When you are blessed with a name like Giovanni Rodriguez, you are forever burdened with the responsibility of explaining your family history every time you meet someone new. A while back, I used to say that "Giovanni Rodriguez" is really "John Smith." Giovanni translates to "John." And "Rodriguez" ... well, it's not exactly Smith, but it's such a common surname that it might as well be Smith. That argument got a big boost today in the New York Times. Sam Roberts writes:
Step aside Moore and Taylor. Welcome Garcia and Rodriguez.
Smith remains the most common surname in the United States, according to a new analysis released yesterday by the Census Bureau. But for the first time, two Hispanic surnames — Garcia and Rodriguez — are among the top 10 most common in the nation, and Martinez nearly edged out Wilson for 10th place.
The number of Hispanics living in the United States grew by 58 percent in the 1990s to nearly 13 percent of the total population, and cracking the list of top 10 names suggests just how pervasively the Latino migration has permeated everyday American culture.
Garcia moved to No. 8 in 2000, up from No. 18, and Rodriguez jumped to No. 9 from 22nd place. The number of Hispanic surnames among the top 25 doubled, to 6.
Give the Rodriguez clan ten years or so. I am sure we'll be near the top of this list. But looks like Garcia will give us a run for our money. ¡Ay Senor Amado!