#1
Smellies and Bottoms named in surname list of shame
30th August 2006




Surname: Beckhams like to travel - David moved to Spain and other clusters have been found as far away as New Zealand



The nation's most embarrassing surnames have been revealed today with experts showing Cocks come from Truro, Willys hail from Taunton and Bottoms call Huddersfield home.

Variations on a theme show Handcock, Glasscock, Hickinbottom, Shufflebottom and Winterbottom are also among the names people have been most desperate to shake-off in the last 100 years.

The number of people with the surname Cock is now at only a quarter of the level it was in 1881, putting it at the top of the list compiled by a team of geographers at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London (UCL).

Glasgow was the home of the most Smellies in 1881, while Nottingham was home to the Dafts, Jellys were based in Guildford and Piggs in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Blackburn is named as the original hometown of Nutters - but their numbers have held up. The number of Nutters has only fallen by 35 per cent in more than a century.

Other analysis of more than 500,000 surnames, first names and place names has also allowed the researchers to find out who are the most adventurous at emigrating, and who like to stay nearer home.

People with the surname Riddle, McRae, Cranger, Crabtree and Tillotson are among the most widely spread across the globe including Australia, America and New Zealand.

But Baggots, Goodeys, Ruddocks and Spraggs are the least adventurous, rarely venturing from their roots.

Among famous surnames, the name Blair originated in the west of Scotland (and Tony Blair is a Scotsman) and the number of people sharing a surname with the Prime Minister has grown by 50 per cent since the 19th century to 12,473 today.

The name Beckham originated in Walsingham, Norwich but while the former England captain David has travelled to Spain, Beckham clusters have been found in Northland, New Zealand and Mississippi in the US.

Pablo Mateos from UCL said: "Most people's names have a very precise geographic origin. They can be mapped to places in the world from which they have spread through the globe following historic and migration flows."

The research was presented at the annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Full list of embarrassing names ranked by the level they have fallen from 1881-1996:

Cock
Hickinbottom
Handcock
Smellie
Haggard
Daft
Shufflebottom
Grave
Stranger
Jelly
Slow
Crankshaw
Onion
Willy
Pigg
Poor
Paddy
Hustler
Hickinbotham
Glasscock
Nutter
Bottom
Winterbottom


Full list of most adventurous names:

Riddle
Mcrae
Granger
Crabtree
Tillotson
Toole
Mcpherson
Mcdonald
Gribble
Judson


Full list of least adventurous names:

Baggott
Blewitt
Daines
Elvin
Facey
Ferns
Game
Ash
Goodey
Moyse
Parfitt
Pinnock
Povey
Ruddock
Spragg
Spruce
Staff



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