Last Names by Country of Origin

Try to guess the countries where these these last names originated.
Answer must correspond to highlighted box
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 27, 2020
First submittedJanuary 16, 2012
Times taken89,561
Average score76.2%
Rating4.51
5:00
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 / 21 guessed
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Name
Country
Smith
United Kingdom
O'Donnell
Ireland
Rodriguez
Spain
Chen
China
Kim
Korea
Dubois
France
Schneider
Germany
Name
Country
Kardashian
Armenia
Papadopoulos
Greece
Esposito
Italy
Sørensen
Denmark / Norway
Kowalski
Poland
Ionescu
Romania
Ivanov
Russia / Bulgaria
Name
Country
Patel
India
Jafari
Iran
Nakamura
Japan
Nguyen
Vietnam
Shevchenko
Ukraine
Teixeira
Portugal
Abdullah
Saudi Arabia
+14
Level 42
Jan 16, 2012
Very easy
+6
Level 55
Apr 24, 2022
I was going to reply ironically saying "Wow, you must be sooooo clever" but then I realised I shouldn't picking on comments more than 10 years old LOL
+2
Level 59
Sep 2, 2022
Well, you did it anyway
+3
Level 88
Jan 16, 2012
Cool quiz. I'm not too upset about not getting Armenia. Something tells me you'd actually have to watch that show to know the answer to that question.
+39
Level 25
Jun 21, 2012
I don't think it's really about the TV show, or the Kardashian family themselves. Maybe your area simply doesn't have a large Armenian population, but I thought it was common knowledge that names that end with -ian were Armenian.
+3
Level 75
Aug 24, 2014
LOL :)
+4
Level 76
Jan 7, 2015
Brian, what means "Brian" (I hope this is the correct original version, I know Monty Python only in the German translation)
+3
Level 68
Jan 7, 2015
Cher's orginal last name is Sarkisian.
+1
Level 56
Jan 7, 2015
Scuadrado, that's why i thought kardashian was persian, because the ppl i know that end with ian are persian jews.
+2
Level 43
May 8, 2015
So, what if you are Ian?
+1
Level 61
Sep 6, 2015
PaterN, the English quote is "Brian that is called Brian".
+4
Level 66
Aug 23, 2016
I got it first try because of System Of A Down surnames, Tankian, Oblanian, Malakian...
+2
Level 47
Sep 21, 2016
and Charles Aznavour was originally Aznavourian
+5
Level 43
Jan 17, 2013
Pretty much all Armenian names end in "-ian" or "-yan", and occasionally "-jan".
+5
Level 71
Nov 4, 2014
But not all names that end with "ian" belong to Armenians or their descendants. As an example, the Nazi tank commander Heinz Gurderian's name probably represents a contraction or corruption of "Guderjan" (Guter Jan), which means something like "Good Jan." Or so says one contributor to his Wikipedia page; another offers a fanciful theory about the Armenians somehow playing a role in Baltic commerce, which is how a Prussian would end up with that name. The lesson: be careful not to overgeneralize. As one wit once put it "All generalizations are false."
+1
Level 73
May 1, 2022
And then there are all the Armens (which I assume is the most common male first name?).
+6
Level 84
Jul 19, 2013
never seen the show and I got it, but, I really don't think they play up their Armenian ancestry anyway.
+3
Level 67
Jan 24, 2019
I dont watch the show, maybe seen 3 minutes of it ever, simply cause I was to lazy to zap. So am aware of them (hard not to..) but know nothing about them.

It is through jetpunk that I learned/heard they were armenian haha. (You learn the weirdest things from reading the comments. Well mainly that people like to argue, everybody thinks THEIR opinion is right, and hardly anyone checks facts, or previous posts for that matter before they commment..)

