How common!

Here’s a good reason why I prefer to go by the name “PZ”:
Logo There are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Too dang many “Pauls,” and an awful lot of “Myers,” too.

(I shall mention that there are almost 5 times as many people named “Myers” as “Meyers,” so why does everyone spell my last name wrong?)


  1. kristi says

    It turns out I’m more mysterious than I thought… no one has my name. In fact, according to them, no one in the country even has my last name. Am I perhaps a citizen of Canada after all? (That’s a pretty exciting prospect for a Kansan.)

  2. says

    There are only 2 of me. Which actually makes it much harder to hide from potentially idiotic moves made on the internet.

  3. says

    There are only 2 Corey Schlueters in the US and I live in Canada. There is a residential architectural, interior design and construction company named Corey Schlueter Co. based in California. Also, there is a Corey Schlueter, about ten years younger than me, who lives in my area.

  4. Nix says

    There are only 3 of me (under the name in my whois record, that is; plus me since I’m not in the US).

    I guess Hovind avoided filling out the census form at the same time as he evaded filling out his tax form…

  5. Carlie says

    None of me now, 30 of me before I got married. Wonder what happened to them all? :)

    I saw this a few days ago and thought it would be a fun site for stat teachers to use as an example of multiplying probabilities. (if that is what they’re doing, right?)

  6. DominEditrix says

    Not very accurate; they report that my son’s surname doesn’t exist in the US, nor does my first name. As I know that is not true…

  7. craig says

    There are 74 people in the U.S. named Craig Clarke.
    Toss in my middle name, which I usually do, and there’s gotta be just one of me.

  8. Hugh says

    There are at least three people with my name in the US (me, my dad, my grandfather) but it says my name is totally unique. Fuck this thing.

  9. MYOB says

    That thing is about as accurate as a website poll, or as accurate as ID. I happen to know from reading my local telephone book that there are at least 5 people in this city with my same last name. When I lived in not one but three other major metropolitan cities there were around that same many not including my relatives which would have tripled the number.
    But according to that website there NO people in this country that have my last name.
    In retrospect I think we can debunk this site for possessing too little accurate information for me to give it any credit or to bother with it further.


  10. JohnnieCanuck says

    You aren’t supposed to take it too seriously. They don’t.

    They got the name data from the 1990 census. They determined the frequency of first and last names, but left out 10% of the people because their names were too uncommon (not worth the effort).

    Multiplying probabilities is indeed what they are doing. They note that their method errs, since first and last names aren’t independent.


  11. Ian H Spedding says

    None with my name, either.

    That’s odd, because I found other Speddings in the US just by searching in White Pages.

  12. BC says

    There are 0 people with my first name, and 0 people with my last name in the United States. Maybe I don’t exist, and all my relatives are figments of my imagination.

  13. dileffante says

    I was quite happy because one George Bush is too old to run again, and the other is already in his second term. Alas, you people still have 501 further George Bushes to go… OMG.

  14. says

    There are 20 of me. Careful, girls! Now there are plenty of me to go around.

    My kids’ names are rare, which was the intent, so they will be happy to know they are unique in more ways than one. My son doesn’t exist. Perhaps this means he will never be drafted into the military, or picked for jury duty.

  15. says

    There are 6 Christopher Dallmans in the USA. I’m not one of them because I live in Scotland. One of your Christophers is a fairly well-known singer, and he takes up the first seven pages of Google before me and the other British Christopher appear. (B*****d!)

  16. says

    Since my real last name is DiPietrantonio (I slice off half of it to make it easier for some people), it seems that no one has my full name. In fact, my real last name isn’t even in the data-base.

  17. Warren Terra says

    Actually, the note explaining why some names aren’t included in the database is quite clear. Which is helpful, as it said my first name isn’t included (obviously, it isn’t *really* Warren), and I know that not only do I have a doppelganger, he has published several books and has grown in internet presence until my own person is swept into the sixth page of Google results for my name.

