Talk:Spanish naming customs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Spain (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Spain, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Spain on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Anthroponymy (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anthroponymy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the study of people's names on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Former featured article candidate Spanish naming customs is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
May 21, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted

Most Popular First Names[edit]

The article already has some information about popular surnames, does anyone know what the most popular first names are in Spain? Blankfrackis 16:59, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Why is this article full of information about Portuguese, Filipino or LatinAmerican naming costums?[edit]

I thought this article is named "Spanish naming customs" not Portuguese, Filipino or Spanish-speaking countries naming customs. I suggest to move information related to Portugal and Philippines to its respectives articles. And create an article to each country in Latin American or name this article "Spanish speaking countries name costums" instead of "Spanish naming customs". If we choose the second option I suggest to create clearly and separated sections to each Spanish-speaking country, now everything is mixed and is impossible to understand anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Portuguese? Where do you find information about Portuguese naming customs in this article? That information is at Portuguese name. The Ogre 20:21, 14 July 2007 (UTC)


Where did the "ez" or '"es" on the end of Spanish surnames come from? How does "ez" or "es" on the end of a name mean "son of"? I would like to see this addressed. Is it from the Visigoths, somehow from Latin, or what?

The ez/es is very old and probably anterior to the separation of current Ibero-Romance languages. One theory claims that in Castilian, the final "ez" (originally pronounced "es") was a shortened version of "-esco", which is still used and means "like" or "belonging to". Therefore, the son of García would be "Garcesco", shortened as "Garcés"; the son of Lope would "Lopesco", then "Lópes/López"; etc.--Menah the Great 11:02, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Moncrief: Re your proposal to delete this page: See WP:VP#Naming_conventions for justification of its existance.

Of course, if you're right about already the first sentence being wrong, the page is admittedly useless. But that should be easy to find out. What's your mother tongue, BTW? Sanders muc 18:04, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not actually nominating it for deletion. Just mentioned that it might be perceived as a potential nominee (though I won't be nominating it). Moncrief 18:06, May 19, 2004 (UTC)

Removed Erich Maria Remarque reference, because it is a nom de plume, not a real name, thus it had no contextual relevance (as supposed evidence of non-Iberian cultures using the 'Maria' naming convention)....

Jmabel: Now, which one is the "second surname"? The father's or the mother's?

Sanders muc 18:44, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
The mother's. Llull 19:21, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

In Catalan it's very symilar, but the the two surnames are always the same after married, and it's traditional to include "i" (&) between the two surnames: Pasqual Maragall i Mira, Jordi Pujol i Soley. I don't know if include it heare.

What I tried to say here is that 1 - the surnames never are changed. Never. After and before the marriage are used the same surnames (in the text there is an estrange interchange). 2 - And the "i" only separate the two surnames without more implication (of course, if you want to abbreviate and say only one surname you only will say name + 1rst surname without "i"). Llull 05:43, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll correct what I wrote. Glad I asked. -- Jmabel 06:49, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I think that the article should explain that in Spanish, the finnish "ez" of the surnames means "son of". López -> sun of Lope, Fernández -> son of Fernando, Hernández -> son of Hernando, Rodríguez -> son of Rodrigo, Sánchez -> son of Sancho, Martínez -> son of Martín, Álvarez -> son of Álvaro... and a long etc. Llull 19:21, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

The law is the same in all the state, then, the article can be extended to Galician and Basque. Only recently it's possible to include the "i" between the surnames in the official documentation or change the order of the surnames (first the mother's surname and second the father's, frequently used for save the strange surnames of the extinction), if both father and mother are agree. In Basque society is traditional remember so many surnames as let the memory: 1rst father surname, 1rst mother surname, 2nd father surname, 2nd mother surname, 2nd paternal grandfather surname, 2nd paternal grandmother surname, 2nd maternal grandfather surname... (if it's no truth, it's an Urban Legend very extended, and I would wait a confirmation before write about it) but it doesn't have validation and officially only are considerate the 2 firsts surnames.

I think that the text could explain too, that in Catalan and Spanish there are surnames that begin with "de" and this frequently indicate a nobility/site origin. Llull 20:40, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Thats is not true, many Spanish or Portuguese surnames have even "de", but this indicate only origin in a site, without any sign of nobility. In fact by these reason, in the past, a great number of surnames had "de". This was supressed along the 19th century, but I not know if originated by law. The nobility origin of "de" is the same, but they may to maintain it. Examples: Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Francisco de Quevedo, Vasco da Gama, Luis da Silva, etc.

Zé Brasileiro[edit]

Isn't very common in Brazil to go by nickname? (anonymously asked by the person who added the eo: link)

It's common everywhere. In the U.S., Robert might go by Bob and William might be called Bubba. It's not a Brazilian phenomenon. (BTW, I am Portuguese-American and have only my given name and my family (i.e., paternal) names). User:Nricardo|--Nelson Ricardo >>Talk<< 15:45, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)
That's because you have an American name (even if of Portuguese origin). Velho 03:32, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Multiple surnames[edit]

After "People can also keep track of more than two surnames," an anon recently deleted (without explanation), "This is more frequent in the Basque Country, as a remain of limpieza de sangre. For example, the founder of Basque nationalism, Sabino Arana, demanded several Basque surnames from his followers to certify that there was no admixture of "foreigners" in their ancestry." Other than the awkward use of "remain", was there anything actually wrong with this? It lacked citation and I don't know the facts, so I won't restore it, but this seems to fit in with what I know about Sabino Arana and with at least some forme of Basque nationalism. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:38, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)

As a native Spanish speaker, I have changed the sentence saying: "A girl could be named only María, but it is uncommon" to the more aprropiate "A girl could be named only María, however." In fact, "María" alone (Mary) is a very common girl name in Spain, not a uncommon one, like the fist sentence would suggest! If you are walking along the street and shout "María!", several girl and women will turn their heads towards you.

