Humanities › History & Culture What Does the Last Name Nuñez Mean? Research the origins and genealogy of this popular Spanish surname Share Flipboard Email Print Grandfather is just one of several possible interpretations for the meaning of the Nunez and Nunes surname. Jamie Grill / JGI / Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated October 24, 2019 While Nuñez is a very common last name in Spanish, it has an interesting story—although it's not entirely clear what it means. Nuñez is a patronymic surname, meaning it was created by adding letters to the name of a paternal ancestor. Nuñez comes from the given name Nuño and is accompanied by the traditional patronymic suffix -ez. Nuño is of uncertain derivation, although it may be from the Latin nonus, meaning "ninth," nunnus, meaning "grandfather," or nonnus, meaning "chamberlain" or "squire." Fast Facts on the Nuñez Surname Frequency: Nuñez is the 58th most common Hispanic surname.Surname Origin: SpanishAlternate Spellings: Nuñes (Portuguese/Galician), Nuño, Nuñoz, Nuñoo, NeñoTo Create a Keyboard ñ/Ñ: On a Windows computer, hold down the alt key while typing 164. For a capital Ñ, it's alt and 165. On a Mac, press Option and the n key, then the n key again. For a capital Ñ, hold the shift key while typing the second n. Spelling and Pronunciation While Nuñez is traditionally spelled with the Spanish ñ, the tilde is not always included when writing out the name. Part of this is due to the fact that English keyboards do not make typing the tilde-accented "n" easy, so the Latin "n" is substituted in its place. (Some families simply dropped the accent at some point in time.) Whether it is spelled Nuñez or Nunez, the pronunciation remains the same. The letter ñ signifies a double "n" letter, which is unique to Spanish. It's pronounced "ny" just as in señorita. Famous People Named Nuñez Since Nuñez is such a popular name, you will encounter it often. When it comes to celebrities and well-known people, there are a few who are particularly interesting: Vasco Nuñez de Balboa: Spanish explorer and conquistadorMiguel Nuñez: American actorRafael Nuñez: three-time president of ColombiaSamuel Nuñes: Born Diogo Nuñes Ribeiro in Portugal, Samuel Nuñes was a physician and one of the first Jewish immigrants to the Georgia colony in 1733. Where Do People With the Nuñez Surname Live? According to Public Profiler: World Names, the vast majority of individuals with the Nuñez surname live in Spain, specifically in the Extremadura and Galicia regions. Moderate concentrations also exist in the United States and Argentina, plus small populations in France and Australia. It is also a name commonly found in Mexico and Venezuela. Genealogy Resources for the Surname Nuñez Are you interested in researching your ancestry? Explore these resources targeted specifically to the Nuñez family name. Nuñez Family DNA Project: Males with the Nuñez or Nuñes surname are welcome to join this Y-DNA project. It is geared toward a combination of DNA and traditional genealogy research to explore shared Nuñez heritage.FamilySearch: NUÑEZ Genealogy: Explore over 725,000 historical records and lineage-linked family trees with entries for the Nuñez surname. It is a free website hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.NUÑEZ Surname & Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Nuñez surname. The archive of posts is a good research tool if you're tracing your family lineage. Sources Cottle B. "Penguin Dictionary of Surnames." Penguin Books. 1967.Hanks P. "Dictionary of American Family Names." Oxford University Press. 2003.Smith E.C. "American Surnames." Genealogical Publishing Company. 1997.