100 Common Mexican Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings

100 Common Mexican Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings -2

Mexico is the most populous Spanish speaking country in the world (1). This is probably the reason that most Mexican surnames are derived from Spanish, and several have their origins in Spain.

Mexicans have two surnames. The first name is the father’s last name and the second the mother’s last name. This way, the surnames exist at least through two generations. Parents of the child

can choose either the father’s or the mother’s last name as the surname of the child.

In this post, MomJunction brings you the most popular Mexican surnames along with their meanings and origins.

List Of Popular Mexican Surnames Or Last Names

1. Aguilar

This surname was first found in Castile, an important Christian kingdom of medieval Spain. It refers to the person who lived in a region called Aguilar. The name comes from the Latin word ‘Aquilare’ meaning ‘eagles’ lair.’

2. Aguirre

It denotes any of the several places reflecting open spaces or pastures. This is derived from the Basque word ‘Ager’ meaning ‘prominent’ or ‘exposed place.’

3. Arellano

It refers to a place named Arellano in the Navarre region of Spain. The name comes from the Latin name ‘Aurelianus’ meaning ‘farm or the estate of Aurelius.’

4. Ayala

It is a toponymic surname for someone from the town of Ayala/Aiara in the province of Basque country in Spain. It is derived from the Basque elements ‘ai’ meaning ‘hillside’ or ‘slope’ and ‘alha’ meaning ‘pasture.’

5. Bernal

It is the Spanish variant of the name ‘Baruch,’ which means ‘blessed’ in Hebrew.

6. Barrera

It is the Spanish word for ‘barrier.’ It refers to a family that lived by a gate or fence or any other barrier.

7. Becerra

This refers to a high-spirited person and is derived from the Spanish word ‘becerra’ meaning a ‘young cow.’

8. Beltran

It is derived from the Germanic personal name that is composed of the Old Germanic elements ‘berht’ meaning ‘bright’ and ‘hrabn’ meaning ‘raven.’

9. Bravo

It comes from the Spanish and Portuguese word ‘bravo,’ which means ‘rough, wild, and courageous.’ The name likely began as a nickname.

10. Cano

This surname is derived from a nickname used for someone with prematurely white hair. The name is taken from the Latin word ‘cano’ meaning ‘white or gray-haired.’

11. Cardenas

This surname is the feminine plural of the Spanish word ‘Cardeno’ meaning ‘purplish-blue.’ The name is a toponymic one because it is also the name of a village in the community of La Rioja in Spain.

12. Castaneda

It is a toponymic surname referring to any of the several places by this name in Spain. The name comes from the Spanish word ‘castaña’ meaning ‘chestnut.’

13. Castellanos

It denotes a place inhabited or founded by ‘Castilians.’ The name is derived from the Latin word ‘castellum’ meaning ‘castle.’

14. Castro

It means ‘castle’ in Spanish. The name comes from the Latin word ‘castrum,’ which means a ‘castle.’

15. Carrillo

It is the Spanish word for ‘cheek.’ This surname was likely a nickname for someone who was bold or someone with some peculiarity of the cheek.

16. Cervantes

This is a toponymic name for someone from a place called Cervantes in Spain. The name is likely derived from the Latin word ‘serviens’ meaning ‘to serve’ or could refer to a servant.

17. Cisneros

This surname originated from the place called Cisneros in the Palencia province of Spain. The name is a derivation of the Spanish word ‘cisne’ meaning ‘swan.’

18. Contreras

It refers to the family line that lived in the region of Conteraras in the Burgos province of Spain. The name of the place is derived from the Late Latin word ‘contraria’ meaning ‘surrounding region.’

19. Cortes

It is the Spanish word for ‘courteous,’ ‘polite,’ or ‘gracious.’ The surname likely started out as a nickname for a polite and civil person.

20. Cuevas

It means ‘caves’ in Spanish. It is a toponymic name for someone who lived near or in a cave. It could also be a name denoting someone from the places by this name in the provinces of Malaga and Burgos of Spain.

21. de Leon

It denotes someone from the city of Leon in Spain. The name ‘Leon’ is the Spanish word for ‘Lion.’

22. Dominguez

It means ‘son of Domingo.’ The name Domingo is the Spanish form of the name ‘Dominic,’ which comes from the Late Latin name ‘Dominicus’ meaning ‘of the Lord.’

23. Enriquez

It means ‘son of Enrique.’ The name ‘Enrique’ is the Spanish version of the name ‘Henry.’ This name comes from the Germanic name ‘Heimirich,’ which is a combination of the Germanic elements ‘Heim’ meaning ‘home’ and ‘ric’ meaning ‘power’ or ‘ruler.’