PD: forgive my nasty English, my Spanish is far much better, you can bet it.

If anyone of you have any questions about Spanish names in Spain, just let me know.


Situation in Portugal: Comment moved to talk from article[edit]

In Portugal, since 1977, the child's last name can come either from the father or from the mother, but the latter is still very uncommon.

This last sentence is not true. I know a big number of people, which are grandparents (meaning having born betwenn 1910 and 1930) and which have mother and father surnames, frequently with the father's surname somewhere in the midle and not in the end. I also know people born after that and before 1977 in the same situation, as well as people which have born after that date. The fact is that in Portugal there has never been an inforcement of any kind of way of giving names. Even changing maiden's name is an imported tradition. Even brothers frequently don't have the same surnames, the same order or the same last surname. This is well known and funny situations on account of that are frequently described by several authors of portuguese novels. I have read it in novels situated in several areas of Portugal as well as some written in the 19th century, others in the 20th, and others as late as 1998, so it is not nor it has ever been uncommon. Only recently the tradition of puting last father's surname in the end preceeded by a mother's surname has grown strong. Any doubts follow any genealogical portuguese tree. (talk · contribs)

Change of article title[edit]

I propose to change the article title from "Spanish and Portuguese names" to "Iberian names" or better yet "Iberian naming system".

The latter suggestion would better describe the content of this article; which deals not only with Spanish and Portuguese names and its naming system, but also the Catalan naming system (also in Iberia). Additionally, does the Spanish and Portuguese (from the current title "Spanish and Portugese names") refer to the Spanish and Portuguese languages or the Spanish and Portuguese nationality/descent. In the example of Spanish names among Filipinos, its obvious that they use the same "Spanish naming system", but the Philippines (and Filipinos) is neither a country of speakers of Spanish (language) nor of Spanish descendants (nation). Al-Andalus 05:58, 25 July 2005 (UTC).

  • If we do that, it should definitely be Iberian naming system, not Iberian names. I agree that this is more inclusive of Catalans; on the other hand, Iberian names would tend to exclude Filipinos. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:06, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
  • I'll have to think about it, but I'm not sure that "Iberian names" covers Latin America, either. "Hispanic naming systems"? Hajor 02:15, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
    • "Hispanic" would be a step backwards: in the usage of the last few centuries, it excludes the Portuguese. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:48, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
      • I clearly need to update my library. "Iberian naming system" (or "") would seem the best option, then, unless someone comes up with another option. Or unless we want to split the article into Spanish-language names, Portuguese-language names, Catalan names, and perhaps one to cover the Filipinos. Hajor 13:34, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
The point of having them together is that there are lots of similarities and overlappings, and the differences can be described in contrast to the others. Naming in Iberian cultures? Naming system in Iberian cultures? --Error 21:24, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Naming in Iberian cultures and Naming system in Iberian cultures are not good options as new titles, as these would most definately rule out the Philippines, yet as it has already been stated before, in the Philippines they DO employ the Iberian naming system, but their culture is not Iberian (as the cultures of Spain and Portugal) nor an off-shoot (as the cultures of Iberoamérica). I still believe Iberian naming systems is the best option, since this doesn't imply that the people or cultures of those utilising the system must be from Iberia or Iberoamérica. Al-Andalus 01:49, 27 July 2005 (UTC).
Seeing that there are no objections to the proposed change of title, I will procede to do so. However, before I do, i was just advised by a third party that an even more appropriate title would be Iberian naming customs. As defined by the dictionary "cus·tom n. 1) A practice followed by people of a particular group or region."
"Customs" covers previous concerns more appropriately as indicated by other suggestions (Naming in Iberian cultures and Naming system in Iberian cultures). Unlike "Systems", Customs does not imply a rigid or compulsory pattern of naming. Al-Andalus 15:43, 30 July 2005 (UTC).

"I counter that you not retitle "Spanish and Portuguese Names" Why would anyone want to sanitize the unique historical/cultural markers which are surnames and their naming conventions, by simplistically grouping by similarity and geography.

What is next, combining the remaining countries of Europe into European Naming Systems? The consolidation-view of "Al-Andalus"(is that Spanish-native? or Muslim-imperialist? - see my point?), only serves to eliminate a piece of historical/cultural diversity in Europe.

What is being written about here is how the peoples of Portugal and Spain may adhere to various naming conventions, what happens in other areas of the world would come under their own respective titles, whatever they might be. (Note "Al-Andulus", that the majority of people living in the Philippines recently did speak Spanish (now it's the English-language) and it's population today still contains a sizable minority of Spanish descendants.)

Page titles should be kept accurate, encyclopedias are a learning tool. "Gonçalves of the North" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12 September 2006.

