Short Last Names Beginning With X

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

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

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

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 X

Xiao is the most common four-letter surname starting with X in America. There were over 6,100 people named Xiao in the USA in 2010.

In this alphabetical series of articles on short names, I usually give the top ten.

But I can’t do that with X because there were only seven in the census. Here they are:

Last NameNumberMostly
Xang107Asian & PI
Xian583Asian & PI
Xiao6,123Asian & PI
Xing1,240Asian & PI
Xuan445Asian & PI

A whopping 98% of people named Xiao ticked the census box for “Asian & Pacific Islander”. The name is primarily of Chinese origin.

Xing is the only other name in this section that had over one thousand bearers. 97% reported as Asian or Pacific Islander. This name is also of Chinese origin.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few more four-letter X 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.

Most Common Three Letter Last Names Starting With X

Once again, we don’t have enough names in the census to give a top ten list. Here are the three-letter last names beginning with X:

Last NameNumberMostly
Xia3,693Asian & PI
Xie9,716Asian & PI
Xin948Asian & PI
Xiu169Asian & PI
Xue3,248Asian & PI

As you can see, these are actually more common than the four-letter names. That goes against the trends of the other letters of the alphabet.

Xie is the most common three-letter surname starting with X in the United States. It had over 9,700 bearers in 2010.

98% of holders reported as Asian or PI. The name is primarily of Chinese origin.

Two Letter Last Names Starting With X

There were three two-letter surnames beginning with X in the 2010 census.

Last NameNumberMostly
Xa179Asian & PI
Xi963Asian & PI
Xu25,622Asian & PI

Interestingly, one of these names is more common than any in the three-letter and four-letter sections.

Xu is the most common two-letter name starting with X in America. It has over twenty-five thousand bearers in 2010.

This name is of Chinese origin.

X As A One-Letter Last Name

Statistics for the surname “X” 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 “X” as their name in the United States?

Professor X of the X-Men doesn’t count!

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:

Eckler pointed out that many examples in the books were errors that came from reversing initials and last names.

He found more entries under X than for most other letters. Here are some of the eight:

  • Cecil X
  • Gregory Q X
  • Lattus N X
  • Morris L X

Could some be typographic errors for someone with an initial X?

For example, could “Cecil X” really be “X Cecil”?

Perhaps. But Eckler clearly stated that he would bet “heavily on the reality of the surname X”.

Other Surnames That Start With X

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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