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The 100 most common surnames in Spain (and their meaning)

Spain is a land rich in tradition and culture that are maintained today, living day to day with the technological vanguards that drive today's society. One of those traditions are surnames from Spain. A combination of all the various regions of the country and the influence from other parts of the world that mixed with it.

  • We recommend you read: "50 rare surnames in Spain and Latin America"

What are the most popular Spanish surnames?

In this article we will take an interesting walk through the 100 most common surnames in Spain that show the diversity of its culture and the traditional ones that are still maintained.

1. Garcia

It is the most popular surname in Spanish territory, it used to be used as a proper name, it comes from the Basque word 'artz or hartz' which means 'bear'.

2. slim

It is a surname linked to a physical characteristic of the person, in this case it denotes his thinness or low weight. Later, it was used by his descendants as a surname.

3. Joy

It is of toponymic origin and comes from the town of Alegría de Oria, from where it took its name and passed to other places.

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4. Vazquez

It is a Spanish patronymic surname that means 'son of a Basque'; refers to the name of people from the Basque Country.

5. Lopez

It derives from the name 'Lope', which is usually related to the Latin term 'lupus' which means 'wolf'. It can also mean 'son of Lope'.

6. Allende

Originally from Vizcaya, in Basque it means 'grassland or cereal field'.

7. Pain

Its meaning is 'rock or stone' and it was used by individuals who lived near a paved land.

8. Hernandez

Emerging from the name 'Hernando', it is related to 'Firthunands', a Germanic name meaning 'bold peacemaker'.

9. Amez

It has Spanish origin since it comes from the city of Ames in La Coruña and it spread to America during the last decades of the colony.

10. cross

It comes from the Latin word 'crux', it began as a proper name and referred to the death of Jesus Christ, later it was adopted as a patronymic surname.

11. Sanchez

It was derived from the name 'Sancho', which was widely spread among the Hispanic population during the Middle Ages, comes from the Roman god Sancus.

12. Echeverri

It is of Basque origin, it is made up of two words: 'Etxe' which means 'house' and 'Barri or Berri' whose meaning is 'new'. It is a variation of Echeverría.

13. Vidal

It was formed from the Latin proper name 'Vitalis', which means 'full of life'.

14. Martin

Surname derived from the Roman god of war, Mars. Therefore, it means 'consecrated to war' or 'consecrated to the God Mars'.

15. Elizalde

Basque surname meaning 'next to the church'.

16. fields

It comes from the Latin 'campus' which refers to a large piece of land that is outside the city. It is a geographical surname, to refer to those who lived on this site.

17. Castro

It comes from the Latin 'castrum' and that is how the forts and cities that were protected by walls were known and it was adopted by its inhabitants as a toponymic surname.

18. Ruiz

It is derived from the masculine name 'Rodrigo' which translates as 'he who is reputed to be powerful' or 'he who is rich in glory'.

19. Sources

This Spanish surname is considered toponymic, used to refer to people who lived near a natural or artificial water source.

20. watch out

It is a noble surname of Gipuzkoan and Navarrese origin. It derives from the Basque word 'garat' which means 'high step'.

21. blacksmith

It emerged as an occupational surname as it referred to people who worked with metals. It comes from the Latin word 'ferrum' which means 'iron'.

22. carrasco

Its origin comes from the common name that was formerly given to Kermes oak, a shrub that is characterized by maintaining the green color of its leaves throughout the year.

23. dark

Surname that comes from the Latin 'maurus' which translates as 'coming from Mauritania' and as 'dark-skinned or Moorish'.

24. herce

The origin of the surname is found in the La Rioja toponym of the town of Herce and has several meanings: 'Communal land', 'shore', 'border' or 'corner'.

25. Nunez

It originated from the proper name 'Nuno or Nuño' together with the Hispanic suffix -ez meaning 'son of'. This surname is a variant of 'Nonius' which refers to the ninth son.

26. Munoz

It comes from the Latin proper name 'Munio' which means 'fortify or create walls'. Together with the Hispanic suffix -oz it means 'son of Munio'.

27. Riquelme

It is of Germanic origin, which was introduced in the Spanish peninsula with Carlos I and Carlos V of Europe. It means 'rich, helmet or protector'.

28. churches

Very common surname among the Spanish, it was derived from the Latin term 'ecclesia'.

29. Gutierrez

It comes from one of the Hispanic forms that took the name 'Walter' and which means 'chief of the army' or 'powerful warrior'.

