Monday, November 17, 2003

You know, it isn't racist to say that certain names are typical of certain ethnicities or nationalities. I mean, there aren't too many chronically sober people named Paddy Murphy, or too many fundamentalist snake handlers named Moe Levy, or too many Sigma Chi or ATO pledges named LaTryrone Jackson, or too many flamenco singers named Jordi Puigdefabregas. Or Koldo Isparregizebarrenoizerretagoitia.

As a sociological study, I asked Remei to name some "typically gypsy" surnames. I got Amaya, Heredia, Flores, Montoya, Amador, and Reyes. I then added up the surnames of the 85 people on the Calo Nationalist Party ballot, figuring you're probably a gypsy yourself if you're on the ballot of that party. That's a total of 170 surnames, two per person. Here's the distribution of interesting stuff:

"Standard" Gypsy Surnames:

Flores 15
Amaya 14
Heredia 11
Amador 9
Montoya 3
Reyes 1

Standard Spanish surnames:

Jimenez 18
Fernandez 12
Perez 6
Hernandez 2
Martinez 2
Rodriguez 1
Gonzalez 1
Lopez 0
Garcia 0

Standard Portuguese surnames:
Silva 4
Vargas 3
Santos 2

Standard Catalan surnames:

Soler 1
Torres 1

Common other surnames among gypsies:

Cortes 14
Santiago 13
Manzano 9

Conclusion: All of the surnames that are stereotypically gypsy turn up, though Montoya and Reyes are not really that common. Several standard Spanish surnames, with no intrinsic gypsy connection, turn up in large numbers, but some other very common Spanish surnames don't turn up at all. Catalan surnames barely appear, though Portuguese surnames are not too uncommon. Cortes, Santiago and Manzano are common surnames among gypsies, but for some reason are not considered stereotypically gypsy.

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