Are you aware that you are replying to a year-old remark? - Jmabel | Talk 06:17, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


How did Francisco morph into paco?--Jondel 08:32, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Latin Phranciscvs ---> Short version Pha.cvs ---> 'Spanishation' Paco

I think it comes form latin christian liturgy, it's an abbreviation of Pater Communitatis referring to Saint Franciscus. PA-CO, so Paco. I hope it helped. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


The following remark was placed in the article itself; I have moved it here. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:28, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

1. I thought that the Filipinos surnames were simply handed to them, with guidelines of course, by the Spaniards. How. again, was the implementation done? From the article, as a reader I got the contradictory impression that Filipinos had been chosing their surnames. Regarding religious surnames, how explain that many of these surnames do exist today if they were disallowed? Were names allowed that was not in the catálogo in the first place?

2. Re: the restriction from use of surnames of Spanish hidalgos. Of the catálogo, the subsequent census reported that indeed the names of the illustrious houses of Alba (Toledo?), Medinaceli (Cordova or Cerda?), Osuna (Giron?) were being held by even indios in the mountains (who surely had no inkling that these were illustrious).

Therefore, all these "errors" must lie squarely on the Spanish implementors.--Vipaleonar 20:54, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

<end moved remark>

There's something about this article...the following remark was also placed in the article, which should have been placed here; no username was given, and thusly none is credited. Disbomber 23:14, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

<begin moved remark>

The Filipino-Spanish Mestizo is not 1% population!

<end moved remark>

Spanish surname in Filipinos is like having a slavename —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jcdizon (talkcontribs) 1 November 2006.

Portuguese married women: contradiction[edit]

"Nowadays, fewer women adopt, even officially, their husbands' names. … It has become increasingly common for women to adopt their husband's name officially, but not to use it neither in their professional nor informal life." So which is it? "fewer…" or "increasingly common…"? And given that this is apparently a matter of controversy, does anyone have a citation? -- Jmabel | Talk 18:57, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I guess there is no contradiction. Fewer women adopt it, even oficially, but the ratio between (those who adopt it oficially but not informally) and (those who adopt it oficially and informally) is getting bigger. Velho 18:40, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've reworded to make the relation between the concepts clearer. - Jmabel | Talk 05:58, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Which way in the telephone directory?[edit]

How would double surnames affect listings in the telephone directory? If my father's name is Brown and my mother's name is Piekarski, would I be listed under B ("Brown Piekarski Andrew"), or under P ("Piekarski Andrew Brown"). And how would the surname be distinguished - would a comma be used?

("Brown Piekarski, Andrew") ("Piekarski, Andrew Brown")

GBC 02:58, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Are you asking about Spanish or Portuguese names? In Spanish-speaking areas, you are listed as "Brown Piekarski, Andrew".
In Portuguese speaking areas, it is really irrelevant what were yout father's and mother's name. The only thing that matters is your name. If you are "A.B.P.", you are listed as "Piekarski, Andrew Brown" (unless you pay for something different, of course).
Now, in Portugal it is common that your father's last surname is your last surname, but that is obviously not necessary (for instance, for people whose father is unknown; and for parents who decide to name their child differently). In Spain, at least, they have very strict legal rules. Not in Portugal or in Brazil: parents put the surnames in whatever order they want. Velho 18:47, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

José Moñino y Redondo, conde de Floridablanca[edit]

Please consider contributing to the discussion about the renaming of this page. Some editors are of the opinion that all titles should be translated into their English form. I am of the opinion that we should follow the Wiki convention of using the form of name most commonly used in English books (which may or may not translate the title depending upon the individual). Noel S McFerran 02:53, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

The particle 'de' in Portuguese names[edit]

The current text in this section is prescriptive and, more or less therefore, PoV. It is also pseudo-aristocratic rubbish. Vague notions such as recent must also disappear. It should all be deleted. Moreover, every information is missing (for instance, what about dos? What about the omission of de when people are using only their last name?). Velho 03:31, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


Doesn’t the 3.6% in the section relating to Spanish mestizos actually refer to Europeans or European mestizos as a whole?


Why is the alinea -y- not translated? (i would do it but i'm not excactly about one sentence as I speak Spanish not that fluently.

Translated, but would appreciate someone looking it over, as my Spanish is a bit rusty. Violncello 02:15, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


The following was removed with the comment "here is not a 'Catalan naming systems'. Catalans use either the French system (in Rousillon), establish in the Napoleonic Code, or the Spanish system of Castillian origin, consisting on two surnames."

Catalan has very similar conventions to Spanish, except that a person's two surnames are usually separated by "i" ("and"). A real-world example would be the current (as of 2004) president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pasqual Maragall i Mira. Others are more commonly known only by a single last name; his predecessor is generally referred to simply as "Jordi Pujol", but is more properly "Jordi Pujol i Soley".

Catalans in Rousillon and other formerly Catalan territories in France do, indeed, use the French system. However, this is an article on Iberian naming customs, and Iberia ends at the Pyrenees. The point of this is that Catalan names, while they follow a pattern similar to the Castillian pattern are a bit different (y is relatively uncommon for Spanish-speakers, i is quite common for Catalans). I believe this belongs in the article. I'll refrain from being the next to reinsert it again, but I hope that if some third party does reinsert it, the anonymous editor who removed it will show similar restraint. - Jmabel | Talk 04:08, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

The "es"[edit]

"es" is used in Portugal like "ez" in Spain. For example Fernandes (son of Fernando), Henriques (son of Henrique),etc..., however, there is no mention of such in the article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 25 July 2006.

