Check this site out: http://names.whitepages.com/
They list the most popular names in the country, and in each individual state.
This won't shock anybody, but here are the list toppers...
The Most Common US Last Names
The Most Common US First Names
What is fascinating is what happens when you try and find the Top 10 for each state.
For example, in Jersey, Mr. John Smith, you might still be a big deal, but Bob Johnson, please be aware you've got nothing on Bob Patel... those both came in at #2 in NJ. Maybe you know Bill Rodriguez or 2. Or a Joe Davis. All also popular in the Garden State.
In Hawaii, you're more likely to find a Jim Lee, John Wong, or a Bobby Kim sooner than you'd find a Mike Smith. George Johnson of Honolulu probably feels like he's got the most original name ever.
You notice also that you go in phases of your life where it seems like certain names are ridiculously popular?
In grade school, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a Lisa. (Poor Lisa - what an image, getting struck in the face with a dead animal). I knew so many Lisa's... I even knew two Lisa M's. They needed to be distinguished by size: Little Lisa, and Big Lisa. Which was a shame. Little Lisa was very very small, so Big Lisa actually should've been called Normal Size Lisa.
In high school, Jen. And that was ridiciulous. There was Jen, Jennifer, Jenny, Jen, Jenna, Jenn, and Jennie. Oh, and there was also Jen. Don't you dare get them confused.
The story of my life, filled with Dave M's and Matt S's.... I work with a pair of them now. Of course that Dave M. and Matt S. are not to be confused with the one I saw last weekend, the one with the cool hair, the one we used to call The Kissing Bandit, the one who I sat next to in Physics, the one who broke my heart, the one who broke my cousin's heart, the one who played bass, or the one who still breaks my heart to this day.
It's all very confusing, I know, but I can tell 'em apart.
The Most Popular Name at WPST for interns seems to be Kristen. I doubt it was a hiring requirement and surely a coincidence. And when there was a time I used to never know their names until their final week with us, now I can just walk in a room, and say, "Kristen?"
Eleven eager faces look up at me, and I can just point.
"Yep, I'm talking to you!"