30. Ortiz

It is the patronymic form that the name 'Ortún or Fortún' adopted, it is one of the Hispanic variations of the masculine given name 'Fortunio' which in Latin means 'the lucky one'.

31. flycatcher

It is a surname of Galician origin. It comes from the word 'moscón' which means 'strong or large person'.

32. to usually do

It has a French origin 'Solier' which means 'one who lives in a house with a flat'.

33. Soto

It refers to a place on the banks of a river that has a small forest around it or abundant vegetation in the neighboring area.

34. Lake

It is a Galician surname very widespread throughout the Iberian Peninsula, it is derived from a place close to a lake, but it is also believed that it comes from the term 'Lacos', which over time would become 'Lake'.

35. Vargas

It originated from the Cantabrian term 'varga' which means 'cabin or slope'.

36. arismendi

It is a variant of a Basque surname that derives from two words: 'Haritz', which means 'oak', and 'mendi' which means 'mountain'.

37. blond

It has its root in the Latin word 'rubeus', a term that was used to refer to a person with light hair.

38. Navarrese

It is a toponymic surname related to the gentile of the people of the province of Navarra. Its meaning is 'forest' or 'plain surrounded by mountains'.

39. Baigorria

It is an old surname, derives from the Basque language and means 'red river'.

40. Bravo

It described a personal characteristic, it refers to a violent or cruel person, then the definition of brave was taken.

41. towers

It comes from the Latin 'turris', it emerged as a surname to indicate that a person came from a place where there were towers.

42. boat

Its origin may come from the term 'barquinero' which means 'large bellows used by blacksmiths'.

43. farinas

It comes from the Latin 'farnna' which refers to the powder obtained from grinding certain cereals.

44. Aguilar

It comes from the Latin word 'aguilare' and means 'site of the eagle' or 'place where eagles live'.

45. Carranza

It is a surname from the Canary Islands, it comes from the Basque 'Karrantza' and is considered a very old surname.

46. Quiroga

It is a variation of the name of a very common shrub in Galicia, called 'Queiruga', which is usually found in lowland and in pine forest areas.

47. Benitez

It is derived from the proper name 'Benito' which in turn comes from 'Benedictus', which means 'the one who speaks well'.

48. Spout

It comes from the Latin word 'canus' which indicated the color of hair that has gray hair. It is also synonymous with mature or old.

49. Ulloa

Its name is believed to have come from the Ulla river that flows at the foot of a hill where several people lived.

50. Dominguez

It is a patronymic surname that comes from the masculine name 'Domingo', very popular in the Middle Ages due to the influence of Catholicism. It comes from the Latin term 'dominicus' which means 'of the Lord' or 'used for Sunday'.

51. Larrea

It is of Basque origin and refers to a pasture, dehesa or prairie.

52. Paez

It is a patronymic surname of the name 'Paio', which is an abbreviated form of 'Pelaio or Pelayo', when accompanied by the suffix -ez, it means 'son of Pelayo'.

53. Vazquez

This is how people from the Basque Country were known and it refers to their gentile. By adding the ending -ez, it becomes, 'son of Basque'.

54. Lizarraga

Its origin is Basque-Navarre and it means 'place of the ash trees'.

55. Curly

Surname given to people who had curly or wavy hair.

56. mendoza

It is derived from the Basque 'Mendotza', which translates as 'cold mountain or cold mountain'.

57. Gil

It comes from the diminutive of 'Egidio' which is the Latin form of 'Aegidius' which means 'the protected or chosen one'.

58. Montoya

It is of Alava origin and comes from the Basque word 'montoia' which means 'pasture site' or 'rush pasture'.

59. Ramirez

It comes from the masculine name 'Ramiro' and when joined to the suffix -ez it means 'son of Ramiro'. Others say that it is an adaptation of the medieval names Ranamers and translates as 'brilliant warrior'.

60. Ochoa

It is a Basque surname that comes from the term 'Otxoa or Otsoa' which means 'wolf'.

61. Ten

It is another version of the names Diego and Diago.

62. Zelaya

It comes from the Basque word 'zelaia' which translates as 'field or meadow'.

63. Highlander

It is considered a toponymic surname that derives from the word 'serra' which translates as 'mountain range or mountain range'.

64. Urquiza

It is a surname that comes from 'Vizcaya' and refers to places where birches abound.