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make whatever changes you feel are needed. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in! (Although there are some reasons why you might like to…) The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. - Jmabel | Talk 18:29, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The recently added link to* seems to me a bit unencyclopedic. It looks like your basic "what to name the baby" site. It's probably right on the original meanings of most names, but it's a bit of a grab bag, doesn't cite sources, and looks like a site that (although it has few ads at present) is built to become a profitable commercial site. - Jmabel | Talk 03:00, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Fancy first names[edit]

I was intending to write something about fancy names. For some reason, I find that Canarians and Cubans often give their children (especially daughters) fanciful names from exotic cultures (that's clearly the case with Russian names in Cuba). I read somewhere that that is also the case among the lower class of some country I forgot, where names compensate what posessions lack. Then I noticed that it was going to end quite unfounded and fuzzy. Could somebody write about fancy names in a manner that suits this nice article? --Error 00:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Basque names[edit]

I have been thinking for years about a section on Basque names. While it gets done, I note this:

The longest Spanish surname recorded is Burionagonatotorecagageazcoechea sported by an employee at the Ministry of Finances in Madrid in 1867. Enciclopedia de los nombres propios, Josep M. Albaigès, Editorial Planeta, 1995, ISBN 84-08-01286-X .

--Error 00:21, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Rename "Iberian naming customs"[edit]

With the recent move of the section on Portuguese into Portuguese names, the title "Iberian naming customs" has become inaccurate. This page should be renamed, perhaps to "Spanish names". FilipeS 23:04, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree! Will do. The Ogre 12:15, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
While worded not the best, it is a custom still followed in many Spanish speaking countries depending on how traditional the family (and in particular the mom is). I disagree with removal. Antonio Banderas is just one example of many film stars that have more than one surname from their parents that recognizes the family lineage. In his case, his father's name should be Dominguez if his mom followed the tradition. Some moms now follow the American way of naming with mom's name as the second surname followed by the dad's. My mom even followed the tradition when she married. She had no middle name and kept her last name which became her middle name followed by my dad's last name. Recommend restoring the paragraph with rework which I will be glad to do. BTW, Penélope Cruz is another example. I have plenty of Mexican, Spanish, etal people who follow the traditional Iberian naming custom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronbo76 (talkcontribs)
My friend, the question here is not if there are or not other countries that follow the naming customs of Spain. The question here is that the naming customs of Spain do not mean Iberian naming customs, since the Portuguese naming customs (see Portuguese names) are quite different. The Ogre 12:58, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

My mother is from Spain (raised during Franco period), she had no "official" middle name, just like the above mentioned. When she married my father (German-American), her first last name became her middle name and she took on my father's last name as hers. Previously, while in Spain however, her official name consisted of her first name AND four last names, two last names taken by each parent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:40, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

I think the split was ill-advised. (I'm much more of a "lumper".) Clearly Spain and Portugal have more in common than not culturally when compared to the rest of Europe, and clearly this is not "Spanish" in terms of an ethnicity (since it includes Basques and Catalans). - Jmabel | Talk 18:53, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
All other languages have pages of their own (see here), and the naming conventions are different in Spanish and Portuguese. FilipeS 00:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, FilipeS is right, naming conventions are very different in Spanish and in Portuguese! The Ogre 14:42, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Cutting obscure statement[edit]

I am cutting In these countries, it is very frequent that children get two surnames from each of their parents, thus having usually the last surname of each of their grandparents.

In which countries? not in Spain for sure and, if Latin America is meant, I don't think this is very frequent but occasional. Mountolive | Talk 01:48, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Naming customs in Spain,or Naming customs in the Spanish language?[edit]

It seems to me that we have here two articles that are intertwined, with a resulting lack of clarity. In part, we have what happens in the various languages and dialects of Spain, and in part we have the customs of Sapnish speaking countries in South America. There is, of course, a considerable overlap, but the mixture of the two makes things unclear: where, for example, is in not permitted to give the name Lucifer? I have met Ecuadorians named Satán.

Although it has in general been cleaned up we still have “examples” from Mexico and Colombia. Surely either statements should be ilustrated with examples from Spain or not at all? PhilomenaO'M (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:46, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Surnames in Venezuela[edit]

I'm going to make a couple of comments about Venezuelan naming customs to separate this country from the million alleged rules set forth here.

Officially, in Venezuela parents can name their kids whatever they want, which is why you can meet people with names as ridiculous as Usnavy (after US ships arriving in Venezuela). Christian names, however, are the most common.

Unlike many of the rules stated here for other countries, there are no legal rules at all regarding how many surnames you use or if you have to use your middle name or not. Everything depends on your liking. For example, ex president Carlos Andres Perez chose to use both his name and middle name, but there are thousand of Carlos Andreses in Venezuela who are known just as Carlos. Some are even known as Andres, just because they like it more or whatever, not because of some obscure law or custom. By the way name combinations as "Carlos Andres" are common all around the Hispanic world and they are commonly used as one entity as in Jose Antonio or Juan Carlos, but you can find examples in America as well as in the case of William Randolph Hearst or Robert Francis Kennedy. (José Luis Rodríguez is a Venezuelan example)

Regarding surnames, you are legally named after your father's first surname and your mother's first surname. That is, if your father is Alberto Rodriguez and your mother Ana Perez, their kids are Rodriguez Perez. The only exceptions have to do with the relationship of the parents or if the kids are at all recognized by either one. That is the case of adoptions (a good example, although not Venezuelan, is Bill Clinton). If you are illegitimate, for any reason, you carry your mother's surname, like in the case of Venezuelan President Jaime Lusinchi. Abandoned and adopted children receive the surnames according to the previous rules of the adopting parents.

Legally there's nothing you can do to change your surnames unless there's some sort of filing error in the civil registry.

