Another off the wall question

names, if they /anyone has the last same name and maybe from another country, are they distant kin or what?

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Is this question related to Asian countries and their culture or the entire world?

All I know is that in Korea they are against marrying a person of the same last name, as that could be their kin. Althouh some more common last names are not so bad (Kim, Ha, Jang), the rarer ones are culturally forbidden. Getting Reply 1988 flashbacks!


In China, not necessarily.

China has a large population but the number of last names is limited.

A husband may has the same last name as his wife, and it’s totally okay…oh, it occurs to me that one of my friends said in his hometown, it’s not prefered.


In most Latin american countries it’s pretty common to find the same last name but it doesn’t mean they are related or anything.
Also if both parents share the same last name from their father’s side, their kid will usually have two identical last names, like if the mother’s last names are: “Pérez Paz” and the father’s last names are: “Pérez Guevara” their future kid would have “Pérez Pérez” as last names.


you 3 are awesome! and yes world wide, should have made myself clear on that one. thanks for the info. (a genealogist at heart here too) so that does help. again thanks

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It depends on the surname. At least in Europe, many of them are descriptive and can belong to a great many totally unrelated people. I will make examples in English but I know many like this in my languages, Italian and Greek.

ACKER = Denoted a person who lived near a field, derived from Middle English aker or Middle High German acker meaning “field”.
MASTERSON = Means “son of the master” from Middle English maister.
MILLHOUSE = Name for someone whose house was in a mill or who worked in a mill.
NEWMAN = Means “new man, newcomer” from Old English neowe, niwe, nige and mann.
TOWNSEND = Means “dweller at the town’s end”.

ACKERMAN= Means “ploughman”, derived from Middle English aker “field” and man.
BAKER = Occupational name meaning “baker”,
BARBER = Indicated a barber, one who cut hair for a living.
BOND = Occupational name for a peasant farmer
MAYER = Occupational name for a mayor, from Middle English mair.
PORCHER = Means “swineherd” from the Old French and Middle English word porchier.
PORTER = Occupational surname meaning “doorkeeper”, ultimately from Old French porte “door”, from Latin porta.
POTTER = Occupational name for a potter, one who makes earthen vessels.
SMITH = Means “metal worker, blacksmith” from Old English smiþ, related to smitan “to smite, to hit”. It is the most common surname in most of the English-speaking world.

Son of:

Place of origin
AINSWORTH English (Habitational name for a person from the village of Ainsworth near Manchester,)
MARLEY = Originally denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in Britain called Marley, ultimately meaning either “pleasant wood”, “boundary wood” or “marten wood” in Old English.
NEWTON = From the name of one of many English towns meaning “new town”.

Nicknames/physical appearance
LONG = Originally a nickname for a person who had long limbs or who was tall.
MARTEL= Nickname for a smith, derived from old French martel “hammer”,
SHARP = Nickname for a keen person, from Old English scearp “sharp”.
SHORT= From a nickname for a short person, from Middle English schort.
STARK = From a nickname meaning “strong, brave” in Old German and Old English.
WHITE = Originally a nickname for a person who had white hair or a pale complexion, from Old English hwit “white”.
YOUNG = Derived from Old English geong meaning “young”. This was a descriptive name to distinguish father from son.


The most common of all:
In Italy, one of the most common surnames is Rossi, which means Red (and was probably given to redheads rather than communists, who didn’t exist at the time). Here is a map:

Here are the most common in decreasing order. As you see, they are all but one descriptive rather than occupational or denoting place of origin.

