Use this tool to see in which country is your surname the most common + SA's favourite first names

2020-01-17 04:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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What's in a name?

It can denote a lineage, belonging to a clan, even the signal of a new beginning - and in the Dutch's case it was just a big middle finger to occupying tyrants. 

MAPPED: These are the most common last names for each country - SA's inclusion may surprise you

But sometimes we lose our roots throughout the generations, and perhaps you even have an odd surname with little idea of where it comes from.

Other times branches of the family name have broken off, left their homeland and spread out into the world, taking their legacy across the waters to places where the locals might take a while to learn to pronounce 'Dlamini'.

If you've ever wondered where your name or surname is the most popular, try out this cool website called Forebears.

It uses census records up until 2014 to scrounge up interesting data about names' popularity and density in countries, as well as tell you which is the wealthiest families in each country and religious convictions.

You might be surprised at all the countries your surname pops up in - and maybe feel a bit of pride if it's most popular in South Africa.

READ: Don't call me Holland: The Netherlands has final say on country name

Most popular first names

Forebears also lists the most popular first names!

For the whole world, the most popular women's name is Maria, while for men it's Mohammed.

In Africa, it's almost similar but spelt Marie and Mohamed. In the Americas it's Maria and Jose, Asia is Ying and Mohammed, in Europe it's Maria and Sergey, while in Oceania John reigns alongside Maria again.

And South Africa's most popular names? Maria wins again, but the most popular men's name is Johannes. 

At least it's not Adriaanus.

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