

fortytwo
08-24-2008, 06:47 PM
No. No, it isn't.

(Seriously... Hymie? What is that, Welsh? I've never met a Hymie in my life).

Seriously... what is that?, a joke?

I'm sure you know that Hymie is the diminutive of Hyman, a masculine Yiddish name. You want to get out more.

WormTheRed
08-24-2008, 08:00 PM
I have this totally suspect impression that everyone in Iceland has the last name of Guðmundsson or Guðmundsdóttir.

All of those who have a father by the name of Guðmundur do - the rest of us, not so much.

"John Smith" would probably be "Jón Jónsson" (aprox. John Johnson), Jón being a very common name running through the generations.

Alessan
08-25-2008, 02:42 AM
Seriously... what is that?, a joke?

I'm sure you know that Hymie is the diminutive of Hyman, a masculine Yiddish name. You want to get out more.

I do go out, quite a lot, and in all those times I've gone out I've never encountered a "Hymie".

(And yes, it was at least partially a joke. Oviously I've encountered the name Hymie before - mainly as a derogative - but the fact that someone thought it could even exist in Israel, let alone be common, was so absurd I felt compelled to respond in kind).

Nava
08-25-2008, 05:40 AM
Fair enough- problem for me is, in America, the traditional Spanish rules went out the window. "Juan Ferrer" might be unheard of in Spain itself, but in Mexico or Puerto Rico or among Hispanic-Americans today, combinations that sound unnatural to a Spaniard are not unusual.

Or in other regions of Spain, that's why I put the smiley.


Some of the names given for Spanish in the "John Doe" list have connotations that Juan Pérez or el señor García wouldn't have. The "Fulano" family often has a despective tinge, same for Rita la Pollera. Asking "and who told you that, Rita the Chicken Seller?" is the old fashioned equivalent of "oh, I see, they said it on TV so it must be true :rolleyes:"

even sven
08-25-2008, 05:54 AM
If you walk out to any North Cameroonian street and yell "Hey, Amadou!" I promise that half the male population will turn around. If "Amadou" has a second name, it's probably "Bouba."

"Aissatou" seemed to be the generic girls name, though girls had a lot more variation.

Sublight
08-25-2008, 06:33 AM
When example names are given on forms and applications in Japan, the typical male and female names are Taro and Hanako, respectively. The last names used are most often a play on the company or city name, but when real ones are used its usually Suzuki or Yamada.

If you're looking for the real names that are most common, then probably Daisuke for men and Mari for women, at least among 20- and 30-somethings (based on the weddings I've been at over the past few years). The classic -ko names for women are currently a lot less common than they used to be.

Cluricaun
08-25-2008, 10:13 AM
This thread brings to mind an exchange on a school-based sitcom whose name I don't recall (I think Martin Mull played the teacher).

I do believe you're thinking of Head of the Class (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_of_the_Class) so the teacher would have been either Howard Hessman or Billy Connolly.

even sven
08-25-2008, 12:13 PM
I was in an area of Africa where people were just beginning to acquire last names. It was fascinating to watch how close it all was to what clearly happened in our own culture- "Sali Moto" might have a motorcycle, "Nawissa Banki" might work at the bank. "Aissatou Maroua" lived in Maroua. "Bouba Noir" was dark skinned. " Rashidatou Souley" would be Souley's daugher.

Mostly these were names used by other people to talk about which particular "Amadou" they meant. But the names would stick and were strating to get pased down (Sali Moto's daughter mght be "Fadimatou Sali Moto")

Now and then someone would introduce themselves with a name like "Hamadou Woila Voyage" (Woila Voyage being the name of a local bus company) and I'd just pray to god that one didn't stick through the generations.

Acsenray
08-25-2008, 12:19 PM
Now and then someone would introduce themselves with a name like "Hamadou Woila Voyage" (Woila Voyage being the name of a local bus company) and I'd just pray to god that one didn't stick through the generations.

There are families in India (often Parsi) with names like "Shipchandler," "Pilot," and "Treasurywallah."

Really Not All That Bright
08-25-2008, 12:52 PM
It's odd you would say this, because among the Indians I know there is little overlap in names. There is a huge number of names for Indians to choose from, especially considering that (1) Almost any Sanskrit word can be repurposed into a name, and (2) New Sanskrit words are easily created. (Not that all or even most Indian names are Sanskrit, necessarily, but that's just one factor.)
What he said. For India (and South Asia in general) you have to rephrase the question by state or ethnicity.

Sikh names are pretty easy- something-tinder Singh. (Jatinder, Mohinder, etc.)

Marathi names often end in -kar, meaning "from the village of [first part of name]". Beyond that I can't think of any particular common ones.

Marley23
08-26-2008, 09:47 AM
Hymie Goldberg is probably the most common name in Israel.
You know, really, this comes pretty close to an ethnic slur. It wouldn't hurt for you to be a little more considerate about that kind of thing. And for whatever it's worth, Hymie Goldbeg is much more of a New York-Jewish sounding name.

KarlGrenze
08-26-2008, 11:01 AM
Nah, I doubt Ferrer (or Herrera, or Herrero, or anything close) comes close to the last names González, Rodríguez or Pérez (the patronimics that Nava mentioned earlier) in commonness in Puerto Rico (and probably at least others in the Caribbean).