24. Espinoza

It is a variant of the name ‘Espinosa’ that comes from the Spanish word ‘Espinoso’ meaning ‘thorny.’

25. Figueroa

It comes from the name of several places in Galicia region of Spain. The name is derived from the Portuguese word ‘figueira’ or the Spanish word ‘higuera,’ both meaning a ‘fig tree.’

26. Franco

It means ‘frank’ or ‘free’ in Spanish. The name Franco also refers to ‘Franks,’ who were an old Germanic tribe.

27. Gallardo

It is the Spanish word for ‘gallant’ or ‘dashing,’ The name traces its origins to a Germanic personal name made from the combination of the Old Germanic elements ‘gail’ meaning ‘joyous’ or ‘cheerful’ and ‘hard’ meaning ‘strong’ or ‘brave.’

28. Gallego

It is the Spanish word for ‘Galician’ meaning someone from the Galicia region of Spain. It is thus a toponymic surname.

29. Garza

It means ‘heron’ in Spanish and originally may have been a nickname for someone with long legs.

30. Guerrero

It means ‘warrior’ in Spanish. It was likely first used by a family line of soldiers.

31. Guzman

It is a toponymic name referring to someone who originally belonged to the village of Guzman in the Burgos province of Spain.

32. Hernandez

It means ‘son of Hernando.’ The name ‘Hernando’ is a Spanish variant of the name Ferdinand, which comes from Old German. The name is composed of the Old Germanic elements ‘fardi’ meaning ‘journey’ and ‘nand’ meaning ‘daring’ or ‘brave.’

33. Herrera

It is an occupational name since it is the Spanish word for a ‘blacksmith’ or someone who works with iron. It could also be a toponymic name referring to someone from any of the places named Herrera in the provinces of Seville and Badajoz of Spain.

34. Ibarra

It is a toponymic name used for those who belonged to the town of Ibarra in the Basque country province of Spain. The name Ibarra comes from the Basque word ‘Ibar’ meaning ‘meadow’ or a ‘valley.’

35. Jimenez

It means ‘son of Jimeno.’ The name ‘Jimeno’ is a variant of ‘Simon,’ which is likely derived from the Basque word ‘seme’ meaning ‘son.’

36. Lara

It is a toponymic name for someone from a place called Lara de los Infantes in the Burgos province of Spain.

37. Leon

It is a toponymic name for someone from the city of Leon in Spain. The name is the Spanish word for ‘lion.’

38. Lopez

It means ‘son of Lope.’ The name ‘Lope’ comes from the Latin word ‘Lupus’ that means ‘wolf.’

39. Lozano

It is the Spanish word for ‘lush’ or ‘exuberant’ or ‘profuse.’ The name likely began as a nickname for an elegant or vibrant person.

40. Lugo

It is a toponymic name for someone from the city of Lugo in the Galicia province of Spain.

41. Luna

A toponymic surname derived from the name of several places called Luna in Spain. It originally comes from the Latin word ‘luna’ meaning ‘moon.’

42. Macias

It is derived from the name ‘Matthew’ that comes from the Hebrew name ‘Mattityahu’ meaning ‘gift of god.’

43. Maldonado

It is a derivative of the Spanish phrase ‘mal donado’ which means ‘ill-favored,’ and it was adopted from a nickname. The name could also be a toponymic one referring to someone from the various places of this name in Spain.

44. Marin

It is a derivative of the Latin name ‘Marinus’ meaning ‘of the sea.’ The name could have been an occupational name for someone who worked as sailor or a mariner.

45. Marquez

It means ‘son of Marcos.’ The name ‘Marcos’ is derived from the Latin name ‘Marcus’ which refers to the ‘God of Mars.’

46. Mata

It is the Spanish word for ‘bush’ or ‘shrubs.’ It is likely a toponymic name for someone who lived near bushes or shrubs.

47. Medina

It is toponymic name for someone from any of many places with this name in Spain. This surname is derived from the name of Medina, a city in Saudi Arabia.

48. Mendez

It means ‘son of Menendo.’ The name ‘Menendo’ comes from the old Visigothic name ‘Hermenegildo,’ which in Old German meant ‘complete sacrifice.’

49. Miranda

It is derived from the Latin word ‘mirandus’ meaning ‘lovely’ or ‘wondrous’ or ‘admirable.’ It also denotes any of the various places named Miranda in Spain and Portugal.

50. Molina

It means a ‘mill’ in Spanish, and the surname could be an occupational name for a mill worker. There could also be toponymic origins to the name referring to someone from the various places by this name in Spain.

