Spanish Naming Conventions – The Fundamentals

Utilizing the impact that Spanish tradition has received around the globe, you could well have roots that are spanish in your loved ones tree.

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

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

We’ll progress beyond that in the following few components of this show but, as with every things, let’s start in the beginning…

Starting Out

A lot of you shall realize that Spanish names are generally much longer than in lots of other countries. By much longer I don’t mean they’ve more letters, i am talking about they will have more words.

Before we go into why this is actually the instance it is crucial to know that the thought of a “Middle Name” doesn’t occur in Spanish naming conventions.

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

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

Bear in mind though, that where i personally use the term Spain or Spanish, I’m actually speaing frankly about Spanish tradition expanding throughout the globe, not merely culture through the country of Spain.

First/Given Names

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

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


In Spanish countries, individuals usually have 2 surnames.

the very first is the paternal surname (apellido paterno), the father’s very first surname, together with second may be the maternal surname (apellido materno), the mother’s 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 buddy Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, with the information above we now recognize that Rodriguez is their paternal surname and Zapatero is their maternal surname.

This time concerning the paternal surname coming first as well as the maternal surname coming 2nd is definitely an essential someone to keep in mind, as we’ll discuss below into the paragraph on how to address somebody by their surname.

Married Names and Children’s Names

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

Just just just What this means is the fact that mom, daddy and kiddies in a single 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 Some Body By Their Surname

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

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

Without wanting to confuse you, it is critical to remember that dropping the paternal surname is perhaps maybe not uncommon if it is an extremely typical one.

This is basically the situation with all the previous Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whom, due to just exactly how common the surname Rodriguez is, is obviously referred to as Zapatero.

That having been stated, concentrate on the basic guideline and you need to be okay.

Additionally, remember that it is more popular amongst Hispanic cultures into the Americas to hyphenate the 2 surnames. This can be an endeavor to prevent confusion when 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 exceptional begin and may help those of you not really acquainted with Spanish naming conventions to obtain up to speed on what these conventions will vary to those you may be much more knowledgeable about. When you have a fascinating Spanish surname, leave us comment below.

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