Most Popular Spanish Last Names – Hispanic Surnames and Their Origin
Spanish last names can be found all over the world in the many Spanish speaking countries such as Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South/Central America. They have a long and interesting history, and like most countries, have a specific system that sorts these names into categories.
Patronymic & Matronymic
These names are taken from either the mothers or fathers given names. For example, Fernández meaning son of Fernando. Patronymic or matronymic surnames are the most common type of Spanish surnames.
These names tell you a little about the origin of the first individual to take this name; basically where they came from. An example is Navarro, meaning from Navarre, or Serrano meaning Highlander.
Occupational last names are simply describe the occupation of the individual or their ancestors. Examples are; Romero meaning pilgrim or Herrera/Herrero meaning Ironworker/Blacksmith.
Descriptive surnames simply describe a characteristic or feature of an individual. They could describe what the persons character was like, for example Bravo meaning brave, or a physical feature. An example would be Moreno meaning Brown-haired, tanned, brunette.
Most Common Spanish Surnames List, With Meanings:
The names below are Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican last names, as all these countries are majority Spanish speaking. Can you identify which categories each one of the following surnames fall under?
García – Basque
Fernández – Son of Fernando
González – Son of Gonzalo
Rodríguez – Son of Rodrigo, Roderic.
López – Son of Lope, meaning wolf.
Martínez – Son of Martin
Sánchez – Son of Sancho
Pérez – Son of Pedro
Martín – Variation of the given name, Mars, the name of the Roman god of fertility and war.
Gómez – Son of Gomes, Gomo, or Gomaro
Ruiz – Son of Rui, short for Rodrigo
Hernández – Son of Hernando, variation of Fernando
Jiménez – Son of Jimeno
Díaz – Son of Diego
Álvarez – Son of Alvaro, from Alvar
Moreno – Brown-haired, tanned, brunette
Muñoz – Son of Munio
Alonso – Variation of Alfonso.
Gutiérrez – Son of Gutier, Gutierre, or Gualtierre
Romero – Pilgrim
Navarro – From Navarre
Torres – Towers
Domínguez – Son of Domingo, Master
Gil – From older form Egidio.
Vázquez – Son of Vasco or Velasco
Serrano – Highlander
Ramos – Branches. Meaning born during Palm Sunday.
Blanco – White
Sanz – True
Castro – Village
Suárez – Son of Suero or Suaro
Ortega – From Ortiga, nettle plant
Rubio – Blond, fair-haired
Molina – Mill
Delgado – Thin man
Ramírez – Son of Ramiro, Radamir, or Radmir.
Morales – Blackberry groves
Ortiz – Son of Ortún, Fortunate One
Marín – Sailor
Iglesias – Churches
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