Now, Venezuelans just like Americans or people from anywhere else for that matter, may choose to not use their surnames, first names or middle names for professional, convenience, aesthetic, or vanity reasons. For the same reasons, they may choose to use all of them or some of them, but this is pretty much a worldwide.

That way, Venezuelan singer Ilan Chester, originally Ilan Czenstochouski, changed his name for both, profession and convenience. Also Alfredo Sadel, real name Alfredo Sánchez Luna, who changed his surname for the same reasons Martin Sheen changed his from Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez. It just sounds better.

There also cases in which a person named Usnavy, again for example, to avoid ridicule decides to use a different name, although he cannot change his name legally according to Venezuelan laws.

The most frequent reason for name-surname usage patterns in Venezuela is social vanity. Normally and legally, Venezuelans are called by first and last name only just like the US. As in my father's case, he was always known as Ademar Morales, never Ademar Jose Morales or Ademar Morales Perez, or any other combination. But for some venezuelans it may be a matter of pride to be member of a certain family or from a certain background. So you see Venezuelans calling themselves (this is a fictitious name) Rafael Perez-Cisneros, just because the Cisneros part is related to a notable Venezuelan family and they want everyone noticing that. Sometimes that's not even their surname but their father' or mother's surname, but they adopt it for social reasons. So if someone's paternal surnames are Perez Diaz, but your mother's Bouvier-Hearst, you'll probably adopt the Bouvier-Hearst of your mother because, well, it is cooler. It is not a law or generalized custom, it's just a matter of personal choosing for whatever reasons.

Members of upper class families (or families with upper class origins) may use both their parents surnames to make a social statement about their lineage. So some Venezuelans might called themselves (fictitious once again) Herrera-Tovar just like in the case of Mark Kennedy Shriver.

In most cases, however, people use of two surnames, hyphenated or not, or just your middle name, or any other combination, just because they like it better. So there's no point in looking for reasons behind the names of many Venezuelans like Pedro León Zapata, Carlos Cruz-Díez, Miguel Otero Silva. They called themselves that because they liked it.

None of those customs, however, have legal background and are ignored in official documents.


Small caps disambiguation[edit]

It's an interesting article, but I would suggest to make it more visually explicit for non-Hispanic readers by using small caps with template {{sc}} to disambiguate names, especially when discussing the ambiguous ones. For instance, to update a sentence such as:

Examples of confusion when "y" is not used in such a case are the football player Martín Vázquez, whose full name is Rafael Martín Vázquez but who is believed by many fans to have Martín as his forename, and the linguist Fernando Lázaro Carreter, who was sometimes addressed (to his annoyance) as Don Lázaro.

To the same with {{smallcaps}}:

Examples of confusion when "y" is not used in such a case are the football player Martín Vázquez, whose full name is Rafael Martín Vázquez but who is believed by many fans to have Martín as his forename, and the linguist [[Fernando Lázaro Carreter|Fernando Template:Smalcaps]], who was sometimes addressed (to his annoyance) as Don Lázaro.

Etc. — Komusou talk @ 05:11, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Complete restructuring[edit]

This article is a complete mess. The article is named Spanish naming customs, so I don't understand why it has references to Latin America, Philipines, and Portugal and Brazil. And it's complete full of wrong information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

The mistake might be in the page title, not in the page content. Your restructuring is quite subjective and doesn't really improve the article in any obvious way that I can see, so, sorry, I have to revert again. Explain here what is better in your version. --Jotamar (talk) 01:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
First->All references to Latin American, Portugal and Brazil are out of place, this article refers to spain. The most appropriate is to create new articles for them, or put their information in a separated section, but now everything is mixed and it's impossible to understand. That's the reason because I've deleted this information.
Second-> The article has wrong information like "in spain people only sometimes have two surnames", and I've read in english forums assertions like that and they've used this article to support them, so this article is introducing misconceptions in those people with little knowledge about Spain's culture. If you are spanish I don't understand how can you accept nonsenses like saying that in spain people have one surname and only sometimes two surnames. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:53, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
For the second time, this page doesn't refer to Spain, but to all countries where the Spanish naming customs are prevalent. If you think that there is a mismatch between title and contents, then you should change the title, not the contents. Moreover, if you think that naming customs in Spain need a separate page from this one, you should add a new page rather than modify this one. Otherwise, you are removing valuable information from the Wikipedia, instead of contributing to it. If you keep doing a negative contribution to Wikipedia, I'll have to keep on reverting your edits. --Jotamar (talk) 02:13, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The information deleted is not valuable is wrong.
According to Oxford dictionary:
• noun the main language of Spain and of much of Central and South America.
• adjective relating to Spain.
In in the sentence "Spanish naming customs" the word Spanish is working as an adjetive, so this it is refering to the country. Initially the article and all maps were refering to spain, but people begun to mix information converting the article in a mess.
Whatever you say about the adjective Spanish proves my point: if you think that there is a mismatch between title and contents, then you should change the title, not the contents. Countries from Mexico to Argentina have naming customs, and a page about them is needed. If you think that that page should be not this one, then create it, otherwise you are vandalizing, and then I'll revert again. --Jotamar (talk) 03:46, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
1. "Whatever you say about the adjective Spanish proves my point" WTF?!?!?!?! Can you read? Spanish as adjetive refers to Spain, not to the language according to Oxford.
2. "Countries from Mexico to Argentina have naming customs, and a page about them is needed. " That is true, but now everything is messed and the article is awful.
3. You are reverting wrong information and that is vandalism. For example: "The child's last name can come either from the father or from the mother, though the latter is very uncommon." This is wrong in Spain we don't have last name, we have last nameSSSSSSSS (two). And there are a lot of examples like this in the article.
4. Maybe we can change the title to "Naming customs in Spanish speaking countries" and separate the information in points. Now is impossible to understand something.