    This brings up a measure by which I am badly losing (though in my defence the other guy had a two decades or more of a head start). If you aren’t unique, are you at least archetypal for your own name?

  18. says

    Only tangentially on the subject, but PZ, you may remember the Seattle local history attached to it.

    In 1978, Rolf Neslund, a state ferry-system captain, ran his freighter into the West Seattle Bridge (*glug glug*, if you catch my drift), damaging it so severely it stayed closed for years, and disrupting traffic by almost cutting off that part of the city from downtown Seattle. In 1980, Neslund disappeared, but it was years until prosecutors were able to prove that his wife Ruth had her brother chop him up into pieces in their bathroom and then dispose of the body.

    I just happened to catch an episode of “City Confidential”, a true-crime series that purports to be all serious and documentary, but is in reality entertaining mainly because of its emphasis on the lurid. (Paul Winfield deserved to end his career on a better note than this, I gotta say). Anyway, I wish I’d TiVO’ed it for you, PZ, because whenever Winfield mentioned the brother, as he did several times, he’d always insert an editorial adjective in front of the brother’s name.

    If I had that recording, I’d send you samples of Winfield’s lush baritone lovingly intoning “the riff-raff Paul Myers”, “the murderous Paul Myers”, “the disreputable Paul Myers”, and so forth. (I found it hysterically funny each time he said it–maybe I’m just too easily amused…)

  19. Warren Terra says

    A postscript: Surprisingly, given the prominence he has achieved on these here internets, our kind host is the second hit on Google if you search for his name.

    Of course, it’s not really fair, as I searched for his given name and not his chosen moniker. If PZ called himself “Paul” he’d likely have swept all before him, and that other “Paul Myers” fellow would have been relegated to Google oblivion.

  20. says

    4! Whoopee!

    Of course, “Kristine” is not my real name. There are 8 people in the U.S. with my real name. Curious, to have halved myself with my nickname.

  21. Raenele says

    No one has my first name, according to that data base. I’ve always liked my name, because in my small universe, I’m just as identifiable by my first name only as I would be if I included my last name. LIke Cher, or Rosie, or Bette.

  22. Diego says

    Ah, but does anyone ever spell your name “Mayr”? I’d take that slip-up as a compliment if they’re thinking of the cantankerous old Ernst of esteemed memory.

  23. Mike says

    Please, My army is assembling before you! Bow before the 4,199 of us! Once we defeat the John Smiths (49,535), we’re coming after you!

    Mikes (last name withheld to prevent our exposure) advance!

  24. says

    Too dang many “Pauls,” and an awful lot of “Myers,” too.

    You think you’ve got problems. I get “There are: 7,132 people with my name in the U.S.A.”

    Heck, there are three or four people with my name in the town I live in currently, and I’m (as far as I know) not even related to any of them.

  25. says

    I’m one of the other non-entities. Last time my family checked one of these things (10+ years ago) there was only one other me: A chef in Albac-… Albeq… that place where Bugs Bunny always makes a wrong turn.

  26. Michael Hopkins says

    Gee, a close friend does not exist as no one in America has her first name. I will have to tell her. As for someone I knew a decade ago whose name is rare but quite easily found. I guess I must be a mean guy for shoving rare names into it. Everyone should be sure to look at that disclaimer at the bottom of the page and follow the link.

    As for my name, its estimate is 1624 people with my first and last name. By strange coincidence when I was a kid living on a rural county road in the UP, there was someone who shared my first name, last name, and middle initial. If the regular mailman was on vacation I would get his mail. He lived about a mile down the road which is about the equivalent of the next block in the suburbs.

  27. George says

    There are 0 people in the U.S. with the last name Dylan.

    There are 0 people in the U.S. named Bob Dylan.


  28. cnmyers says

    There are 12 of me, and 248,974 Myers.
    Hey PZ, Myers is the 100th most popular name in the country, but everyone still spells mine Meyers, Meyer, Myher, Myhers, etc. too. My grandpa came from Minnesota, do you have any relatives around Hibbing or Togo?