+1
Level 70
Nov 14, 2020
I think one of my high school teachers once mentioned that they are of Armenian descent, plus I read an essay by an author that talks about their family's ancestry. Otherwise, I don't pay attention to the Kardashians at all, I mostly just remember it because it's a distinctive fact.
+1
Level 77
Nov 15, 2020
I'm another one who has never seen their show but learned it from this site.
+2
Level 63
Mar 11, 2017
Living in Boston taught me how to recognize Armenian names.
+7
Level 31
Jan 16, 2012
if you read tintin, then you might relate 'karaboudjan' to 'kardashian'.
+2
Level 56
Mar 11, 2017
true. i get your tintin reference
+3
Level 44
Jan 17, 2012
Many Armenian family names end in 'ian' or 'yan' which is the give away. You could try using Sarkisian (the family name of Cher and the current President of Armenia) just to see if people could figure it out without watching reality TV. I only recognize Kim et al because I know they have an Armenian name.
+4
Level 71
Mar 11, 2017
Like my mate Fred Ryan?
+1
Level 53
Feb 1, 2012
what Cruiser008 said!
+1
Level 8
Mar 23, 2012
Schneider is also a well known footballer from the Netherlands, it should be accepted as well.
+17
Level 37
May 16, 2012
No.

It asks where the name ORIGINATED.

+13
Level 26
Oct 24, 2012
schneider is german, sneijder is dutch. the difference might be small, but there is a difference. most of the names with schn are german, can't name a single dutch one even though i am dutch
+2
Level 37
Oct 7, 2018
The Dutch name is SNIJDER!
+2
Level 77
Nov 14, 2020
+1
Level 87
Mar 9, 2015
Also a well known Duke from Hazzard County.
+2
Level 40
Dec 28, 2012
Hey, I got em all first go! How the heck I guessed Armenia I don't know. I've only vaguely heard of KK.
+2
Level 48
Jun 14, 2013
McDonald should be Mac Donald. Mc Donald is irish.
+1
Level 32
Jan 7, 2015
both are scottish, Irish would be O'
+3
Level 67
Mar 11, 2017
No, "Mc" is Irish as well. "Mac" is Scottish.
+2
Level 71
Mar 11, 2017
It may surprise you to know that the Scots came from Ireland to Scotland originally. Bringing with them the bagpipes and names.
+1
Level 57
Feb 7, 2022
Actually the Romans introduced the bagpipes to the Caledonians (Scottish) so it wasn't the Hibernians (Irish) that gave them that part of their culture. Though yes the names did originate with them.
+1
Level 39
Feb 11, 2022
The Irish thought the Scots how to make whiskey, but they have yet to master it, or learn how to spell it!
+1
Level 88
Feb 26, 2014
Great concept for a quiz! It was a lot of fun :)
+1
Level 81
May 19, 2014
Could add "Laine" which I am pretty sure is a Finnish name when I see it in endtexts. Or "Pietila" which appears in the Simpsons end texts (Bonita). Or to be the most stereotypical Finnish find a name ending in -inen :)
+1
Level 71
Nov 4, 2014
Jorma Kaukonen! Eero Saarinen! And that, I am sorry to say, is the extent of my knowledge of Finnish surnames (not counting Jean Sibelius, whose first language was Swedish).
+1
Level 79
Oct 6, 2014
Got stuck on Jafari. I have an acquaintance whose last name is Jafari and he is originally from Jordan but I'm sure that his family moved at some point.
+4
Level 78
Nov 13, 2014
When I saw Kardashian and Kim's face I typed in Djibouti
+1
Level 61
Jan 7, 2015
fun quiz .... got 'em all with only 9 sec left ... Patel from India was my toughest one
+1
Level 66
Apr 14, 2019
Patel is Pi's surname
+1
Level 30
Jan 7, 2015
Very easy indeed, but fun!
+1
Level 46
Jan 8, 2015
Great quiz. I liked it so much I made my own version. You can find it here:

http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/33628/last-names-by-country-quiz-2

+11
Level 56
Jan 11, 2015
Esposito is about the least Italian name I've ever heard of. Sounds much more Spanish to me. I can scarcely think of any Italian last names which don't have a double letter in - rr ll nn zz pp cc ss tt. Also a and i endings are more common and more archetypal. In my view. (I have Italian relatives, but am not an expert. My own mother's maiden name doesn't match any of the stereotypes except it ends in 'a'. It's only four letters long, which is very atypical!)
+2
Level 34
Dec 30, 2015
I was about to comment how shocked I was at how few people figured out Esposito was Italian. That -ito suffix seems like a giveaway. But I guess my judgement is biased considering I am Italian American and know my fair share of Espositos
+5
Level 70
Feb 6, 2017
Your perceptions of what makes an Italian "sounding" name aren't really relevant here. Esposito is currently the 4th most common name in Italy, and there are tons of well-known Italians or people of Italian descent with this name. There are certainly Spanish, Portuguese, French, and maybe others with this name, but it is only common in Italy.
+1
Level 67
Jan 24, 2019
Of course it is relevant.. it is a quiz where you have to guess where the name comes from. In most cases you do that by analyzing the word. The way vowels and consonents are used, if there is a suffix that you have seen often from other people in that area (like -(v)itz immediately makes me think russian or atleast slavic).