Spanish surnames in works written in English[edit]

Hi. When an author of a Spanish speaking country make a work for a journal or another publication in English, usually his/her surnames are written as a single surname. I. e. : María Cárdenas Ulloa is converted into María Cárdenas-Ulloa to avoid being named Mrs. Ulloa... Bye. (talk) 12:32, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Spanish surname policy discussion[edit]

A discussion is under way here on how to style Spanish surnames after the lead sentence of biographies. The outcome is likely to become Wikipedia policy. Interested editors are invited to comment. Unconventional (talk) 16:24, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Other languages in Spain[edit]

Can someone expand that section, please? It's extremely interesting... --necronudist (talk) 14:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Wrong information is added or recovered again and again in this article[edit]

I'm very tired of correcting the same wrong information:

1. There are separated sections for Argentina and Spain and people keep mixing everything writing information related to Argentina in Spain's section and viceversa.

2. The form "maiden name + de + husband name" is added again and again in Spain's section, when the truth is that this form has never been used in Spain neither historically nor currently. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Your 2nd statement is rather inaccurate. In Spain as in many other countries using a surname system of Spanish origin, there has been the (historically and even currently) unofficial custom to put the husband's 1st surname after his wife's 1st surname after the particle 'de'. A well-known example: CARMEN POLO de FRANCO (officialy named Carmen POLO MARTÍNEZ-VALDÉS), Francisco FRANCO BAHAMONDE's wife whose 1st surname was Polo but whose official 2nd surname was not de FRANCO at all, but her husband's 1st one. Heathmoor (talk) 15:43, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
In Spain is not custom neither legal, not historically neither currently. Carmen Polo was mostly known and referred as "Carmen Polo", it could be possible that sometimes she could be referred as "Camen Polo de Franco", but only because she was the Caudillo's wife a very exceptional condition (between all the Spanish women living or dead, only has been ONE Franco's wife). De + maiden name form is true in some of the Spanish former colonies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Middle Name[edit]

What does "middle name doesn't exist in Spain" mean? If you have more than one surname, then you have a "middle name." I'm Spanish, and, having two names before my surname, I always thought I had a middle name. Imagine my surprise! So what is my second name? A "surprise" name? A "hidden" name? A "trinket" name? (talk) 16:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

My mother is from Spain (raised during Franco period), she had no "official" middle name. When she married my father (German-American), her first last name became her middle name and she took on my father's last name as hers. Previously, while in Spain however, her official name consisted of her first name AND four last names, two last names taken by each parent.

It may be confusing to you because you're Spanish :-) but in Britain, "middle name" usually refers unambiguously to the second given name (if any), and to nothing else. I think what the writer is trying to say is that Spaniards don't have a second given name, 'José María', 'José Miguel' etc. each being one given name. If this is wrong, then I guess the article is wrong. Paul Magnussen (talk) 19:19, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
But middle names do exist in Spanish, following your British definition, regardless of compound names. Indeed, middle names used to be also compound names until the XIXth Century. In Latin America (offtopic) middle name is the rule. In Spain, however, they do exist. So the article is wrong. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 19:24, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Perpignan (in catalan names)[edit]

"Perpignan" is the french way to write "Perpinyà" which is the catalan one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Intro section[edit]

When informally referring to, or addressing, a person, the practice is using his or her name and the paternal surname; however the maternal surname is used in documents and formal matters.

1. "Two surname practised in hispanphone societies" Wrong statement, spanish language is the official language in 21 countries and there is no a common pattern for the name system for all this 21 countries. Two surnames system is the most common form but there are other naming system through the hispanophono societies like argentina where they use the "english" naming system.

2."When informally referring to, or addressing, a person, the practice is using his or her name and the paternal surname; however the maternal surname is used in documents and formal matters. " There is no a pattern when people is refered formally or informally, it depends of various factors like frequency of the first, second of both surnames, frecuency of the combination name + surname etc... Each case is different and completely Examples of Spanish people when they are formally referred for the Media: Felipe Gonzalez Marquez (former Spanish Prime Minister)-> Known as Felipe due to Gonzalez, Marquez, and Gonzalez Marquez are very common in Spanish. Jose María Aznar López (former Spanish Prime Minister) ->Known as Aznar due to is enought idenfiticative surname. Jose Luís Rodriguez Zapatero (current Spanish Prime Minister) -> Known as Zapatero due to Rodriguez is very common and Zapatero is enought idenficative. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (former Spanish Tennis player) Known as Sanchez Vicario ...

In short: There is no rule.

Cleaning up this mess[edit]

The article was quite clear a few time ago, now everything is mixed again, with Spanish customs in the latinamerican section, and latinamerican customs in the spanish section ... The biggest mistake is trying to write the article like if there were a pattern for all the spanish-speaking countries when each country has its naming system. I'll try clear up all this.