    ~Mike Myers is so superior to Richard~

  29. Mnemosyne says

    There are 0 people in the U.S. named Bob Dylan.

    That’s because he changed it back to Robert Zimmerman. ;-)

    There are 2 people in the U.S. named Dick Head.

    One of them used to call my old mail-order computer company with complaints about his order. He absolutely insisted on being called “Dick,” and if you weren’t prepared, it was hysterically funny to hear this slow, deep voice over the phone saying, “Hello, this is Dick Head.”

    Not only does no one in the US have my (admittedly unusual) name, the first four Google hits for my name are, in fact, me. Which is why I am pseudonymous on the internet. I’m sure that if I were named Caitlin Smith, I’d be a lot more likely to use my real name.

  30. George says

    There are 92 people in the U.S. named April May.

    There is 1 person in the U.S. named May June.

    How interesting!

  31. Rich says

    Pleased to see my ‘ex’ has a zero ranking. Good job whoever did it. I’ll send her familiy some lilies and you a frosty beer.*

    *I can’t help it, I don’t have absolute moral values like those theists. my Irony is okay, though.

  32. plunge says

    Yeah, my last name doesn’t exist. Can’t be a very good database, given that most of my many relatives with that last name have listed phone numbers and addresses.

  33. djlactin says

    Zero zilch nada, big “gong” for ‘Lactin’ in the entire ewe ass, eh?

    All people surnamed lactin, laktin or lacktin are descendants of my paternal g-grandfather who came over from (ex-)soviet georgia with the doukhobors, a group of anabaptist pacifist vegetarians. (althogh vegetarians, they did consume dairy, as witness my surname!)

    lacton is a separate name, of british origin.

  34. Ben McIlwain says

    Statistically it says there are eight of me (I ran it on my “nickname” and added that to my full first name). However, reading over its methodology, it says that it treats first names and last names as indepedent, which they are clearly not. For instance, assuming John and Juan are evenly likely first names and Smith and Lopez are evenly likely last names, it says that Juan Smith is as evenly likely as Juan Lopez, which clearly isn’t true.

    Anyway, I did a Google search to verify, and I could really only find two or three people on the planet with an Internet mention that have the same name as me.

  35. Azkyroth says

    12 with my wife’s maiden name.

    856 with her married name.

    431 with one particular close friend’s name (but none of her screen name, oddly enough).

    And 0 Satans. How disappointing…

  36. llewelly says

    Yikes, there are no Kent Hovinds! In fact no Hovinds at all in the US. I guess he does not exist.

    I’m sure it’s part of his brilliant plan to defraud the IRS.

  37. jeanie sepin says

    There are 0 of me out there, however, my nephew is a paul myers, and his father is
    a paul myers.

  38. Hugh says

    There’s also a possibility that they used people that are “in the system”, in which case that would only be my grandfather – he served in the military and was a homocide detective for 30 years; neither my dad or myself have any records (criminal or otherwise). (And I intend to keep it that way. Rip the system.)

  39. DominEditrix says

    And there are 6 women in Norway with the same name as my grandmother. Who was not named Odd Bang.

  40. Maggie Rosethorn says

    Well, there is only 1 of me with my married name but 136 of me with my maiden name….but I happen to know, thanks to an old lawsuit, that there is at least 1 other person with my name in my state. Wonder what database they use for their results?

  41. says

    …there are 5 people in Norway called Odd Bang.

    Incidentally, “Even” is another quite respectable first name in Norway (in addition to “Odd”).

    Now, if only “Parity” was an acceptable surname (which, unfortunately, it isn’t), we might’ve had those infamous twin brothers, Odd and Even Parity…

  42. bernarda says

    There are 38,000 people with the name Robert Johnson. However this name has been put on the government airline watch list as possible terrorist.

    Good luck if you have this name and want to travel by plane.

  43. Grumpy Physicist says

    There are 1238 people in the US with my name. That seems LOW to me.

