Like the culture they come from, Spanish last names have a strong presence around the world. As with British surnames, a mix of colonization and immigration has spread Spanish last names far and wide: from Europe to Asia to South America. Each surname connects those who bear it to their Hispanic roots, whether the name is occupational, ancestral, or characteristic.
This is not your high school Spanish class. We’re taking it a step further — conjugations aren’t the only things that hold meaning. Last names are powerful and can tell a story if you listen. Spanish-speaking countries are each distinct places with their own culture, and each holds unique histories that are sometimes reflected in those names. They can also relate to various values like family, respect, education, language, religion, and pride.
Like in many cultures, keeping your father’s last name is common practice and meant to keep you connected to your family. Even for women who get married in Hispanic culture, it’s common to keep your maiden name since it ties you to your father. For example, if Chloe Morales marries Joseph Martinez, she can change her name to Chloe Morales de Martinez, if she likes. Keeping her maiden name is one way for other family members to identify her and stay in touch.
If you’re searching for the most common Spanish last names and their meanings, you’re not alone. According to the latest search data available, this query is searched for over 33,000 times a month.
Say hola to our list of Spanish last names and check out their meanings. You’ll likely recognize some or see likenesses to Italian and French surnames, since each of these languages developed from Latin.
Meaning: Son of Gomesano (meaning man of the path).
Meaning: A person of dark hair or complexion.
Meaning: Son of Rodrigo (meaning powerful ruler).
Meaning: A person of white hair or pale complexion.
Meaning: Son of Fernando (meaning journey).
Meaning: Son of Gerald (meaning bear).
Meaning: Son of Suero (occupational name for a swine herder).
Meaning: Son of Ruy (meaning powerful ruler).
Meaning: Churches or someone who lives near a church.
Meaning: Life or vital.
Meaning: Son of Sancho (meaning saintly).
Meaning: Son of Lope (meaning wolf).
Meaning: Son of Ramiro (meaning famous, wise, or famous counsel).
Meaning: Son of Alvaro (meaning cautious).
Meaning: Son of Pedro (meaning stone or rock).
Meaning: Saint or holy.
Meaning: Son of Gonzalo (meaning war or battle).
Meaning: Son of Orti (meaning either brave or fortunate).
Meaning: Mill or miller.
Meaning: Castle, fortress, or someone who lives near a castle.
Meaning: Someone who lives near a mountain or hill.
Meaning: Son of Diego (meaning supplanter).
Meaning: Tower or someone who lives near a tower.
Meaning: A thin person.
Meaning: Son of Hernando (variation of Fernando).
Meaning: A pilgrim from Rome.
Meaning: Son of Martin (meaning Mars, the Roman god of war).
Meaning: Happiness, joy.
Meaning: A person from the region of Navarre in Spain.
Meaning: Derives from Martinus, the Roman God of war.
Meaning: Nettle plant.
Meaning: A person from the region of Ábalos, near the Basque country of Spain.
Meaning: One who protects mankind.
Meaning: Maker of leather shoes.
Meaning: Belprotect the king.
Meaning: A knight.
Meaning: A bell-ringer.
Meaning: Priest’s street.
Meaning: Poplar or aspen.
- De La Fuente
Meaning: Of the fountain.
Meaning: The cherry.
Meaning: A slope.
Meaning: Belprotect the king.
Meaning: A place covered with thorns.
Meaning: A warrior.
Meaning: Handsome or attractive.
Meaning: A place of goats.
Meaning: Candle or candlemaker.
Meaning: Someone from the Cantu town of Italy.
Meaning: Merciful or gentle.
Meaning: Dove keepers.
Meaning: Assembly or noble.
- De Jesus
Meaning: Of Jesus.
- Del Campo
Meaning: Someone from the field.
Meaning: Of the Lord.
Meaning: Hard and steadfast.
Meaning: Derives from Etxeberria, which is in the Basque country of Spain.
Meaning: A person who lives near or under a church.
Common Spanish Sayings
Whether you’re trying to freshen up on your Spanish or get more in tuned with Latin culture, check out these phrases you could apply to your everyday life. You can even learn how to say them in Spanish!
A bird in the hand is worth more than 100 flying.
Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando.
Eyes that do not see, heart that does not feel.
No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano. Not through much awaking early does the dawn come earlier.
Love is blind.
El amor es ciego.
The dog that doesn’t walk doesn’t find a bone.
Perro que no camina, no encuentra hueso.
Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are.
Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.