I agree. Even more, this article should reflect the spanish names, and that means the names of the people living in Spain. Not South America, not Philippines, just Spain.--Infinauta (talk) 08:17, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
This article can be narrowed down to cover just Spain as long as other articles are created to cover Latin America. --Jotamar (talk) 14:13, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Soon, I will put my hands on work to fix this.--Infinauta (talk) 14:28, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
The title of the article is ambiguous: it could mean naming customs in the Spanish language or naming customs in the country of Spain. I clicked on this article because I thought it would cover naming conventions in Mexico. The best way to eliminate extraneous information, such as Latin American customs, is to make the article title unambiguous. hunterhogan 22:28, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Possible name change for the article "Spain's naming customs" hunterhogan 22:40, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps Naming customs in Spain. --Jotamar (talk) 17:35, 30 December 2014 (UTC)


Now the article clearly states that it reflects the naming customs from Spain. I have created another article for Hispano American naming customs and merged the "spanish surnames in the Philippines" section with Spanish influence on Filipino culture. So please, from now on, this article will only be related to Spain.


I removed Heredia as Basque surname. The Diccionario de apellidos españoles, Espasa, lists Heredia as coming from Heredia in Álava, but the root is Latin heredium, "inherited estate". --Error (talk) 18:34, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Unparsable sentence[edit]

"Paternal surname transmission was not always the norm — before the mid-eighteenth century, the (current) name-paternal–maternal-surnames custom developed since then."

Presumably someone knows what this means to say. Can you clean this up? There is a dash, but no second dash to resume the original thought (perhaps this should be a colon)? And the relation between "before" and "since then" is quite unclear. - Jmabel | Talk 21:14, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Addressing married woman[edit]

Since Spanish does not have the maiden name concept, it would seem it is impossible to say 'Mr & Mrs Martínez', and that the wife of José Martínez may never be addresed as Sra. Martínez. Is this correct? It would be useful if the article specified how to handle these cases. Paul Magnussen (talk) 19:26, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Both forms are actually used, informally, though it is common for women to keep their maiden names. Another variant is to adress married women as "Sra. de Martínez", for example. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 19:29, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean by "it is common for women to keep their maiden names"? It is actually the rule: women never take their husband's name in Spain! So actually, there is no such thing as "maiden names" in Spain. To the first question: the wife of José Martínez may be addressed as "Sra. de Martínez", as explained above, but it is quite formal and rather dated. You would usually call her by her actual name. When referring to both of them, you would say "Sres. de Martínez", but again, it doesn't come up very often.

That's precisely what I was answering to the previous poster. It is just that I don't know in detail the current vs. outdated styles in Spain (vs. other spanish-speaking regions). Salut, --IANVS (talk) 17:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
There is also Sres. Martínez-López, joining both paternal surnames. --Error (talk) 23:55, 2 October 2012 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roxy:Pkid (talkcontribs)

Please take your request to WP:RFPP with a proper justification for why you think the article needs protection. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:06, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Latin America[edit]

Am I alone in thinking that this article ought to mention Spanish-speaking countries in South and North America and no doubt elsewhere. The article on Juan Diego Flórez starts by saying that his name is Spanish. Well, it's a Spanish-language name, but he is Peruvian. I'm no expert on these matters, but could someone who knows more than I do make some appropriate alterations to the article to cover countries that aren't Spain. --GuillaumeTell 15:16, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Seems to my memory that there already is one that deals with Latin America. However, you could start another section called that and properly source it with WP:V facts. ----moreno oso (talk) 15:21, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
You should check Ibero-American naming customs. --Jotamar (talk) 23:28, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
If the two articles are very alike (I haven't read them in full, from what I recall), they should be merged. I can hardly imagine that the naming systems of Hispanic America and/or Iberoamerica and/or Latin America and Spain are so mutually different as to justify there being two separate articles. SamEV (talk) 23:38, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
In fact the original article was split, because the subtle differences between Spain and Latin America required a rather convoluted wording. --Jotamar (talk) 01:41, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I would think there are differences, kind of like the difference between the King's English and American English. ----moreno oso (talk) 01:44, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Plus, American Spanish is taking on some of the characteristics of the American language. Letters that don't exist in Spanish are being used. What would be the last name isn't always the last name. And, phonetics isn't being followed either. ----moreno oso (talk) 01:46, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
This is a spinoff? Well I did not know that. In that case, carry on, gentlemen. SamEV (talk) 04:52, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Translation of names[edit]

Is it really necessary to "translate" (names don't actually translate, but that's another matter) names in this? eg

  • "Carlos Arturo del Monte (Charles Arthur of the Mountain)"

I can kind of see the point to mention in the appropriate section that María and José are the spanish names of the parents of Jesus, and the conjuctions "y", "de" etc need to be explained, but don't feel it adds anything to provide the English versions of every name (apart from a lot of brackets (like these) which can be annoying and detract from legibility.   pablohablo. 09:32, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

No, the translations are not necessary (except in the situations you mentioned), nor a welcome touch. What purpose other than a trivial one do they serve? They should be removed. SamEV (talk) 02:01, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Concur, translations are not needed. ----moreno oso (talk) 04:47, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Basque names[edit]

I think it would be interesting to add in this section that in this language is quite common to call almost any name by adding txu (pronounced chu). Aitortxu (Aitor), for example. --Dandublin93 (talk) 22:55, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Gaps in the article[edit]

The article lacks information I hoped to find here, and I'll be working on filling the gaps when I can provide reliable sources - unless someone else does it first, which would be fine with me.

The particle "de" in married women's surnames. I see this has gone back and forth and was debated above, so I'll leave it alone. Whoever deleted the information is making a mistake; if you disagree that "de" precedes the husband's surname you do readers a disservice by deleting that statement instead of including your dissent in the article so they can decide for themselves. I lived in Spain in the Franco era and know that the dictator's wife was commonly referred to in the press and in conversation as Carmen Polo de Franco, a pattern used by married women I knew.

