Vol. 56 No. 3 (2008)
Research Article

Forenames and Surnames in Spain in 2004

Published 2008-09-01



This paper quantifies the corpus of forenames and surnames in Spain in 2004 using the telephone directory. It describes their frequency patterns, major measurable characteristics, and gives some geographical distributions, international comparisons, and historical explanations. The research presented here is set in a context of a broader study of the quantitative properties of the corpus of personal names in several countries undertaken by Tucker. Amongst the most significant findings are a much more highly skewed distribution towards the most popular surnames than in other countries, the permanence of language regions since the Middle Ages, and important differences in top Hispanic names frequencies between five countries across the Atlantic. It is also suggested that the innovative techniques presented here, combining geographical and statistical analysis of names and their language of origin, opens up enormous possibilities for multidisciplinary work on onomastics.


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