and I had the same thing as the others, didnt get an italian vibe of it, it sounded spanish or mexican. Pepito, perrito, gatito (cant think of common ones, but basicly all diminutives)

I looked it up and know italian etymology is different (from exposed) but if you think it is spanish, it looks like it could be little spouse haha esposa/esposo being spouse (wife/husband) and -ito the diminutive :D

+1
Level 34
Nov 16, 2020
È un cognome molto, molto comune in Italia in particolare nel sud Italia, Campania.

Davano in passato questo cognome ai bambini che crescevano negli orfanotrofi. Infatti questi bambini venivano lasciati in "esposizione" per essere trovati: ecco il nome.

Altri cognomi da trovatelli sono: Innocenti, Degl'Innocenti, Casadei, Di Dio, Casadidio, Diotallevi ecc.

It’s a very, very common surname in Italy especially in southern Italy, Campania. They used to give this name to children growing up in orphanages. In fact, these children were left in "exposure" to be found: here is the name "Exposed". Other surnames from foundlings are: Innocenti, Degl'Innocenti, Casadei, Di Dio, Casadidio, Diotallevi etc.

+2
Level 44
Apr 9, 2022
I agree with all you're writing but if you want to use a typical last name which is more easily recognisable, then many others come to mind first, such as Rossi, Ferrari, Bianchi, Marino, Bruni, Conti ecc. Esposito is indeed somewhat misleading, as it has the typical spanish "E" in front of the "sp" combination. As italian words often do start with "Sp" and (as you nicely explain) the name is more typical in southern Italy it might not be immediately associated with Italy.
+1
Level 66
Jan 12, 2015
Missed Patel.
+1
Level 70
Mar 11, 2015
Great quiz!
+2
Level 82
Feb 11, 2016
Only missed Romania - which makes me feel dumb, as I'm old enough to remember the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu.
+2
Level 57
Mar 13, 2016
Abdullah is not a last name!
+3
Level 71
Sep 1, 2016
I know someone with that last name so I'm pretty sure it can be a last name
+9
Level 75
Mar 11, 2017
What about King Abdullah? King is his first name; Abdullah his last. QED.
+5
Level 84
Jul 23, 2019
The name is Arabic, but it's not really used as a surname in Saudi Arabia. I have seen it used as a surname commonly in other Arabic-speaking countries, though.
+1
Level 65
Sep 13, 2021
In any case, the name is from the Arabic language, but not strictly from Saudi Arabian. Most other languages are strongly associated with a certain country or origin (Irish / Ireland, Spanish / Spain), but for Arabic this is not the case. Arabia is much greater, not just geographically but also culturally, than just the Saudi kingdom. So I think Arabia instead of Saudi Arabia should be used as the place of origin for this name.
+1
Level 27
May 6, 2016
3:52 minutes left 😁
+1
Level 72
Mar 6, 2018
Amazing, 3:52 myself.

Fun quiz, I would love a longer, harder quiz, it's fun to try to figure these out.

