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The top names in my address book

Something a little different for a Saturday morning.

I browsed through my address book, looking for the most frequent first names and surnames of people who I know. There were around 3,000 first names and 6,000 surnames altogether (of 7,500 contacts). The list below has the top 55 first names and top 57 surnames (I was aiming for top 50, and this was the closest I could get that was reasonably neat). The first names cover 1700 of my contacts; the surnames only 500 - so surnames vary a lot more than first names; the top surname occurs 19 times, the top first name 104. I did not break down by gender overall, but 38 of those first names are generally male, 16 generally female, and Chris, Alex and Jan might be either (though most of them on my list are men) - so women's names vary a lot more than men's names; the top male name appears 104 times, the top female and might-be-either names both 34. At the other end of the scale, not shown here, there were 2000 unique first names and 5,200 unique surnames.

I know two Andrew Smiths, two Paul Taylors and three Andrew Wilsons. (Down the list a bit, I also know two Siobhan McKennas.) I do actually know a David Smith, combining the top first name and surname in the table. There are some other neat coinidences reading across - Peter Robinson, Stephen King. Some of the surnames (Murray, Whyte, Mace, and Minchin) are boosted by my relatives.

The results are more Anglophone than I had anticipated, with Schneider, Meyer, Cohen and Frank the only surnames not of obvious British/Irish origin in the top 50 (Klein, Ahmed and Hartmann just missed at 5 each, and actually although Minchin often is a English-origin name, in this case it's originally from elsewhere). Stefan is the only first name in the top 50 with a non-English spelling (again, next step down would have had Andreas and Ana-with-one-"n" on 15; the top Irish name, Sean, was on 13, with Niall and Fiona on 10; a lot of names of course have a standard spelling in other languages which is the same as English). I guess that although I know a lot of people from non-English speaking countries, I don't know enough from any one of those countries for them to be visible at this level. (As already mentioned, Ana was a near miss at 15; Tanja and Goran a little further down at 12; the top Slavic surname is Ivanov at only 4.)

Anyway, a harmless and mildly amusing bit of number-crunching.

First Name Surname
David 104 Smith 19
John 91 Murray 18
Mark 75 Murphy 17
Michael 69 Wilson 15
Paul 68 Williams
Andrew 66 Taylor
Peter 65 Robinson 14
Robert 54 Campbell 13
Richard 42 Brown
James Moore 12
Stephen 41 King 11
Martin 34 Walker 10
Chris Scott
Anna Roberts
Ian 30 Kelly
Tom 29 Johnson
Daniel 28 O'Neill 9
Catherine Martin
Simon 27 Jones
Brian Hughes
Jonathan 26 Harvey
Thomas 25 Watson 8
Kate Hall
Sarah 24 Clark
Patrick Boyle
Tim 23 Whyte 7
Christopher Stewart
Christian Ross
Jim 22 O'Brien
Alex Miller
Jan 21 McKenna
Elizabeth Mace
Nicholas 20 Johnston
Laura 19 Hunter
Graham Harris
Ben Cunningham
Alison Cox
William 18 Cohen
Tony Carey
Maria Butler
Colin Browne
Alexander Baker
Steve 17 Young 6
Stefan White
Nick Sullivan
Liz Schneider
Karen O'Connor
Julia Morris
Jennifer Mitchell
Emma Minchin
Caroline Meyer
Anne Kennedy
Matthew 16 Jackson
George Hill
Edward Grant
Claire Frank
Charles Doyle


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2017 11:28 am (UTC)
Hello! Your entry got to top-25 of the most popular entries in LiveJournal!
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Feb. 18th, 2017 01:15 pm (UTC)
Sad, eh?
Feb. 18th, 2017 05:33 pm (UTC)
Maybe we were all curious enough to see if we were on the list, but not necessarily curious enough to comment.
Glad to see my surname in the top 50. I correctly didn't expect my first name to be there.
Feb. 18th, 2017 07:43 pm (UTC)
I didn't expect you to know anyone with my first name, and, since there are only 8 people in the world with my surname, definitely didn't expect to see it there!
Feb. 18th, 2017 11:19 pm (UTC)
Top of the first names list is heavily biblical.
Feb. 19th, 2017 01:57 am (UTC)
I know a David Smith, a John Murray, an Andrew Taylor, a Richard Brown, and a Sarah Clark. And of course I know of a Stephen King and a Simon Jones.
Feb. 19th, 2017 09:25 pm (UTC)
Reminds me - Potential numbers boosting: I attempted to introduce you to a Tanja by FB messaging a few months ago but have no reason to think anything ever came of it. Should I try again by other means?

Also - what software do you use to manage your addressbook? I've been wondering!
Feb. 19th, 2017 11:53 pm (UTC)
I wonder how your names would trend by age? At one point I knew at least two couples named Bill & Lisa, and several guys in the US Navy, all but one with the first name Jim (the other was Neil). In the US, I don't know anyone born after 1973 with the name Richard (thanks, Nixon!); I suspect the trends everywhere else in the world likely differ.

Another tangential, offhand thought: Since the film Frozen came out, how many of the Annas have discussed their name's pronounciation with small children? I know one Anna personally, who gave up on one argument, and I've met another who was didn't mind that the film agreed with her.
Feb. 20th, 2017 02:20 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I did wonder if someone as well-traveled as yourself had maybe met another "Shereen" somewhere along the way.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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