As mentioned in the wiki article, for "John Doe" you use commonly Fulano (a), Zutano (a), Mengano (a), or Perencejo (a). With the last names de Tal or más Cual. And those names bring memories of elementary school and my mean mean strict (but still superb) Spanish teacher. *Shudders*

A Juan or José González (or Pérez or Rodríguez) would be a common name. Interestingly enough, I have not personally met many with those combos.

Says someone whose names are rare enough that her lineage can be identified and known on the island. Yikes!

Throatwarbler Mangrove
08-26-2008, 11:27 AM
On a tangentially related note, it was common in the US and probably the west in general to use the suffix "-ski" to indicate an association with Russia. e.g. when the Russians developed a similar missile to the Tomahawk it was often called the "Tomahawk-ski" in the press (Sorry, it's early and that's the first thing that came to mind).

I had been informed that in fact, "Ski" is not a common name ending in Russia. The most common Russian names end in "-ov" or "-vich". "Ski" would be a popular name ending in Poland, e.g. the famous Russian general of Polish descent Konstantine Rokossovsky(i), but not in Russia.

GilaB
08-26-2008, 12:16 PM
In classical Jewish legal writings, the equivalent of 'John Doe' is 'Ploni Almoni,' taken from Ruth 4:1. Both of my Hebrew-English versions of Ruth translate it as 'so-and-so,' but it's essentially a nonsense name (you'd never name your kid Ploni, like you might name him John) used as a placeholder.

Alessan
08-26-2008, 12:35 PM
It's still used today - especially almoni, which is the standard modern Hebrew adjective/noun for an unknown or anonymous person ("the unknown soldier", for instance, is "hachayal ha'almoni"). I'm pretty sure the legal system usesn it in much the same manner they would use "John Doe" in the U.S.

bikeMan
08-26-2008, 09:56 PM
astorian
In the Basque country, the firstname used would likely be Antxón (Tony) or Patxi (Frank again); the lastname would be something long and convoluted, because although the most common Basque lastnames (Ochoa or Arregui, for example) aren't that long, we do have some darn long ones and those are the ones that stick in people's minds. For example, Larrameindíagoikoextea...

My grandparents came from Basque country, (Leketio) and the last name is Sabala. I was told this is the "Smith" of Basque last names.

I also had a Basque roommate/co worker from Donostia who told me the same thing, (his last name was Durandegui).

I thought it was odd cause it never sounded like those crazy "very" Basque sounding names like you mentioned.

Great grandpa was named Antxón!

Kyla
08-26-2008, 11:31 PM
Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov

Yeah, in Bulgarian it would be Ivan Ivanov Ivanov. One of my students was Ivana Ivanova Ivanova. That's about as generic as it gets.

ETA: BTW, if you think that's bad, some of the Roma kids at my school had the same first and last names. Like Yussein Yussein or Idet Idet. I don't know what was going on there.

TokyoBayer
08-26-2008, 11:49 PM
Never mind.

Nava
08-27-2008, 08:16 AM
My grandparents came from Basque country, (Leketio) and the last name is Sabala. I was told this is the "Smith" of Basque last names.

I also had a Basque roommate/co worker from Donostia who told me the same thing, (his last name was Durandegui).

I thought it was odd cause it never sounded like those crazy "very" Basque sounding names like you mentioned.

Great grandpa was named Antxón!

I also mentioned Ochoa and Arregui, as two very common, real ones; the longass one I listed, I got out of my left elbow but by a method that has given rise to some of the longest Basque lastnames and which is often used by for example stand-up comics or people giving business presentations to generate a "Basque sounding name which probably nobody has": take two long lastnames, stick them together (1). The majority of Basque names aren't much longer than, say, Martínez - but the ones that stick in the memories of visitors are. It's also the area of Spain (Navarra, Euskadi, La Rioja, Burgos) where it's most common to find multi-word lastnames, adding to the "outsider" impression of "ohmyGawd, those Basque, they have such long names!"

Other Basque lastnames similar to yours and very common are Zabala and Zabalza (Zabala and Sabala are not the same one).


(1) Iturriaga and Goitía are both real Basque lastnames. There was a Councilor for Industry in Navarra called Nuria Iturriagagoitía - most people, upon hearing her lastname, would say something like "with that name, you must be Andalusian!" (ironic, that lastname is about as andalusian as the mermaid statue in Copenhagen) "yes, Andalusian from Pamplona, how did you know?" Whenever she was on national news, you could see the newscasters preparing to read the lastname like one would prepare to plunge into freezing water... and sometimes still manage to get the stresses wrong.

Dr. Woo
08-27-2008, 08:47 AM
There are families in India (often Parsi) with names like "Shipchandler," "Pilot," and "Treasurywallah."
Ah. I'd wondered about that. I sold a futon to a gentleman at work whose last name was "Furniturewalla". Although I'm very bad at remembering names I had no problem in this instance.

Rucksinator
08-27-2008, 10:16 PM
..... Ivana Ivanova Ivanova. That's about as generic as it gets.....

Does that mean "Ivana, daughter of Ivan, son of Ivan", or "Ivana, daughter of Ivana, daughter of Ivan", or what?

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