There's an old Ole and Lena joke that goes something like this...

Ole is on his deathbed. The doctor has told him he has only a few hours to live. He catches the scent of his favorite bars wafting through the air. With all the strength he can muster, he drags himself into the kitchen and sees a fresh pan cooling on the rack. He cuts one out and bites into the scrumptious cookie. Lena comes in, smacks his hand, and says, "Shame on you, Ole! Dese are for after de funeral!"

It's a great joke, one told roughly a billiondy times in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wiscannsin. Maybe South Dakota. Hard to tell. They're maybe too sensible to jokes. But anyway, then, I heard that joke last night, and it got me thinking, is Minnesota still really very Scandahoovian (as some old folks say) or have the Johnsons and Olson's moved on? ?

This list comes from, and yah, lotsa Scandanavian influence here, don'tchyaknow. Just look at all those Johnsons would ya?

Minnesota's Top 20 Last Names

  1. Johnson 88,721
  2. Anderson 59,829
  3. Nelson 41,035
  4. Olson 38,586
  5. Peterson 36,450
  6. Smith 31,248
  7. Larson 27,047
  8. Miller 26,930
  9. Carlson 22,400
  10. Hanson 21,395
  11. Erickson 18,857
  12. Thompson 17,231
  13. Brown 16,791
  14. Williams 14,728
  15. Jones 13,716
  16. Lee 13,226
  17. Meyer 12,938
  18. Schmidt 12,485
  19. Swanson 11,743
  20. Davis 11,126

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