This article is about short last names beginning with V that are under five letters.
We look at the most common four-letter, three-letter, and two-letter V surnames in America in recent years.
We also investigate whether anybody in the United States is named simply “V”.
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.
By the way, the initials PI stand for “Pacific Islander”.
Most Common Four Letter Last Names Starting With V
Vega is the most common four-letter surname starting with V in America.
There were over 116 thousand people named Vega in the USA in 2010.
|Vang||48,036||Asian & PI|
93% of people named Vega reported as Hispanic in the 2010 census.
The origin of the surname comes from the Spanish word for a fertile meadow. Early bearers likely lived near such places.
Vang was the next highest name with about half the bearers.
97% of people named Vang ticked the census box for “Asian or Pacific Islander”. The name has Chinese and Vietnamese origins.
There was more of a spread of heritages for the name of Vann.
- White: 53%
- Black: 32%
- Asian & PI: 6%
- Native American: 4%
- Hispanic 3%
Most Common Three Letter Last Names Starting With V
You can see in the table below that three-letter last names starting with V are generally less common than in the previous section.
|Van||10,798||Asian & PI, White|
|Vaz||2,317||White, Asian & PI|
|Vea||1,123||Asian & PI, White|
|Vue||11,717||Asian & PI|
Vue is the most common three-letter surname starting with V in the United States. It had over eleven thousand bearers in 2010.
A whopping 98% of holders reported as Asian or Pacific Islander in the census. This name is a variant of the shorter name Vu that I covered in the previous section.
96% of people named Vos reported as white. This name has different European origins depending on the region. The English name can derive from the word for a ditch.
In contrast, early Dutch bearers may have taken the name from the word for a fox (vos). These people could have been red-haired.
The widest spread across multiple heritages was seen for the name Val:
- Black: 39%
- Hispanic: 30%
- White: 25%
- Asian & PI: 3%
Two Letter Last Names Starting With V
I can’t give you the top ten two-letter names starting with V.
That’s because there are only a total of six examples in the 2010 U.S. census.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few more two-letter V 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 five names from the census:
|Ve||149||Asian & PI, White|
|Vi||799||Asian & PI|
|Vo||36,236||Asian & PI|
|Vu||36,179||Asian & PI|
|Vy||561||Asian & PI|
Vu is the most common two-letter name starting with V in the United States.
This can be a spelling variant of Vue but not always. In many cases, the name is of Vietnamese origin.
All but one of these names have a high percentage of people declaring as Asian or Pacific Islander in the census.
The exception was Ve. This was the spread in the census:
- Asian & PI: 49%
- White: 26%
- Hispanic: 18%
- Black: 5%
V As A One-Letter Last Name
Statistics for the name “V” aren’t in the published U.S. census of 2010. That means that even if it exists in the country, there weren’t one hundred people with the name.
Could there be a few families with “V” as their name in the United States?
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.
Eckler pointed out that many examples in the books were errors that came from reversing initials and last names.
He found these two entries under V:
- Humberto Miranda
Could these be typographic errors for someone with an initial V?
For example, could “Humberto Miranda V” really be “V Humberto Miranda”?
I think so. My guess is that both these names are errors.
Other Surnames That Start With V
If you want to look at more names, check out these articles: