Hispanic Surnames: Meanings, Origins and Naming Practices

Meanings of Common Hispanic Last Names

Spanish double last names
Kimberly Powell

Origins of Common Spanish Surnames, 51–100

Does your last name fall into this list of the 100 most common Hispanic surnames? For additional Spanish surname meanings and origins, see Spanish Surname Meanings, 1–50

Continue reading below this list of common Hispanic surnames to learn about Hispanic naming customs, including why most Hispanics have two last names and what those names represent.

51. MALDONADO76. DURAN
52. ESTRADA77. CARRILLO
53. COLON78. JUAREZ
54. GUERRERO79. MIRANDA
55. SANDOVAL80. SALINAS
56. ALVARADO81. DELEON
57. PADILLA82. ROBLES
58. NUNEZ83. VELEZ
59. FIGUEROA84. CAMPOS
60. ACOSTA85. GUERRA
61. MARQUEZ86. AVILA
62. VAZQUEZ87. VILLARREAL
63. DOMINGUEZ88. RIVAS
64. CORTEZ89. SERRANO
65. AYALA90. SOLIS
66. LUNA91. OCHOA
67. MOLINA92. PACHECO
68. ESPINOZA93. MEJIA
69. TRUJILLO94. LARA
70. MONTOYA95. LEON
71. CONTRERAS96. VELASQUEZ
72. TREVINO97. FUENTES
73. GALLEGOS98. CAMACHO
74. ROJAS99. CERVANTES
75. NAVARRO100. SALAS

 

Hispanic Surnames: Why Two Last Names?

The Hispanic double surname system traces back to the nobility class of Castile in the 16th century. The first surname generally comes from the father and is the primary family name, while the second (or last) surname comes from the mother. A man named Gabriel García Marquez, for example, indicates a father's first surname of García and the mother's first surname, Marquez.

Father: Pedro García Pérez 
Mother: Madeline Marquez Rodríguez 
Son: Gabriel García Marquez

Portuguese names, including surnames from Brazil where Portuguese is the predominant language, often follow a different pattern than other Spanish speaking countries, with the mother's surname coming first, followed by the father's name, or primary family name.
 

How Does Marriage Affect the Surname?

In most Hispanic cultures women generally keep their father's surname (maiden name) throughout their life.

At marriage, many choose to add their husband's surname in place of their mother's surname, sometimes with a de between their father's and husband's surnames. Thus, a wife will generally have a different double surname than her husband. Some women also choose to use all three surnames. Because of this, children will have a different double surname than either of their parents, as their name is made up of (as discussed previously) their father's first surname (the one from his father) and their mother's first surname (the one from her father).

Wife: Madeline Marquez Rodríguez  (Marquez is her father's first surname, Rodríguez her mother's)
Husband: Pedro García Pérez 
Name After Marriage: Madeline Marquez Pérez or Madeline Marquez de Pérez
 

Expect Variants—Especially As You Go Back in Time

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Hispanic naming patterns were less consistent. It wasn't unusual, for example, for male children to be given the surname of their father, while females took the surname of their mothers. The double surname system which originated among the Castilian upper classes during the sixteenth century, did not come into common use throughout Spain until the nineteenth century. Thus double surnames in use prior to 1800 may reflect something other than the paternal and maternal surnames, such as a way to distinguish one family with a common surname from others of the same surname. Surnames might also have been chosen from a prominent family or even from grandparents.

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Powell, Kimberly. "Hispanic Surnames: Meanings, Origins and Naming Practices." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/hispanic-surnames-meanings-and-origins-1422407. Powell, Kimberly. (2017, March 3). Hispanic Surnames: Meanings, Origins and Naming Practices. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hispanic-surnames-meanings-and-origins-1422407 Powell, Kimberly. "Hispanic Surnames: Meanings, Origins and Naming Practices." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hispanic-surnames-meanings-and-origins-1422407 (accessed November 20, 2017).