García (surname)

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García (Castillian), Gartzia (Basque)
Pronunciation [ɡaɾˈθi.a] (Spain) or [ɡaɾˈsi.a] (Latin America)
Region of origin Spain
Other names
Variant(s) 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 a surname of patronymic origin; García was a very common first name in early medieval Iberian Peninsula.

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.

Origin of the name[edit]

Alfonso Irigoyen believed it to derive from the Basque adjective garze(a) meaning "young", whose modern form is gaztea or gaztia.[2][3] Ramón Menéndez Pidal and Antonio Tovar suggests it may come from the Basque word (H)artz, meaning "(the) Bear".[4][5][6][7][2] 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] The original Basque form with an affricate sibilant (/ts/, Basque spelling /tz/) evolved in Spanish to the current form.

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

Other theories suggest that García is of Germanic origin and may derive from wars meaning young warrior [11] or the Visigothic words garxa and garcha meaning graceful prince.[12]


Most common surname in Spain by province of residence

García is the most common surname in Spain (where 3.32% of population is named García)[13] and also the second most common surname in Mexico and Cuba.

In the 1990 United States Census, Garcia was the 18th most reported surname, accounting for 0.25% of the population.[14] It became more common since then, jumping to 8th place in 2000.[15]

Quite rare before the 1st World War in France, except in the French Pays Basque,[16] Garcia is now[when?] 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.[17][18] It ranked 2nd in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur after the number of births 1966–1990.[19]

García is also the third most common surname amongst Spanish in the United Kingdom.
























Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "García Surname Meaning and Distribution". 
  2. ^ a b Gartzia (Garzia, García) euskal deitura dela eta, language question presented to the Academy of the Basque Language answered by Xabier Kintana.
  3. ^ For the lost r, compare the attested historic alternations bost~bortz 'five', oste~ortze 'sky', etc.
  4. ^ "Garcia". 
  5. ^ "Garcia Last Name Origin". 
  6. ^ "Garcia Genealogy & History". 
  7. ^ "Garcia name meaning". 
  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. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ INE (Spain's Statistics National Institute)
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau (9 May 1995). s:1990 Census Name Files dist.all.last (1-100). Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
  15. ^ "Frequently Occurring Surnames From Census 2000". August 27, 2008. Archived from the original on November 19, 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  16. ^ Garcia in France before WWI
  17. ^ Garcia : births (naiss.) in France from 1966 to 1990
  18. ^ List of the most common surnames in France
  19. ^ [1]