+2
Level 34
May 12, 2016
The word "Iran" just happened to come on in a song I was playing when looking at the name
+1
Level 69
Jul 10, 2016
17/21, glad I got some harder ones like Romania and Ukraine. Knew Armenia from a previous quiz on here!
+1
Level 38
Jul 23, 2016
1:50 left, thanks for 5 points!
+1
Level 71
Sep 1, 2016
Out of these 21 names, there are 11 that belong to people I've met. All of them were born in the US (as far as I know) so it's interesting to see how many people had families that were immigrants
+2
Level 71
Mar 11, 2017
Surely most of the people in USA came from immigrant families?........ Even the native Indians originally came across the Bering Strait from Asia.
+1
Level 67
Jan 24, 2019
Really.... ?!? Can't tell if sarcasm or not
+1
Level 83
Sep 23, 2016
Over time, I noticed that fairly consistently, when Scandinavian surnames ended in "s_n", it was "son" in Sweden and "sen" in Denmark. Now I'll have to keep an eye out for how it's spelled in Norwegian names.
+1
Level 37
Oct 28, 2016
To Baltimorian: Or it could be that Gurderian was of Armenian heritage. I doubt if Hitler and his ilk paid much attention, as long as you looked Aryan (which, by the way is Iranian) and didn't have Jewish last name.
+1
Level 66
Jan 9, 2017
I did better at this than I thought I would. Only missed Teixeira.
+1
Level 60
Mar 11, 2017
this discussion is a regular Algonquin Round Table
+2
Level 49
Mar 11, 2017
Serj Tankian should be the name for Armenia. Or literally any other Armenian person who actually gives half a damn about their heritage.
+1
Level 59
Mar 11, 2017
Got everything except Kardashian, I don't feel to bad about myself
+1
Level 75
Mar 11, 2017
Ivanov is also Serbian last name.
+1
Level 57
Feb 7, 2022
Cool. The quiz is asking for the origin though and the origin is Russian. The Serbs gained the name through Russian influence.
+2
Level 52
Mar 11, 2017
I knew most of them right off the bat except for Ionescu and Jafari. Ionescu I just kept guessing eastern european countries, and Jafaru I kept guessing middle eastern countries.
+3
Level 87
Mar 12, 2017
I keep thinking that Esposito is something Hispanic. I guess it reminds me of España.
+1
Level 43
May 20, 2017
Typed German numerous time for Schneider wondering why it wasn't working, only after the quiz to realise Germany was the answer, duhh!
+1
Level 42
Jun 23, 2017
I got everything except Kardashian.
+1
Level 84
Sep 3, 2018
Esposito is not an italian name. It is of spanish origin and means "husband". In Italian the equivalent would be Sposo, though there aren't many italians who have that for a last name.
+13
Level 64
Sep 10, 2018
No. I'm Italian.

Esposito is by far the most typical southern italian surname, particularly neapolitan.

It's written like the spanish esposìto ("little husband"), but it must be read Espòsito and it came from the latin expositus (the verb has become esposto in modern italian), which means "shown", but it's also referred to children abandoned in the foundling wheels (ruote degli esposti).

This surname was given to the children of the orphanage whithout a surname, for this reason it's very widespread.

+3
Level 67
Nov 14, 2020
This is very interesting.
+1
Level 74
Mar 3, 2021
It is indeed, thanks Tonikk.
+1
Level 67
Jan 24, 2019
I tried Netherlands for smith. It is very common here, though also often written as smith. Since it was about where the name originated, I didnt try usa or uk first. Because many words came into the english language through german or dutch. Though in this case it obviously could have evolved on its own in the uk aswell, since they would have had smithies too ;).

so even if the word itself is derived from german or dutch. By the time lastnames became a thing, the word allready excisted in english.

