In the 1990 and 2000 Census results, Smith was the most popular last name in the United States. Maybe your last name is Smith, or Garcia or Miller: do you know the meaning and the history of this part of you that you write and say daily?

Surname means “the name that a person has in common with other family members, as distinguished from a Christian name or given name; family name.” Sur is a French root meaning “above.”

The surname Smith is derived from smithing or blacksmithing, “a person who forges objects of iron.” The ancestor root of Smith means simply “cut or strike.”  

One reason that the name is so common is because blacksmithing was a specialized craft practiced in many places.

Well-known Smiths include the tragic tabloid figure Anna  Nicole Smith and Maria Ann Smith, who the Granny Smith apple is named after.

Unlike Smith, Garcia is new to the top ten. From the 1990 census to the 2000 census, Garcia jumped from eighteenth to eighth.

The origin of Garcia is up for debate. Garcia could have originally been a patronymic name, “a name derived from the name of the father and describing that descent.” It may have also been a medieval name meaning “like a fox,” or it could have referred to someone who was from Garcia, Spain.

Famous bearers of the surname include Andy Garcia, the actor, and Jerry Garcia, a band member of the Grateful Dead.

Miller is another surname tied to an occupation. Miller originally referred to someone who owned or worked in a grain mill. The Old English word was mylnweard, literally “mill-keeper.” There are several cognate surnames for Miller, such as the French Moulin and the Italian Molinaro.

Famous Millers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller and basketball player Reggie Miller.

What surnames would you like us to define and delve into? Let us know. The names with the most requests will receive a profile in the near future.

The Daily Record News Briefs: August 6, 2010 here google apps for education

The Daily Record (Baltimore) August 6, 2010 3 named to rate panel Gov. Martin O’Malley on Friday announced the appointments of three persons to the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, including a new chairman, Frederick W. Puddester. Puddester is senior associate dean for finance and administration at the Johns Hopkins University. He worked for 21 years in state government, including four years as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management under former Gov. Parris N. Glendening. He succeeds Dr. Donald A. Young as chairman of the panel, which sets Maryland hospital rates. Also named to the commission is Dr. George H. Bone, an internal medicine specialist in private practice in Montgomery County, and Dr. Bernadette C. Loftus, an associate director of the Permanente Medical Group.

Novavax’s loss grows Novavax Inc. of Rockville reported a second-quarter net loss of $9.4 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, versus a net loss of $8.5 million, or 10 cents per share, for the prior-year quarter. The company, which develops vaccines to protect against H1N1 pandemic influenza, seasonal flu and other viral diseases, posted revenue of $7,000 for the 2010 quarter compared to $29,000 in last year’s second quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters on average projected per-share earnings of 10 cents and revenue of $110,000. Company officials said they incurred greater costs for research and development, and administrative expenses.

Google Apps for Education The Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on Friday said they will make Google Apps for Education available for free to MEEC’s 189 member K-12 and higher educational institutions in Maryland. Google Apps provides e- mail, documents, group pages, chat and other products to more than 8 million students. UMBC will be the first campus in the University System of Maryland to implement the Google suite of products under the new contract. MEEC was formed, according to its website, to provide its members with opportunities to license the use of education hardware and software at competitive prices.

Himmelrich’s big score Himmelrich PR said it was retained by three national producers of consumer shows to promote their events. The new clients are The Woodworking Show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Happy Paws Pet Expo. With the additions, the Baltimore-based PR firm will provide media relations, social media coordination and marketing support for more than 45 consumer shows and events a year throughout the U.S. The agency said it plans to hire additional media relations and support staff to accommodate the new business. googleappsforeducation.org google apps for education

Goozex’s new partner Goozex Inc. of College Park, an online video game and movies trading website, said it has partnered with San Francisco-based Bitmob Media, a community-focused, gaming editorial website. The relationship is intended to expose each site’s audience to each other’s products and services. Additional benefits include big- ticket contests sponsored by Goozex, a regular Top 10 list hosted on Bitmob that shows which games are in demand and some future content trading.

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