Archive for September 30, 2018

Smiths, Millers, Priests: European Occupational Surnames

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2018 by telescoper

I have known for some time that ‘Ferreira’ (a rather common surname in Portugal) means more or less the same thing as ‘Smith’ (Ferreira derives from the Latin word for Iron). But I’ve often wondered whether other countries have similarly common surnames relating to occupations. Yesterday, through the power of the interwebs, I came across this blog post which answers this very question, though it seems variations on ‘Miller’ may be as common as those relating to ‘Smith’.

Marcin Ciura

Here is the map of the most frequent occupational surnames in European countries and the corresponding trades.

surnames

CountrySurnameTransliteration
BelarusКавалёўKavalyow
BulgariaПоповPopov
GreeceΠαπαδόπουλοςPapadopoulos
MacedoniaПоповскиPopovski
RussiaКузнецовKuznetsov
SerbiaПоповићPopovic
UkraineМельникMelnyk

I made it with Cartopy, Shapely, and Natural Earth data. The surnames are taken mainly from the appropriate Wikipedia page. Redditors provided data for Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, and Catalonia (Ferrer = Smith), as well as corrected my mistakes in Ukraine and Austria. I sincerely appreciate their help. Click on the links to see relevant comments.

This is a quick hack, not serious research. The map takes into account countries rather than ethnic or cultural areas (update of October 1, 2015: now the maps of Spain…

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