García (surname)

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García (Castillian), Garcicea (Basque), Garciandia (Basque), Gaztea (Basque)
Family name
Pronunciation [ɡaɾˈθi.a] (Spain) or [ɡaɾˈsi.a] (Latin America)
Region of origin Spain
Related names Garci, Garza, Garcia, Garcés, Garcicea, Garciandia, Gassie, Gassion, Gaztea
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons:[1]

Garcia or García is a Basque origin surname common throughout Spain, Portugal, parts of France, the Americas, and the Philippines.

It is attested since the high Middle Ages north and south of the Pyrenees (Basque Culture Territories), with the surname (sometimes first name too) thriving especially on the Kingdom of Navarre and spreading out to Castile and other Spanish regions.

Ramón Menéndez Pidal and Antonio Tovar believed it to derive from the Basque word (H)artz, meaning "(the) Bear".[2][3][4][5][6] Alfonso Irigoyen suggests it may come from a Basque adjective garze(a) meaning "young", whose modern form is gaztea or gaztia.[6][7] A third etymology suggests it may derive from the Basque words "Gazte Hartz", meaning "(the) young bear".[citation needed] Variant forms of the name include Garcicea, Gartzi, Gartzia, Gartze, Garsea, and Gastea.[8]

There are Gasconic cognates of Garcia like Gassie and Gassion[9] (Béarn, Gassio 14th century,[10] real name of Edith Piaf, born Edith Gassion).

It is a surname of patronymic origin; García was a very common first name in early medieval Spain. García is the most common surname in Spain (where 3.32% of population is named García) and also the second most common surname in Cuba. It has become common in the United States due to substantial Latin American immigration, and is now the 8th most common surname in the U.S.[11]

In the 1990 United States Census, Garcia was the 18th most reported surname, accounting for 0.25% of the population.[12] Quite rare before the 1st World War in France, except in the French Pays Basque,[13] Garcia is now the 14th most common surname in France (the 8th one for the number of birth between 1966 and 1990), due to an important Spanish immigration.[14][15] It ranked second in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur after the number of births 1966–1990.[16] García is also the third most common surname amongst Spanish in the United Kingdom.
























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  1. ^ "García Surname Meaning and Distribution". 
  2. ^ "Garcia". 
  3. ^ "Garcia Last Name Origin". 
  4. ^ "Garcia Genealogy & History". 
  5. ^ "Garcia name meaning". 
  6. ^ a b Gartzia (Garzia, García) euskal deitura dela eta, language question presented to the Academy of the Basque Language answered by Xabier Kintana.
  7. ^ For the lost r, compare the attested historic alternations bost~bortz 'five', oste~ortze 'sky', etc.
  8. ^ "Nombres". Euskaltzaindia (The Royal Academy of the Basque Language). Retrieved 2010-10-12.  Article in Spanish
  9. ^ Albert Dauzat, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms et prénoms de France, réédition Larousse 1980, p. 280b
  10. ^ DAUZAT 280b
  11. ^ "Frequently Occurring Surnames From Census 2000". August 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  12. ^ United States Census Bureau (9 May 1995). s:1990 Census Name Files dist.all.last (1-100). Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
  13. ^ Garcia in France before WWI
  14. ^ Garcia : births (naiss.) in France from 1966 to 1990
  15. ^ List of the most common surnames in France
  16. ^ [1]