The most common "pattern" of keeping names is- 'first name', followed by a 'middle name', and ending with a 'last name'. But when it comes to Spanish customs of keeping a name, it's very different! Hispanic last names, have been into existence from the 12th century. Unlike the traditional way of having a first and middle name, the Spanish have first name (In Spanish, Nombre), followed by two last names (In Spanish, Apellidos). For example, if a child born in the US is named John Paul White, then, John = First name, Paul = Middle name, and White = Last name (paternal). But if a child is born in a Spanish family and is named Juan Ramos Alvarez, Juan = first name, Ramos = father's last name (Apellidos Paterno), and Alvarez = mother's last name ( Apellidos Materno). Did you get the difference? In Spain there is no concept of keeping a middle name. Therefore, the first name is followed by the father's last name and then the mother's last name. However, Spanish law allows to change the order of appearance of paternal surname and maternal surname.
Origin of Spanish Surnames
Spanish last names are known to have originated from the 4 main criteria, which are kept in mind while keeping a name. These were:
- Geographical Surnames: These surnames are originated from the concept of naming people on the basis of their native place or hometown. For example, people who come from Navarre, Spain, may have a surname Navarro.
- Patronymic / Matronymic Surnames: These surnames are formed with the surnames of parents. Patronymic last names are derived from the first name of the father. For example, Alvarez means (son of Alvaro), Rodríguez (son of Rodrigo).
- Occupational Surnames: These surnames are derived from the family occupation or trade. For example, Roderick Guerrero (Roderick the warrior)
- Descriptive Last Names: Descriptive surnames are the ones which describe something about the family's qualities or traits, or even the person's quality for that matter. For example, Juan Gros, where Gros means Big in Catalan, which is a Spanish language.
List of Spanish Last Names
Now that we are familiar with the origin of Spanish last names and the patterns that have been followed by Spanish history, it will get easier for us to identify the last names and their meanings somehow! Another thing to be kept in mind when it comes to Spanish surnames is that, they usually end by adding "ez, es, is, as ,oz, os, or" to the name of the father. As mentioned earlier, since Spanish surnames consists of the last name of both the father and the mother, a "y" is included in between. For example, Pablo Garcio y Galeano. Here, y means "and". Pablo being the given name, Garcio and Galeano are the last names of the parents. Some last names also includes de which means 'of'. An example to this would be, Alejandro de Lugo, which means Alejandro of the town Lugo. Now that we have known the Spanish naming customs, let's go through the list below to check out the most famous and common Spanish last names:
|De Jesus||Diego||Diaz||De Caxias||Dopazo|
|Durango||Delmorales||Domenguez||Dealejandro||De La Iglesia|
I hope this article on Spanish last names helped to know more about their amazing culture and naming customs. It really amazes me how this one world has so many different worlds within it. This article is just an effort to explore more about the Spanish world, their culture, and their life. Hope you enjoyed reading this write-up!