65 Mexican Last Names/Surnames And Their Meanings

65 Mexican Last Names Passed Down Through the Ages

June 8, 2020 Updated September 21, 2021

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 Aztecs, Olmecs, 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 some of the most popular Mexican last names and what they mean. You can also check out our pages on French last names, Portuguese last names, Brazilian last names, and more. 

Mexican Last Names

  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. Beltran
    Meaning: Bright raven (and it actually has Germanic roots)
  8. Bravo
    Meaning: From the Spanish and Portuguese words meaning “rough,” “wild,” or “courageous.”
  9. Cano
    Meaning: White or gray-haired
  10. Cardenas
    Meaning: Purplish-blue; its root is from the Spanish word “Cardeno.”
  11. Carrillo
    Meaning: Cheek, Spanish
  12. Castaneda
    Meaning: Chestnut
  13. Castro
    Meaning: Castle
  14. Cuautli 
    Meaning: Eagle
  15. Cisneros
    Meaning: Swan
  16. Cocolotl
    Meaning: Angry
  17. Cortes
    Meaning: Civil or polite
  18. Coyopotl
    Meaning: Thick coyote
  19. de Leon
    Meaning: Lion
  20. Espinoza
    Meaning: Thorny
  21. Franco
    Meaning: Frank or free
  22. Gallardo
    Meaning: Gallant or dashing
  23. García
    Meaning: “descendant or son of Garcia”
  24. Herrera
    Meaning: Blacksmith
  25. Hernandez
    Meaning: Daring or brave
  26. Ibarra
    Meaning: Valley
  27. Jimenez
    Meaning: Son of Jimeno, a variant of Simon
  28. Lara
    Meaning: From the village called Lara de Los Infantes in Spain
  29. Leon
    Meaning: Lion
  30. Lopez
    Meaning: Wolf
  31. Lozano
    Meaning: Profuse, lush, or exuberant
  32. Luna
    Meaning: Moon
  33. Macias
    Meaning: Derived from the name “Matthew,” which means “gift of God”
  34. Mata
    Meaning: Bush or shrubs
  35. Marin
    Meaning: Of the sea
  36. Marquez
    Meaning: God of Mars
  37. Medina
    Meaning: It could refer to the multiple cities in Spain named Medina. It’s also a surname in Saudi Arabia.
  38. Mendez
    Meaning: Complete sacrifice
  39. Miranda
    Meaning: Lovely or wondrous
  40. Montoya
    Meaning: Mountain
  41. Mora
    Meaning: Since the word is typically used to refer to blackberries or mulberries, most believe this was used as a surname for fruit farmers.
  42. Navarro
    Meaning: Valley or plain of people
  43. Olivares
    Meaning: Olive grove
  44. Osorio
    Meaning: Wolfhunter
  45. Pacheco
    Meaning: Possibly related to “pequeño,” which means “short” or “little.”
  46. Parra
    Meaning: Vine
  47. Quinteiro
    Meaning: Yard or farmstead
  48. Ramirez
    Meaning: Famed judge
  49. Ramos
    Meaning: Branch
  50. Rangel
    Meaning: Curved or bent
  51. Rios
    Meaning: River
  52. Robles
    Meaning: Oak tree
  53. Rosas
    Meaning: Rose
  54. Salgado
    Meaning: Salty
  55. Sandoval
    Meaning: Most likely derived from “saltus,” which means “forest” and “novalis” (“unploughed land”)
  56. Seguar
    Meaning: Safe or secure
  57. Silva
    Meaning: Forest
  58. Tellez
    Meaning: Earth or land
  59. Torres
    Meaning: People who inhabited a region around a tower or a fort
  60. Vasquez
    Meaning: Crow or raven
  61. Velasco
    Meaning: Crow or raven
  62. Vera
    Meaning: Edge, border, or shore
  63. Zarate
    Meaning: Someone who lived near the opening of the forest
  64. Zavala
    Meaning: Broad or extensive
  65. Zuniga
    Meaning: Channel or strait