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Origin of Spanish surnames

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What is the origin of my last name? Where does it come from?

Maybe you have ever asked yourself this question, and it really is not an easy question to answer. In the first place, it is very interesting to know what category of surnames it belongs to.

In this article you will find the different types of surnames according to their origin and some examples of each.

Toponymics surnames

Are those surnames that designate the birth or residence place of the person, a locality, a geographical feature or a construction.

Although few still conserve it today, most of these last names contained in their origins the preposition "de" (example: De Burgos), "del" (example: Del Río) or "de la" (example: De la Fresneda), "De los" (example: De los Perales), or "de las" (example: De las Cuevas).

Some toponymics names are:

• Aragonés
• Aranda
• Arellano
• Arroyo
• Ávila
• Avilés
• Aya
• Barahona / Baraona
• Barranco
• Bilbao
• Bisbal
• Braga
• Burgos
• Carranza
• Castañeda
• Castillo
• Catalán
• Cervantes
• Corral
• Costa
• Cuéllar
• Cuenca
• Cuevas
• Dávila / De Ávila
• Encina
• Fresneda
• Gallego
• Granados
• Hoyos
• Lago
• Laguna
• León
• Linares
• Madrid
• Mansilla
• Manzano
• Marín / Marino
• Miranda
• Montes
• Montilla
• Morata
• Naranjo
• Navarra / Navarro
• Nieves
• Ocaña
• Orellana
• Peña
• Perales
• Pino
• Olmos
• Rivas
• Romero
• Roca
• Sarabia
• Salazar
• Saldaña
• Santander
• Santisteban
• Segura
• Serrano
• Sevilla
• Silveira
• Soria, Soriano
• Soto
• Toledo, Toledano
• Torquemada
• Torrente
• Torres
• Valenzuela
• Valverde
• Vargas
• Vergara
• Villa
• Villalba
• Villanueva
• Villena
• Viñas
• Vitoria
• Zamorano.

Patronymic Surnames

Are those surnames that have their origin in the first name of the person's father.

The vast majority of patronymic Spanish surnames were formed by adding the suffix "ez" (example: Fernando / Fernández) to the name, in Catalonia and Valencia the suffix "is" (example: Pere / Peris), in the Basque Country the suffix "iz "(example: Lope / Lopiz)

Some patronymic surnames are:

• Álvarez (Álvar, Álvaro)
• Antolínez (Antolín)
• Antúnez (Antón, Antonio)
• Benítez (Benito)
• Bernardez (Bernardo)
• Bermúdez (Bermudo)
• Blázquez (Blas)
• Díaz, Díez, Diéguez (Diego)
• Domínguez (Domingo)
• Enríquez (Enrico, Enrique)
• Fernández, Hernández (Fernando, Hernán)
• Galíndez (Galindo)
• Gálvez (Galve)
• Garcés, Garcez (García)
• García (García, Garza)
• Giménez, Jiménez, Ximénez, Ximenes (Ximeno)
• Gómez (Gome, Guillermo)
• González (Gonzalo)
• Güemes / Güémez (Gome)
• Gutiérrez (Gutierre)
• Henríquez (Henrique)
• Hernández (Hernán)
• Ibáñez (Iván)
• íñiguez (íñigo, Ignacio)
• Jiménez (Jimeno)
• López (Lope)
• Márquez (Marcos)
• Martínez (Martín)
• Meléndez, Menéndez (Melendo, Menendo)
• Méndez (Mendo)
• Mínguez (Mingo, Domingo)
• Muñoz (Muño)
• Nunes (Nuno)
• Núñez (Nuño)
• Ordóñez (Ordoño)
• Ortiz (Ortún)
• Peláez (Pelayo)
• Pérez, Peris, Peres (Pere, Pero, Pedro)
• Ramírez (Ramiro)
• Rodríguez (Rodrigo)
• Ruiz (Roi o Roy, Ruy, Rodrigo)
• Sánchez, Sáez, Sáenz, Sainz (Sancho)
• Suárez, Juárez, Xuárez (Suero)
• Téllez (Tello)
• Velázquez (Velasco)
• Yagüe, Yágüez (Yagüe, Yago, Santiago)
• Yáñez (Ioan, Juan)

Surnames formed from professions or positions..

Are those surnames that identified the person based on their occupation, position or social status.

Some of these surnames are:

• Alcalde, Alcaide
• Alférez
• Ballester, Ballestero, Ballesteros
• Batanero
• Barbero
• Botero
• Caballero
• Carbonero
• Cardenal
• Camarero
• Caminero
• Capitán
• Cantero
• Carpintero
• Carnicero
• Carreiro
• Carretero
• Castillero
• Cerecero
• Cillero
• Conde
• Correa
• Criado
• Cubero
• Duque
• Escrivá
• Ferrer, Ferrero, Ferrufino, Herrera, Herrero
• Guerrero
• Hidalgo
• Jurado
• Labrador
• Manzanero
• Marinero
• Marqués
• Merino
• Melero
• Molinero
• Monje
• Morterero
• Notario
• Ovejero
• Panadero
• Pastor
• Rey
• Rico
• Sabater (catalan)
• Sacristán
• Saetero
• Sastre, Sartori
• Sillero
• Soldado
• Teixidó (catalan)
• Tejedor
• Tornero
• Vaquero
• Verdugo
• Zapatero

Surnames formed from physical, family or moral traits.

Some of these surnames are:

• Amor
• Alegre
• Barriga
• Bello
• Blanco
• Bravo
• Bueno
• Cabello
• Cabeza
• Cabezón
• Calvo
• Cano
• Casado
• Castaño
• Cortés
• Crespo
• Delgado
• Descalzo
• Feliz
• Galán
• Gordo
• Grande
• Hermoso
• Leal
• Lozano
• Manso
• Malo
• Moreno
• Nieto
• Pequeño
• Pinto
• Prieto
• Rojo
• Rubio
• Seco

Surnames relatives to the circumstances of birth.

Are those surnames imposed on those born according to the circumstances of the moment of birth (the month of birth, the saint that was celebrated that day, etc.) Included in this category are also the surnames with which we identified newborns of unknown parents, many of them with religious references.

Some of these surnames are:

• Abril
• Bastardo
• Buendía
• Diosdado
• De Dios
• Deulofeu (En catalán, Dios lo hizo)
• Expósito
• Iglesias
• Nomdedeu (En catalán, Nombre de Dios)
• San Martín o Sanmartín
• San Pedro o Sampedro
• San Miguel o Sanmiguel
• Temprano
• Tirado

Surnames with uncertain origin.

Are those surnames referring to animals, plants or objects. Possibly they identified the people who raised, cultivated or manufactured them.

Some of these surnames are:

• Águila
• Botella
• Borrego
• Buey
• Cebolla
• Conejo
• Cordero
• Cuervo
• Gato
• Gavilán
• Lobato
• Oliva
• Osa
• Palomo
• Raposo
• Tocino
• Toro
• Vaca
• Zorrilla

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