Why 7,000 Americans Named John Smith are “Missing”

Why aren’t there more John Smiths in the U.S.? John is the most common first name in the U.S. and Smith is the most common surname in the U.S. But there are 7,000 less people named John Smith than would be expected by calculating the odds of that name occurring among the U.S. population.

Why? Take a look at the synonyms Thesaurus.com lists for John Smith:

“average joe, average person, common man, everyman, joe blow, joe doakes, joe   sixpack, john q. public, man in the street, mr. nobody, ordinary joe.”

The well-documented Slate article written by Lee Hartman does a good job explaining why “more than 7,000 people named John Smith are missing: the name means “average person,” “man in the street,”  “everyman” or “nobody.” It comes across as a phony alias rather than a real name. Enjoy the Slate article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s