Confused Authorships

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Publication date: 1 August 1960


When it comes to choosing names, man is at a loss for words. There are far too many Jones's to “keep up with”. Smith is decidedly the most popular surname in Britain and America, but Johnson, Brown, and Miller are prevalent, too. Since the United States of America is a great melting pot, it enjoys a superabundance of names but does not know how to apportion them. Elsdon C. Smith, author of The Story of Our Names, estimates that there are 350,000 different surnames in the United States, but that fifty popular names suffice for ten per cent of the population. Not even a thousand names are required for fifty per cent of the population. In England, fifty common surnames provide for approximately eighteen per cent of the population. So far as appellations are concerned, however, Scotland is the thrifty nation; one hundred and fifty surnames sufficing for more than fifty per cent of all native Caledonians.


BAUER, H. (1960), "Confused Authorships", Library Review, Vol. 17 No. 8, pp. 560-565.

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Copyright © 1960, MCB UP Limited

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