Spanish Naming Conventions – The Fundamentals

Spanish Naming Conventions – The Fundamentals

Utilizing the impact that Spanish tradition has already established all over the world, you might well have roots that are spanish in your household tree.

For people not really acquainted with Spanish naming conventions, finding and exploring ancestors could be a small perplexing.

Today we start with component 1 of our Spanish Naming Conventions series – The fundamentals

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

Starting Out

A lot of you will observe that Spanish names are generally more than in a lot of other countries. By much much longer I don’t mean they will have more letters, after all they will have more words.

Before we enter into why this is actually the situation it is essential to know that the idea of a “Middle Name” doesn’t occur in Spanish naming conventions.

Once you overlook the Middle Name, knowing the name that is full notably easier.

Throughout this post I’ll make use of the present Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and their household, as one example to explain culture that is spanish conventions.

Bear in mind though, that where i personally use the expressed term Spain or Spanish, I’m actually speaing frankly about Spanish tradition extending all over the world, not merely tradition through the nation of Spain.

First/Given Names

In Spanish countries, individuals either get one or two provided names. By way of example Juan or, just like the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis.

Keep in mind that, as stated above, Luis just isn’t the Prime Minister’s name that is middle element of a complete, solitary, given name – Jose Luis.


In Spanish countries, individuals typically have actually 2 surnames.

The first is the paternal surname (apellido paterno), the father’s very very very first surname, together with second could 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 jpeoplemeet mobile Anglophone cultures as you may have realised, this means that what.

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

This aspect in regards to the paternal surname coming first as well as the maternal surname coming 2nd is definitely an essential anyone to keep in mind, as we’ll discuss below into the paragraph on how to address some body by their surname.

Hitched Names and Children’s Names

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

just What this means is that the mom, daddy and young ones in a single family members will all, generally, have actually various surnames.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is married 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.

Addressing Somebody By Their Surname

When someone that is addressing their surname in Spanish countries, in most cases you employ their paternal surname.

So, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will be referred to as Senor Rodriguez, not Senor Zapatero.

Without attempting to confuse you, it is essential to observe that dropping the surname that is paternal maybe not unusual when it’s an extremely typical one.

This is actually the situation using the Prime Minister that is former of, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whom, as a result of exactly just how common the surname Rodriguez is, is truly referred to as Zapatero.

That having been stated, focus on the basic guideline and you ought to be okay.

Additionally, take into account that it is becoming more popular amongst Hispanic countries into the Americas to hyphenate the 2 surnames. This might be an effort in order to avoid confusion whenever coping with Anglophone countries that aren’t familiar with Spanish naming conventions.

Let’s leave it there for the present time since this has been a exemplary begin and can help those of you not really acquainted with Spanish naming conventions to obtain up to speed how these conventions will vary to those you may become more knowledgeable about. Us comment below if you have an interesting Spanish surname, leave.

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