51. Montiel

It comes from the Spanish word ‘monte,’ which means ‘hill’ or a ‘mountain.’ The name is a toponymic one referring to someone from the various places by this name in Spain.

52. Montoya

It is likely derived from the word ‘monte’ that means ‘mountain’ in Spanish. This toponymic surname was the name of several small Spanish towns and villages in the past.

53. Mora

It is derived from the Spanish word ‘mora’ used to refer ‘blackberry’ and ‘mulberry.’ The name could have been an occupational surname for a person who farmed these fruits.

54. Moreno

It is the Spanish word for the color ‘brown’ or something that is dark in color. It could have been a nickname for someone with dark hair or dark complexion. It is said to have been a nickname among the Moorish invaders of Spain.

55. Munoz

It means ‘son of Muno.’ The name ‘Muno’ may be related to the Spanish word ‘monte,’ which means a ‘hill’ or a ‘mountain.’

56. Murillo

It is derived from the Spanish word ‘muro’ meaning ‘wall.’ The name is a toponymic one and refers to someone from any of the several places by this name in Spain.

57. Navarro

This surname denotes someone who is from the region of Navarre in Spain. The name ‘Navarre’ is derived from Basque and likely means ‘a valley or plain of people.’

58. Ochoa

It is a Castilianized form of the Basque personal name ‘Otxoa’ that is derived from the Basque word ‘otso’ meaning ‘wolf.’

59. Olivares

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places by this name in Spain. The name Olivares is derived from the Spanish word ‘olivar,’ which means ‘olive grove.’

60. Orozco

It refers to a place named Orozco in the Basque country province of Spain. The name was adopted by those who originally belonged to this region.

61. Osorio

It is related to the Basque word ‘Otso’ meaning a ‘wolf.’ The name ‘Osorio’ likely refers to a ‘wolf hunter’ thus making the surname an occupational one.

62. Pacheco

This surname may be related to the Spanish word ‘pequeño’ which means ‘short,’ ‘small’ and ‘little.’ The name thus could have been a nickname, eventually transforming into a surname.

63. Palacios

It means ‘palace’ in Spanish, and the name was originally adopted by those who inhabited a place around a palace or a mansion.

64. Parra

It is the Spanish word for ‘vine,’ and denotes someone who lived around such plants.

65. Peralta

It is a toponymic name derived from any of the places called Peralta in various provinces of Spain. The name originally comes from the Latin phrase ‘petra alta’ meaning ‘high rock.’

66. Pineda

This surname has been adopted by those living in any of the several places called Pineda in the various provinces of Spain. The name originally refers to ‘pine forest.’

67. Quintero

It is a variant of the name ‘Quinteiro’ found in the Galicia region of Spain. The word ‘Quinteiro’ is the Galician word for a yard or a farmstead, thus referring to someone who lived in or near any of these places.

68. Ramirez

It means ‘son of Ramiro.’ The name Ramiro comes from the Old German name of ‘Ramirus’ composed of the Old Germanic elements of ‘ragin’ meaning ‘counsel’ and ‘mari’ meaning ‘fame.’ It thus meant ‘famous counselor’ or ‘famed judge.’

69. Ramos

It is a toponymic name for someone who lived in a region that is thickly-wooded. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘ramus’ meaning ‘branch.’

70. Rangel

It is a variant of the name ‘Rengel.’ This name is likely derived from Old Germanic element ‘rang’ meaning ‘curved’ or ‘bent’ or ‘slender.’ It could have likely been an occupational name for someone who made or sold rings, belts, and sashes.

71. Resendiz

This is a derivative of the personal name ‘Resendes’ that is composed of the Germanic elements ‘reths’ meaning ‘advice’ or ‘counsel,’ and ‘sinths’ meaning ‘path’ or ‘way.’

72. Rios

This surname was adopted by the families who lived along the river. It is a derivative of the Spanish word ‘rio’ meaning ‘river.’

73. Robles

It is the Spanish word for ‘oak tree.’ The name is a toponymic one referring to someone who originally resided at a place close to oak trees.

74. Rocha

It is related to the Spanish word ‘roca,’ which means a ‘rock.’ It denotes someone who lived around a cliff or someone who lived in any of the several places by this name in Spain.

75. Roman

This is a derivative of the Latin last name ‘Romanus,’ which means ‘from Rome.’

76. Rosales

It is the Spanish word for ‘rose bushes.’ It refers to someone who lived around roses bushes. The name may also have been adopted by someone from the places called O Rosal and El Rosal in the Galicia region of Spain.

77. Rosas

It is the plural of the word ‘rosa,’ which means ‘rose’ in Spanish. It is a toponymic name for someone from several places with this name in Spain.

