Spanish Naming Conventions – The Fundamentals

Spanish Naming Conventions – The Fundamentals

With all the impact that Spanish tradition has already established throughout the world, you may possibly well have Spanish origins someplace in your household tree.

For people not really acquainted with Spanish naming conventions, finding and checking out ancestors can be a confusing that is little.

Today we start with component 1 of our Naming that is spanish Conventions – The Essentials

We’ll progress beyond that in the second few components of this series but, as with every plain things, let’s start at the start…

Starting Out

Lots of you shall observe that Spanish names are generally much longer than in several other cultures. By much longer I don’t mean they will have more letters, i am talking about they will have more words.

It’s important to understand that the concept of a “Middle Name” doesn’t exist in Spanish naming conventions before we get into why this is the case.

Once you neglect the Middle Name, comprehending the name that is full notably easier.

Throughout this post I’ll utilize the present Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and their family members, for example to spell out culture that is spanish conventions.

Bear in mind though, that where I prefer the expressed term Spain or Spanish, I’m actually speaing frankly about Spanish tradition expanding throughout the globe, not only tradition through the nation of Spain.

First/Given Names

In Spanish countries, individuals either get one or two offered names. As an example Juan or, just like the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis.

Remember that, as previously mentioned above, Luis isn’t the Prime Minister’s name that is middle element of the full, solitary, given name – Jose Luis.


In Spanish countries, individuals usually have actually 2 surnames.

The first is the paternal surname (apellido paterno), the father’s first surname, plus the second may be the maternal surname (apellido materno), the mother’s very first surname.

We would call the mother’s maiden name, is passed down a further generation than in traditional Anglophone cultures as you may have realised, this means that what.

Returning to our friend Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, utilizing the information above we now recognize that Rodriguez is his paternal surname and Zapatero is their maternal surname.

This time concerning the paternal surname coming first while the surname that is maternal second is definitely an essential anyone to keep in mind, as we’ll discuss below into the paragraph on how to deal with somebody by their surname.

Hitched Names and Children’s Names

In Spanish tradition, females usually do not alter their title whenever hitched.

just just What which means is the fact that mom, daddy and kids within one household will all, generally, have actually various surnames.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is hitched to Sonsoles Espinosa Diaz (Espinosa is her paternal surname and Diaz is her maternal surname) and their children’s names are Laura Rodriguez Espinosa and Alba Rodriguez Espinosa.

Handling Somebody By Their Surname

Whenever someone that is addressing their surname in Spanish cultures, in most cases you employ their paternal surname.

So, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is referred to as Senor Rodriguez, maybe maybe not Senor Zapatero.

Without wanting to confuse you, it is essential to observe that dropping the surname that is paternal maybe perhaps not uncommon syrian wives if it is a really typical one.

This is actually the instance because of the previous Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whom, as a result of exactly how common the surname Rodriguez is, is obviously referred to as Zapatero.

That having been stated, concentrate on the rule that is general you need to be okay.

Also, remember that it is more popular amongst Hispanic countries when you look at the Americas to hyphenate the 2 surnames. This really is an effort in order to prevent confusion whenever coping with Anglophone countries that aren’t acquainted with Spanish naming conventions.

Let’s leave it there for the time being as this happens to be a exemplary start and can help those of you not really acquainted with Spanish naming conventions to obtain up to speed as to how these conventions will vary to those you may become more knowledgeable about. For those who have a fascinating Spanish surname, leave us comment below.

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