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Common Australian Surnames & Their Meanings

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Smith, Jones, Williams... Are you one of the millions of Australians sporting one of these top common last names from Australia? The following list of the most commonly occurring surnames in Australia includes details on each name's origin and meaning. It's interesting to note that the World Names Public Profile list of common Australian surnames, compiled primarily from telephone directories and electoral registers, is the first time that an Asian name -- Nguyen -- appears among the top 10 surnames in Australia.

* FPM = Frequency Per Million

1. SMITH

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FPM: 12,254.2
Smith is an occupational surname for a man who works with metal (smith or blacksmith), one of the earliest jobs for which specialist skills were required. It is a craft that was practiced in all countries, making the surname and its derivations the most common of all surnames around the world.

2. JONES

FPM: 6,132.79
A patronymic name meaning "son of John (God has favored or gift of God)."

3. WILLIAMS

FPM: 5,904.07
The most common origin of the Williams surname is patronymic, meaning "son of William," but there are also others.

4. BROWN

FPM: 5,880.77
A descriptive surname meaning "brown haired" or "brown skinned."

5. WILSON

FPM: 5,037.98
An English or Scottish surname meaning "son of Will," a nickname for William.

6. TAYLOR

FPM: 4,867.51
An English occupational name for a tailor, from Old French "tailleur" for "tailor" which comes from the Latin "taliare," meaning "to cut."

7. NGUYEN

FPM: 3,798.06
This is the most common surname in Vietnam, but is actually of Chinese origin, meaning "musical instrument."

8. JOHNSON

FPM: 3,571.02
An English patronymic surname meaning "son of John (gift of God)."

9. MARTIN

FPM: 3,314.21
Patronymic surname taken from the ancient Latin given name Martinus, derived from Mars, the Roman god of fertility and war.

10. WHITE

FPM: 3,304.37
Generally a surname originally used to describe someone with very light hair or complexion.
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