    After all, there’s another guy with my name that graduated (in physics! the same department!) from my Alma Mater about 5 years after I did. Thank ghu that he’s a theorist, or it would could get really ugly.

    One consolation: if ever I get put on the no-fly list, I’ll have a bunch of company, all of us pissed off.

  44. Buffalo Gal says

    I came up unique, but a quick Google search found two others of me, including one in my old home town. (No surprise there, my last name is pretty common in certain ethnic enclaves.) I’ve never Googled myself before – it was weird to see me come up at all. This was because of the department websites of places I used to work.

  45. Pygmy Loris says

    There is only one person with my full name in the country. I’m going to assume that it’s me!

    568,440 have my first name, but only 390 people have my last name.

    This is why I don’t use my real name on the internet. BTW if you googled my real name all 10 results are actually me!

    That they discarded the unusual names kinda makes me mad. All those people out there who will become convinced they don’t exist;)

  46. RSS says

    Well, there’s 2,082 of me in the US. Then again, I guess I should feel lucky. There’s 49,356 of my step-Father-in-law, but 0 of my wife (who’da thunk – she doesn’t exist!).

    Thanks for the Monday am silliness…


  47. MJ Memphis says

    More than 2,000,000 with my first name and more than 1,800,000 with my last name, and 12,881 with my name. Probably several thousand more if you went to the UK. I scoff at google searches!

    My wife shows up as non-existent. Not too surprising, since the only other people in the world with her last name are her extended family, and she is the first one to ever leave Thailand.

  48. lytefoot says

    So, my last name doesn’t exist… google seems to concur, in fact. When I google my last name, all I get is a godawful web page I made for an HTML class years ago and never got ’round to taking down, and a couple of reviews I’ve posted on web sites… gah. I’ve got to start using my real name online, if only to push the embarrassing sites further down the list.

  49. Mena says

    I put this up at my blog last week (there are 5 of me) and I was curious about whether these were accurate counts of people who have the same name or if they are probabilities. One of these days I’ll figure it out…

  50. windy says

    And 0 Satans. How disappointing…

    In Sweden there’s 1 Satan and as many as 5 with Sauron as first name. Hope that helps :) Satan is female, btw.

  51. says

    There are 51 people in the U.S. with my name.

    I put in my ‘maiden’ name. (I changed my last name to my wife’s last name when I married.) I got zero! However, when I put in my little brother’s name, it also came up with a zero, so take it for what it’s worth….


  52. Dianne says

    It’s never heard of me. However, there are 23 Charles Darwins, 2 Albert Einsteins, 1 Marie Curie, 11 Rosalyn Franklins, and 52 Barbara McClintocks in the US. So maybe there is hope for American science after all.

  53. Gentlewoman says

    Only one of me. And only 330 people in the USA with my (highly unusual) last name. I probably know them all, too, because they’re my relatives. ;) And yes, if you Google my real name, all the hits are MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Hee. All 4 of them. My brothers get a lot more, because one is a highly successful musician and the other is a fairly successful author.

    Thanks for this, it was fun.

  54. j.t.delaney says

    I remember hearing once that the most common first name in the world is “Mohammed”, and the most common last name is “Wong”, but that there are no “Mohammed Wongs”… Evidently, in America, there are three Mohammed Wongs.

  55. Kagehi says

    Hmm. Real name: First = 587,938, Second = 155,984, total with both = 306…

    That’s it, I am going to officially change my name to the online alias I use, Kagehi Kossori, which has 0, 0, 0. lol Though.. There is at least one other Kagehi on the internet that I know of…

  56. thwaite says

    Hmmph. My partial surname ‘Thwaite’ doesn’t exist. My full name does, tho rare in the US. Both exist in the UK Lake district, thwaite being a common suffix of Norwegians (Viking) origin. And I noticed in the new issue of The Nation a review of a US novel whose central family is named Thwaite … so the Census bureau needs to read more and travel more.