Etymology and evolution of patronymic suffix "-ez." The article describes how patronymics ending in "-ez" relate to the given names they include but omits two important pieces of information: (1) What is the etymology of "-ez" itself, since it has no obvious Spanish root? and (2) How did these patronymics change into inherited surnames? In a graduate linguistics course decades ago I was told that the origin of "-ez" is debated but that it is possibly of Basque origin, and a Web search turns up discussions of the Basque surname Armendáriz that repeat this assertion, but I'll keep looking for documentation. Patronymics in most western European languages became fixed at some point as inherited surnames and Spanish is no exception, but the article might lead an uninformed reader to think that they are still being actively formed. Rather that risk the dreaded "citation needed" reproof from the Wiki gods I'll look for documentation before doing any editing.

Jewish surnames. The article covers a number of special cases such as naturalized foreigners and Flamenco musicians, and it is an odd omission that it is silent on Sephardic Jewish surnames. This is a large topic that has an entire Wikipedia category devoted to it. I'll try to add a brief section and also a "See Also" entry, both pointing to the Wikipedia category.

Foundlings. A well-known example would help this section: the early picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes, whose eponymous hero's status as an abandoned infant, presumably a bastard, was comically obvious to the book's contemporary readers from the fact that the noble-sounding "de" precedes the name of a river, not of a place. This will be easy to document.

As I said, if you can add these items with documentation, go ahead. Billfalls (talk) 19:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

López de Arriortúa is not a composite surname[edit]

At least not originally. Not before José Ignacio López de Arriortúa ("Superlópez") was born in 1941. López is the father's surname, and Arriortua the mother's. It's like Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez, whose father was surnamed Ruiz Gallardón and his grandfather Ruiz Albéniz (a.k.a. "El Tebib Arrumi", "The Christian Doctor" in North African Arab, his nickname as war correspondent). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Spanish MOS Needed?[edit]

I noted three months back to a couple of IPA pronunciation expert editors that Category:Wikipedia_Manual_of_Style_(regional) has:

but not:

Is there really nothing at all that could benefit by giving guidance? For instance:
  1. Like when to use a Catalan place name, when to use a Spanish one?
  2. Like whether to use accents on capitals, like Oscar or Óscar?
  3. IPA pronunciation?
  4. Spelling between Iberian and American varieties of Spanish?
  5. How to treat Quechua (Runa Simi) and other articles?
  6. and so on?

In ictu oculi (talk) 07:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Regarding this article[edit]

Can Spanish naming customs be considered a branch of Latin naming customs? I know there have been Portuguese and Italian names with similar customs to Spanish ones. Look at Pele, real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento.Hitmonchan (talk) 18:35, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Could you please specify what similarities there are? Jotamar (talk) 13:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Spanish and Portuguese naming customs use both the father and mother's surnames: first the father and then the mother. Pele, Kaka, Neymar (yes, football players but they're the best examples of Portuguese names I can think of with the exception of their nicknames.) Hitmonchan (talk) 18:50, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
No, Portuguese personal names have first the mother's surname, then the father's one; opposite order to Spanish names. Italian names have just one surname. I really don't see any latin thing around. --Jotamar (talk) 16:05, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
They're ALL rooted from the Latin language. *sigh* I assumed that was the case, but never mind.Hitmonchan (talk) 07:21, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Ma for Maria as a masculine[edit]

The wording of the article suggests that Ma is an abbreviation for Maria when used in a masculine name, but this is not correct. I have been corresponding with a woman who signs documents as Ma Felisa [last name redacted]. Going by the in the article, I would think that she is male (and I almost made that mistake). Not sure if the problem is a citation or wording issue, but I called out in the article as needing a citation, so readers would take that statement with caution. KLP (talk) 14:48, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I do not see a problem with the wording of the article. It doesn't say only males use the abbreviations. It says that males who do have Maria as as a name will often abbreviate it (in one of three ways.) WikiParker (talk) 21:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I think that the lack of a Spanish keyboard is the source of the problem. Ma is not an abbreviation for María, instead a little elevated a is used. Thus, María abreviation is not "Ma". Note this: is only used in compund names Mª Isabel (= María Isabel 'Marie Elizabeth'), Mª Carmen (= MariCarmen or María del Carmen) --Davius (talk) 17:02, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Argentine naming customs[edit]

In Argentina the vast majority of people only have one family name. I've noticed someone has been adding the "Spanish naming customs" note that links to this page to the Wikipedia entry for several Argentine people, such as football players. It seems this person is going out of his/her way to find the maternal last name and add it to the person's name; when in reality that surname wouldn't even appear on their passport. I'm not familiar enough with Wikipedia to track the users that do that and tell them to stop, but I assume they frequent this page. So if you happen to read this, please stop spreading misinformation. Thanks! -- (talk) 19:33, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Inconsistent use of italics[edit]

Obviously, this article lists dozens of examples of Spanish-language names. The problem is that some of the names are italicized and other names are lack italics. The convention is to use italics on foreign language words, but that is almost irrelevant. More important is to consistently style the names. To a reader, if one name is italicized and another name lacks italics, that signals an inherent difference between the names. Since there is no difference, the inconsistency is confusing. I do not have a preference or suggestion for the italics--other than consistency. hunterhogan 22:37, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 5 external links on Spanish naming customs. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 18:34, 10 November 2016 (UTC)