78. Ruiz

It means ‘son of Ruy.’ The personal name ‘Ruy’ is a short form of ‘Rodrigo,’ which is derived from ‘Roderick .’ The name ‘Roderick’ comes from Old German and is made with a combination of Germanic elements ‘hrod’ meaning ‘renowned’ and ‘ric’ meaning ‘power.’

79. Salgado

It is the Galician word for ‘salty.’ The name likely began as a nickname for someone who was witty or sharp, eventually turning into a surname.

80. Salinas

It is the Spanish word for ‘saline,’ and the name is likely an occupational one referring to someone who worked at a salt mine or sold salt for a living.

81. Sandoval

It is a toponymic name derived from the Latin words ‘saltus’ meaning ‘forest’ or ‘glade’ and ‘novalis’ meaning ‘unploughed land.’

82. Saucedo

This surname originally may have referred to those who inhabited areas near willow trees. It is a derivation of the Latin word ‘salix’ meaning ‘willow tree.’

83. Segura

It is the Spanish word for ‘safe’ or ‘secured.’ The name denotes someone from any of the several places with this name in Spain.

84. Silva

It is a variation of the Spanish word ‘selva’ meaning ‘forest.’ It could be a toponymic name for someone who originally lived beside a forest.

85. Solis

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the places with this name in Spain. The name is likely derived from the word ‘sol’ which means ‘sun’ in Spanish.

86. Soto

It is the Spanish word for a ‘thicket.’ The name is a toponymic one since it is also the name of several places in Spain.

87. Tellez

It means ‘son of Tello.’ The name Tello is taken from the Latin ‘tellus’ meaning ‘earth’ or ‘land.’

88. Torres

It is the plural of the Spanish word ‘torre’ meaning ‘torres.’ This surname was likely given to those who inhabited a region around a tower or a fort.

89. Valenzuela

It refers to the places named Valenzuela in many provinces of Spain. The name means ‘Little Valencia.’

90. Vasquez

It means ‘son of Vasco.’ The name ‘Vasco’ comes from the old Spanish name ‘Velasco’ which means ‘crow’ or ‘raven.’

91. Velasco

It is derived from the personal name ‘Belasco’ combined with Basque elements ‘bel’ meaning ‘raven’ and the diminutive suffix ‘-sco. ‘

92. Velazquez

It means ‘son of Velasco,’ where Velasco means ‘crow’ or ‘raven’ in Basque.

93. Vera

It is a toponymic name to those who originally came from any of the several places by this name in Spain. The word ‘vera’ means ‘edge’ or ‘border’ or ‘shore’ in Spanish.

94. Villalobos

It denotes a person who inhabited the town of Villalobos in Spain. This is a combination of the Spanish word ‘villa’ meaning ‘town’ and ‘lobo’ meaning ‘wolf.’

95. Villarreal

It denotes the ancestral line from any of the places called Villarreal in Spain. The name is derived from Spanish elements ‘villa’ meaning ‘town’ and ‘real’ meaning ‘royal.’

96. Villegas

This surname is derived from the ancestors who adopted the name while living at Villegas, a place in the Burgos province of Spain.

97. Zamora

It refers to a place called Zamora in Spain. The name was likely adopted by a family line that lived in the city.

98. Zarate

It refers to a place named Zarate in Spain. The name is likely taken from the Basque elements ‘zara’ meaning ‘forest’ and ‘athe’ meaning ‘door.’ The name could have also referred to someone who lived near the forest opening.

99. Zavala

It is a variant of the word ‘Zabala,’ which is a place in Spain. The name of this place comes from the Basque word ‘Zabal’ meaning ‘wide’ or ‘broad’ or ‘extensive.’

100. Zuniga

It is derived from a the name of a place in the Navarre province of Spain. The name is derived from the Basque word ‘estugune’ meaning a ‘channel’ or ‘strait.’

It is fascinating to see several names of Spanish origin migrate to Mexico. These names arrived in Mexico during the Spanish conquest of the region and have remained for several centuries. They have now become ingrained within the rich history of the nation.

Do you know of any other common Mexican last names? Do share them with us in the comments section below.

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Rebecca Malachi

She is a Biotechnologist with a proficiency in areas of genetics, immunology, microbiology, bio-engineering, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals to name a few. Her expertise in these fields has greatly assisted her in writing medical and life science articles. With 8+ years of work experience in writing for health and wellness, she is now a full-time contributor for Momjunction.com. She is passionate about giving research-based information to readers in need. Apart from writing, she is a foodie, loves travel, fond of gospel music and enjoys observing nature in silence. Know more about her at: linkedin.com/in/kothapalli-rebecca-35881628