Spanish Names - Surnames, Given Names  

Basic Spanish Grammar Spanish Names
Overview

Common Spanish First Names

Feminine Names
Sofía, Martina, Constanza, Catalina, Antonia, Valentina, Javiera, Isidora, Fernanda, María

Masculine Names
Alejandro, Juan Carlos, Miguel Ángel, Eduardo, Fernando, Carlos, Rodrigo, Ricardo, Javier, José Luis

Common Family Names, or Surnames

Hernández, García, Martínez, López, González, Gómez, Rodríguez, Pérez, Sánchez, Ramirez, Flores

In countries where is Spanish spoken, two family names, or surnames, are given to each child. The first surname from the father is given to each child at birth. In addition, a second surname is given - the second surname is the first surname of the mother. As an example, if Alejandro García Rodríguez were to marry Catalina Sánchez Pérez, then their son might be named Alejandro García Sánchez. Because of this tradition, when a woman marries a man, she does not lose her maiden surname. Her family name is carried by her children.

It is a common practice to use prepositions and conjunctions in surnames. You will discover that many families have added a de (of) into their surname. This was a historical custom practiced in Europe. You may recall the German "von" or the Dutch "van". This practice results in names such as those below:

Elisa Martínez de la Huerta, Maria Garcia de la Banda, Sergio López de la Fuente, Cinta Rodríguez de la Rosa, Daniel Hernández de la Serrana Castillo

In addition, compound first names are common. Which results in names like, María de Jesus, Luis Mario, María José, Carlos Alberto, Juan Carlos, etc.

All of the above resulted in names being very long. The logical solution was to provide everyone with a nickname. It is very common for one to have a Spanish speaking friend for years and not know his/her legal name. Use the tables below to discover the real names of your Spanish friends!

Male Nicknames

José ---> Pepe
Manuel ---> Manolo
Francisco ---> Paco
José María ---> Chema

Female Nicknames

Concepción ---> Concha
María Isabel ---> Maribel
María Luisa ---> Marisa
Dolores ---> Lola
Encarnación ---> Encarna

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