40+ Mexican Last Names/Surnames And Their Meanings

40+ Mexican Last Names Passed Down Through the Ages

June 8, 2020 Updated July 8, 2020

mexican last names
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Last names can tell us a lot about where someone is from, their culture, and their history. (Or sometimes it’s just something you pick up when you get married.) Mexico has an incredibly rich history, going back to ancient civilizations like the Olmecs, Aztecs, and Mayans. It was then colonized by the Spanish. Today, the country is made up of 31 states and one federal district, and has a population of more than 100 million people. Mexican last names include influences from the indigenous populations, as well as the Spanish colonizers. And frequently, Mexican people have two (or more) last names: the first is typically the father’s last name and the second is the mother’s last name. If you have a Mexican last name or are curious about them in general, here are over 40 popular Mexican last names and what they mean.

  1. Aguirre
    Meaning: Prominent or exposed place
  2. Aguilar
    Meaning: Describing a person from the region of Aguilar, in the Castile region of Spain.
  3. Ayla
    Meaning: Hillside slope or pasture
  4. Barrera 
    Meaning: Barrier, referring to people who lived by a gate or fence.
  5. Bernal
    Meaning: Spanish variant of the name ‘Baruch,’ which means ‘blessed’ in Hebrew.
  6. Becerra
    Meaning: Young cow
  7. Bravo
    Meaning: From the Spanish and Portuguese word meaning “rough”, “wild”, or “courageous.”
  8. Cano
    Meaning: White or gray haired
  9. Castaneda
    Meaning: Chestnut
  10. Castro
    Meaning: Castle
  11. Cisneros
    Meaning: Swan
  12. Cortes
    Meaning: Civil or polite
  13. de Leon
    Meaning: Lion
  14. Espinoza
    Meaning: Thorny
  15. Franco
    Meaning: Frank or free
  16. Gallardo
    Meaning: Gallant or dashing
  17. Hernandez
    Meaning: Daring or brave
  18. Ibarra
    Meaning: Valley
  19. Lopez
    Meaning: Wolf
  20. Luna
    Meaning: Moon
  21. Marin
    Meaning: Of the sea
  22. Marquez
    Meaning: God of Mars
  23. Mendez
    Meaning: Complete sacrifice
  24. Miranda
    Meaning: Lovely or wondrous
  25. Montoya
    Meaning: Mountain
  26. Navarro
    Meaning: Valley or plain of people
  27. Osorio
    Meaning: Wolf hunter
  28. Parra
    Meaning: Vine
  29. Quinteiro
    Meaning: Yard or farmstead
  30. Ramirez
    Meaning: Famed judge
  31. Ramos
    Meaning: Branch
  32. Rangel
    Meaning: Curved or bent
  33. Rios
    Meaning: River
  34. Rosas
    Meaning: Rose
  35. Salgado
    Meaning: Salty
  36. Seguar
    Meaning: Safe or secure
  37. Silva
    Meaning: Forest
  38. Tellez
    Meaning: Earth or land
  39. Torres
    Meaning: People who inhabited a region around a tower or a fort
  40. Vasquez
    Meaning: Crow or raven
  41. Vera
    Meaning: Edge, border or shore
  42. Zarate
    Meaning: Someone who lived near the opening of the forest
  43. Zavala
    Meaning: Broad or extensive
  44. Zuniga
    Meaning: Channel or strait