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Is Your Last Name Popular Enough to Be on the Map?

Illustration for article titled Is Your Last Name Popular Enough to Be on the Map?

Ever wondered just how common your last name is? Well, the folks at National Geographic are offering up this super fascinating map that allows you to zoom in on different areas of the country and see what the most common surnames are and what their probably provenance is. It's fascinating to see not only the effects of migration of different groups, but also to see the varying population densities laid out so plainly. It's especially compelling to zoom in and out and around and learn each region's difference—knowledge that will definitely come in handy if you're trying to escape from the law and need to create an alternate identity! Just pick a common name specific to the region your fleeing to, and they'll never be able to find you. And if all else fails go with Smith or Johnson.

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What's in a Surname? [National Geographic via Twitter]

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DISCUSSION

ChattyBelle
ChattyBelle

Speaking of name uniqueness, has anyone ever met someone with their same exact name (either by coincidence or through purposefully reaching out to them?)

I've always been insanely curious about the people out there who are living their lives with the same name as me, and I saw an episode of Oprah once about a guy who sought out and contacted a few of his name-twins and started some sort of friendship/correspondence with them.

I am a smidge embarrassed to admit that I have occasionally facebook searched my name and lurked on some profiles. I've definitely thought of sending some of them a quick message, but I always stop myself. On a scale of 1-10, how creeped out would you be if a stranger with your name randomly contacted you?