Short Last Names Beginning With Q

This article is about short last names beginning with Q that are under five letters.

We look at the most common four-letter, three-letter, and two-letter Q surnames in America in recent years.

We also investigate whether anybody in the United States is named simply “Q”.

Using The 2010 U.S. Census

We used the 2010 U.S. Census to look at the numbers for these names.

That allowed us to grab the top ten in each category of four, three, and two-letter names.

The 2010 census also gives a breakdown of how people reported their ethnicity. Some of these names have at least tiny percentages of all the possible ethnic categories.

We’ve included the top two ethnicities in the tables below when the second is above 20%. The first listed ethnicity has the higher percentage.

Most Common Four Letter Last Names Starting With Q

Quan is the most common four-letter surname starting with Q in America.

There were over 6,400 people named Quan in the USA in 2010.

Last NameNumberMostly
Qazi1,219Asian & PI
Qian3,173Asian & PI
Qiao841Asian & PI
Qing208Asian & PI
Quan6,451Asian & PI
Quek167Asian & PI
Quon1,282Asian & PI

About 83% of people named Quan ticked the box in the 2010 census for Asian & Pacific Islander.

The name is likely of Chinese origins.

The surname of Quin was more spread across several heritages:

  • White: 68%
  • Black: 15%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • Asian & PI: 7%

This name has different European origins depending on the region.

The Normans brought the name to England, with the meaning coming from the Old French word for a monkey.

It is also a variant of Quinn, a name of Irish origins. I give a detailed description in our list of Irish surnames starting with Q.

Most Common Three Letter Last Names Starting With Q

I usually give the top ten short last names for each letter of the alphabet.

However, I can’t do that for three-letter last names starting with Q. That’s because there are only six reported in the 2010 census.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few more two-letter Q family names in America. It’s just that other names didn’t have at least one hundred bearers in 2010.

The U.S. National Archives only publishes details of surnames with one hundred or more bearers. Here is a summary of the six names from the census:

Here are the six:

Last NameNumberMostly
Qin2,664Asian & PI
Qiu4,424Asian & PI
Qua207White, Asian & PI
Que681Asian & PI
Qui359Asian & PI
Quy177Asian & PI, White

Qiu is the most common three-letter surname starting with Q in the United States. It had over 4,400 bearers in 2010.

About 98% of people named Qiu reported as Asian or Pacific Islander. The name is of Chinese origin.

The name Quy was pretty evenly split between two heritages:

  • Asian & PI: 49.2%
  • White: 48.6%

The Asian origins are Vietnamese.

The European origins comes from a place in England named Quy. People from the place would be given the surname.

Two Letter Last Names Starting With Q

I also can’t provide a top ten list of two-letter names starting with Q.

There are only a total of two examples in the 2010 U.S. census.

Last NameNumberMostly
Qi2,354Asian & PI
Qu2,593Asian & PI

Qu is the most common two-letter name starting with Q in the United States.

It doesn’t have many more people than the names of Qi.

Both appeared as primarily Asian or Pacific Islander in the census. The names are of Chinese origin.

Q As A One-Letter Last Name

If you’re an older Star Trek fan, you’ll remember the all-powerful alien who was simply called Q.

Could there be a few families with “Q” as their name in the United States?

Well, the name doesn’t appear n the published U.S. census of 2010. That means that even if it exists in the country, there weren’t at least one hundred people with the name.

So, we have to look elsewhere.

The late mathematician A. Ross Eckler conducted a study of one-letter names in the 1970s using telephone directories.

You may be too young to remember telephone directories stacked on the hall table. Here’s a picture:

The entries were formatted as lists under the name.

“Q” was the only letter that Eckler couldn’t find any entries for!

Other Surnames That Start With Q

If you want to look at more names, check out these articles:

Index Of Other Short Last Names


Margaret created a family tree on a genealogy website in 2012. She purchased her first DNA kit in 2017. She created this website to share insights and how-to guides on DNA, genealogy, and family research.

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