+1
Level 37
May 15, 2019
^ In dutch, the spelling would be Smit (w/o the "h"). In German it would be Schmidt. - I spent four years in school in the Netherlands and never heard of a dutch native (or someone from within the Dutch Diaspora) spell their name any other way than Smit; Smits; or Schmidt.
+1
Level 67
Jul 2, 2019
I spend my whole life here and have been with a smith in every class . Never with a smit or do I know one or anyone that I know knows ones. Personal experiences dont say everything though, just because you havent come across one doesnt mean it is a (common) name here. And because I havent met a smit (even feels weird to write it like that for me..) doesnt mean they are not there. I know they are and indeed more prevalent than smith. There is also smid (and even smidt. Schmidt is german as is schmit) I think the ratio is about 4 smit 1 smid 1 smith.
+1
Level 55
Apr 27, 2020
I have also only come across people called Smit or Smid here, but I guess Smith with an H would be an old fashioned way of spelling Smit. We used to have more sch/ch/h in Dutch a few centuries back.
+4
Level 28
Feb 1, 2019
Suprised that Nguyen only got 71%, I mean ffs 60% of the population has that last name
+4
Level 84
Jul 23, 2019
I'm guessing the European visitors to the site bring down the average. There aren't that many Vietnamese immigrants in Europe, compared to the USA.
+1
Level 74
Mar 3, 2021
This is true, but it has popped up in several other quizzes on this site. It must be very widely known in the US, because you guys always mention that it is easy. I only know it from this site, so er, well done jetpunk !
+1
Level 84
Mar 7, 2021
It is such an overwhelmingly common name in Vietnam - literally 400,000x more common than the name Smith is in the UK - that if your town has even a small Vietnamese immigrant community you would have definitely heard it many times. Add in the surnames Le, Pham, Tran, Huynh, Phan, Vu, Dang, Bui, Do, Ho, Ngo, Ly, and Duong... and that's 90% of all Vietnamese people.
+1
Level 55
Apr 27, 2020
I kept trying African countries for Nakamura, because it reminded me of the French (Malinese ethnicity) singer Aya Nakamura! When I later thought about it, it hit me that it also sounded very Japanese lol
+1
Level 58
Aug 3, 2020
Chen is more likely to be Taiwan than China.
+2
Level 67
Nov 14, 2020
The quiz asks where the name originated, not where it's more common now.
+1
Level 48
Aug 3, 2020
Very nice quiz-Thanks!
+1
Level 61
Sep 13, 2020
Nice one, though fairly easy.

4:03, FTR

Thanks!

+1
Level 46
Nov 14, 2020
I' m glad to see that I am not the only one who got tricked because thinking about Aya Nakamura. I tried Mali 7 times and then switched to a lot of African countries even those who don't speak French. Whatever glad to see my country -escu is probably the most Romanian suffix. It use to be a tie with achi * but now it s not so common, and it is mostly prevalent in Moldova*.
+1
Level 76
Nov 14, 2020
Done with 4:12 remaining!
+3
Level 67
Nov 14, 2020
Perhaps asking for language of origin would have been more meaningful. For example, Kim could come from North Korea or South Korea.
+1
Level 70
Nov 14, 2020
Hate that I didn't get "Teixera." I kept thinking it was a Latino name and typed literally every country in Latin America (including Brazil). I thought for sure I already tried Portugal, but I guess I didn't :P
+1
Level 70
Nov 14, 2020
Kardashian is sometimes said to be from Turkish? Is that true?
+1
Level 77
Nov 15, 2020
I got Jafari by thinking about Jafar from the movie Aladdin which I thought had a Middle East setting.
+2
Level 55
Nov 16, 2020
Actually the story of Aladdin is based in China, although a lot of details in the story doesn't make sense in a chinese setting.
+1
Level 65
Nov 16, 2020
If "Korea" is accepted, can "Persia" be accepted?
+1
Level 47
May 2, 2021
Korea is only accepted because the last name Kim comes from the Korean language, which belongs to neither North Korea or South Korea but to both Koreas
+2
Level 54
Nov 17, 2020
Did anyone think about Avatar: The Last Airbender when they saw Papadopoulos?
+1
Level 59
Aug 13, 2021
No...I had to look up what you meant cuz Aang only said that 1 time in 1 episode, not particularly memorable.
+1
Level 59
Dec 18, 2021
When I was rewatching some of it the other day I thought back to this haha
+2
Level 70
Mar 11, 2022
Just to clarify, it's Pippinpaddleopsicopolis, not Papadopoulos (although I see where you get that from). I'm always happy to see Avatar fans in the comments though :)
+1
Level 65
Aug 30, 2022
Me rewatching Avatar while reading this comment section and being 1 minute before the Pippinpaddleopsicopolis scene:
+1
Level 59
Aug 13, 2021
2:15 remaining, got Ionescu cuz it reminded me of Ceaușescu
+1
Level 56
Nov 10, 2021
The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, 326 Indian reservations, and some minor possessions.[j] At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million square kilometers), it is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area.[e] The United States shares significant land borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south as well as limited maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, and Russia.[20] With a population of more than 331 million people, it is the third most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago, and European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies.
+2
Level 68
Feb 10, 2022
Thanks for all that information that has nothing to do with this quiz.
+1
Level 68
Feb 10, 2022
“Korea” is not a country.
+1
Level 30
Apr 16, 2022
Lester Papadopoulous from Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
+1
Level 59
Jun 8, 2022
54 seconds