Cognome	Famiglie

1 Rossi 45.677 (= red)
2 Russo 31.372 (= red)
3 Ferrari 26.204 (= smith, the one who works with iron, “ferro”)
4 Esposito 23.230 (= comes from “esposto”, exposed, a baby left by its parents)
5 Bianchi 18.794 (= White. Denoting either skin or hair)
6 Romano 17.947 (= Roman)
7 Colombo 17.670 (= dove. It’s the surname they very often gave to babies left by their parents)
8 Ricci 15.045 (= Curly)
9 Marino 13.417 (= marine, of the sea)
10 Greco 13.416 (= Greek)
11 Bruno 13.108 (= Brown haired)
12 Gallo 12.902 (= French)


As far I know about Japan and Korea is that when you marry you can’t change your surename when you are a foreigner who wasn’t raised up in Korea or Japan. You only can try to go to the goverment and ask them if you can change your surename to the same name as your husband later. So when you for example are called “Marie Jackson” and your fiance’s name would be “Hansol Park” and you be like “I want to be miss Marie Park soon” than forget it! You only can try to get it changed later but you arn’t geting a namechange when you marry someone in Korea or Japan…


BTW I put up a list of most used German surenames up here…

  1. Müller (Eng: Miller, Someone who workes at an mill)
    2.Schmidt /Schmitt/Schmidd (and however to write it, cause there are many ways)
  2. Schneider (Comes from the job where you sew clothes)
  3. Fischer (Eng: Fisher/Fisherman)
  4. Weber (Eng: Weaver)
  5. Meyer/ Meier/ Mayer (and all other ways to write it)
  6. Wagner
  7. Becker/Bäcker (Eng: Baker)
  8. Schulz
  9. Hoffmann
  10. Schäfer (Eng: Shepherd)
  11. Koch (Eng: Cook/Chef)
  12. Bauer (Eng: Farmer)
  13. Richter (Eng: Judge)
  14. Klein (Eng: Short)
  15. Wolf
  16. Schröder
  17. Neumann (Eng: Newmann)
  18. Schwarz (Eng: black)
  19. Zimmermann (Eng: Carpenter)
  20. Braun (Eng: Brown)
  21. Krüger (Eng: Kroeger)
  22. Hartmann
  23. Hofmann
  24. Lange (Eng: Large)
  25. Werner
  26. Schmitz
  27. Krause
  28. Lehmann
  29. Schulze
  30. Köhler
  31. Herrmann
  32. König (Eng: King)
  33. Walter
  34. Huber
  35. Kaiser (Eng: Emperor)
  36. Fuchs (Eng: Fox)
  37. Peters
  38. Lang (Eng: Long)
  39. Scholz
  40. Möller
  41. Weiß (Eng: White)
  42. Jung
  43. Hahn (Eng: Cock)
  44. Schubert
  45. Vogel (Eng: Bird)
  46. Friedrich
  47. Keller (Eng: Basement)
  48. Günther
  49. Frank
  50. Winkler
  51. Berger
  52. Roth
  53. Beck
  54. Lorenz

… and so on


oh my goodness! I need to keep that list for my genealogy research!! how cool is that, thank you!! the gazettechan and Irmar!! oen is ferrari, thought it was a furrier. good to know!

  1. grether
    8 well thats enough. now my homework, hehehehe look them up find out what they mean.

You really need to look up “French” to know what it means?


100 Most Common Chinese Family Names in traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese:

The orders may differ…Because the Wikipedia’s version is the traditional with 趙/赵(Zhao) as the No.1 family name but nowadays it seems that people with 李(Li)as their family name are of the largest population.


the Hanja for the Korean surname 이 (Lee) is 李 so the connections even cross borders I guess. Btw the last korean emperiors have also been born as Lee and if I’m not mistaken they where alowed to use dragons as symbol, 'cause they where somehow related to royals in China. Can’t remember the details, sorry.

As for Vitenamise people; I once asked one living in Germany because a lot, really a whole lot of them have the surname Nguyen, why that is the case and I was told it was once a royal family that became kind of huge, so they indeed seem to be related to each other, although probably very distant for most of them.

As for Germany there are, as already explained, very common surnames that don’t impose any kind of relation between the people, but there are also people, who know, that everyone with the same surname is part of their family.