65. White

It is a nickname that was given to people whose skin color, hair or beard were white, in addition, it can refer to snow.

66. Valdovinos

It is a Spanish surname that is made up of 'Val' which means 'valley', 'do' which translates as 'del' and 'vinos', together it means 'valley of wines'.

67. Urquia

Variant of 'Urquiza' with a similar meaning.

68. Rosemary

It originated as a nickname applied to travelers from the Western or Roman Empire who had to pass through the Eastern or Byzantine Empire on their way to the Holy Land.

69. Alvarez

It is based on the Nordic name 'Álvaro' which together with the ending -ez means 'son of Álvaro'.

70. Saints

It was derived from the Christian holiday known as All Saints' Day.

71. Safe

It comes from the Latin 'securus', which was assigned to a child as an omen of survival. In the same way, it can be considered a toponymic of Segura, which is the name of a town and a river.

72. Alonso

It comes from the proper name 'Alfonso', it is derived from the Gothic 'Altfuns', which means 'always prepared for combat'.

73. Lush

Coming from the nickname itself that means 'cheerful, gallant, airy'.

74. Diaz

He is the patronymic of the name 'Diago', which comes from 'Ya'akov' which translates as 'held by the heel'.

75. sagasti

Its origin is Basque, it derives from 'sagar' which means 'apple or apple tree'.

76. Galician

Denotes the name of a person who lives in Galicia.

77. Suarez

It comes from the name 'Suaro' which can mean 'shoemaker, seamstress' or 'army of the south or of the sun'.

78. Jimenez

It is a surname that has been evolving, it is believed that it came from the Hebrew name 'Simón'. Others say that it is a variant of the Latin name 'Maximino' which was derived in 'Ximeno' and later 'Jimeno'.

79. Lion

It is applied to call the inhabitants born in the ancient kingdom of León.

80. Castle

It comes from the word 'castellum' which means 'castle'. Very popular with the Romans and they are given to local lords or those who lived near that place.

81. perez

It comes from the name of 'Pedro', which in turn is derived from 'Petros' which means 'stone'.

82. Marquez

It is the patronymic of the name 'Marcos or Marco' and means 'consecrated to Mars'.

83. Cuts

It derives from the French 'curteis' which refers to a person with good manners, it is also believed to refer to a member of the nobility or the court.

84. Gonzalez

It is one of the most common Spanish surnames and comes from the masculine name 'Gonzalo' which translates as 'willing to fight' or 'ready for battle'.

85. flowers

Surname of Iberian origin that derives from the Latin name 'Florus' with the same meaning, it can also come from the German name 'Fruela or Froyla' which translates as 'Lord of these lands'.

86. tight

It is a form of nickname that was given to people with dark skin.

87. Martinez

It is another patronymic surname that originated from the name Martin which comes from the Latin 'Martinus' which translates 'of war'.

88. Mendez

It may come from the name 'Mendo' which means 'mountain or mount', likewise it originates from the diminutive of 'Hermenegildo' which means 'immense sacrifice'.

89. medina

It is a surname of Arabic origin that comes from the homonymous word and means 'city'.

90. Rodriguez

It comes from the proper name 'Rodrigo' which is a Hispanic variant of 'Hrodric' which means 'mighty because of his fame' or 'rich in glory'.

91. bouquets

It has its root in the Latin word 'ramus' which refers to the secondary stems of plants with flowers and leaves, as well as ornamental arrangements. This surname was given to children born on Palm Sunday.

92. Sanz

Version of the name 'Sancho' which, in turn, refers to the Roman God 'Sancus', defender of loyalty.

93. Molina

Surname that denotes the work of a miller or that person who lived near a mill.

94. Echeverria

It comes from the Basque language and has the same meaning as Echeverri, since it is a variant of it.

95. bald

It is derived from the Latin 'calvus' which means 'without hair'.

96. Cabrera

Surname that derives from the Latin word 'capraria' and means 'place of goats' or goatherd.

97. Vega

This surname comes from 'vaica', an old Spanish word that became 'vega' and means 'low, flat and fertile land'.

98. gentleman

It was given to members who belonged to cavalries, later it was synonymous with hidalgo until it became a word that denotes a man of good education.

99. Santana

Surname given to the Spanish knights of the order of Santana who were devoted to the Virgin Mary.

100. Kings

Nickname given to people who worked for kings or in royal houses. It also denotes those born on the day of the Three Kings.

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