Below is a quick rundown of latin American last names and their history. Like western names, many of them are derivatives from Latin.

Álvarez

Father of Álvaro, first name used as surname, coming from the Visigoth, proceeding from there “everything” and war “defense”: “the one who defends himself well”, “defender of all”.

Andrade

It is the origin of the populations in the Spanish province of Orense or known as La Coruña.

Benitez

Father of Benedict, popular form of Benedict, also name of the santoral used as surname. Originating from the Latin Benedictus, originating from bene meaning “good” and ‘dicerre’, “to say”, that in origin was equivalent to speak eloquently, “to say well”.

Castle

(latin fort) It comes from Castrillo, diminutive of Castro, “fortified place”, from the XV century with the sense of “strong place, surrounded by walls, bastions, moats”. There are numerous variants, such as Del Castillo. More than 2,000 place names mean “fortified enclosure”; 496 are derived from castellum .

Castro (recently become synonymous with Fidel Castro of Cuba)

It comes from the Latin castrum , “fortified place; it appears that it originally designated a guarded or defended property. The old sense can be “separation”, “what serves to separate”; there would be, therefore, kinship with castro, -are. It was used chiefly in the plural military language: castra, “military camp”. It can be approached to the Sanskrit Çstrám , “cutting instrument”, and to the Greek Homeric keíoon , “that slices ” or keázoo , ” hiendo “.

Contreras

Originally from the village in the province of Burgos. Puerto de Contreras, “step used by the road from Tarancón to Valencia, descending from the Castilian plateau”. The mountains are located on the road from Aranjuez to Requena.

Diaz

Its root is in Jacob, named after the biblical father Ya’acob, born “under the sole of the foot” of the twin brother Esau and supplanting it in the birthright. The Jacobo variation derived in Jacome, with the B changed in the nasal bilabial M, as in Jaime. From the battle cry Sancte Yague comes Santiago, Tiago, Diego and De Diego with the father Dieguez, Diaz and Díez.

Duarte

It is the Portuguese form of Eduardo, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon Eadward, ead, “wealth” or “property” and ward “guardian”. The Duarte sevillanos boasted of descending of the king Duarte of Portugal.

Espinoza

Graphic variation, in Mexico and Argentina, of Espinosa, originally from Espinosa de los Monteros, in the province of Burgos, where Spinoza originated.

Fernandez

Father of Fernando, Germanic name used as surname. Contraction of Ferdinand, Gothic Firthunands , coming from, “peace” (German Friede ) and , “bold”, “daring”: “daring in peace”, that is “the one who dares preserve peace “.

Flowers

Coming from the Latin flos, floris , “flower” in the plural.

Garcia

Basque. It is not, as it was believed, a derivation of artza , “bear”, through a hypothetical garsea . Arrtsa is “peñascal” and the foregone G indicates that the peñascal is cimero, from G, “high”.

Giménez

It is the father of Ximeno, who comes from Simeon. The second-born of the father Jacob was called Shimeon, in Hebrew “he that is heard (by God)”. Shamah “hear”, because the plea of ​​Lia had reached the ear of Yahweh.

Gomez

Known as the father of Gome, a variation of the Gothic Guma “man” same Indo-European origin of the Latin homo .

Gonzales

Variation of González, see below.

Gonzalez

Father of Gonzalo, Gonzalvo, a native of Germanic Gundisalv , from Gundis, expanding the theme Gund , “fight”, “battle”, “fight”, which has a relationship […] with ALV , gothic alfs , “elf” spirit of nature or elf of Norse mythology. […] It can be translated “the battle elf” or “the genius of combat” (Tibón, 1956).

Gutiérrez

The father of Gutierre, of the Germanic Walthari , from walt or wald , “command”, “government”, “power” […] and hari , “army”, “armed people”: “Army of command”, ” power”.

Hernandez

Father of Hernando, result of which the F of Fernando is pronounced aspirated and then mute. Fernando is the contraction of Ferdinando, of the Gothic Firthunands, “peace” and “audacious”. “Bold in peace” is to say “he who dares (all) so as to preserve peace”.

Jimenez

It is the fatherof Ximeno, who comes from Simeon. The secondborn of the father Jacob was called Shimeon, in Hebrew “he that is heard (by God)”. Shamah “hear”, because the plea of ​​Lia had reached the ear of Yahweh.

King

Referred to the Holy Kings; Réyez variation in Mexico. From Latin rex, regis , “chief”, “the ruler of a nation”.

López

The father of Lope, from “wolf”, carnivorous wild animal common in Spain, from the Latin lupus , from the root Indo-European, “evil”, “thirsty for blood.” Former nickname of reckless warrior.

Mamani

In Aymara, means “hawk” or “hawkeye”.

Martinez

Father of Martin, from the Latin Martinus , “consecrated to Mars”, god of war, ancient solar divinity.

Mejía

Coming from the Hebrew mashiaj , arameo meshija , “anointed”: “messiah”.

Blackberry

No it’s not a phone company! The term “Fruit of morals, purple”, comes from the Latin morum , from the Greek moroon , “mora”. Origin of one of the several populations of this name, in the provinces of Toledo, Teruel, Leon, Tarragona, Albacete, Navarra, Oviedo or Salamanca.

Morales

This plural is also rich in place names: province of Zamora, Soria, Burgos, Albacete, Valladolid, Salamanca, Leon.

Brown

From the Moor, from the Latin maurus , from the sixteenth century, “speaking of the color of the skin, it is less clear among whites; during the repopulation of the Spain won to the Arabs, mote of Andalusians, Levantines, Extremadura of darker complexion than Celtiberians and Basques of the north. ”

Muñoz

Variation of Muño, of the Basque language, “hill”.

Pereira

Derivative of pear , fruit of the pear tree, fleshy and aromatic.

Pérez

Father of Peter, the name of the apostle used as a surname. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Simon son of Jonah was consecrated the foundation and head of the Church by Jesus Christ himself, with the words: “You are Khephas ( Kefa is” stone “,” rock “in Hebrew-Aramaic) and on this “stone” I will build my Church “.

Pineda

Pinedo, from the Latin term, “pine forest”.

Portillo

Of the lower latin portellus , opening that is in the walls, walls or walls ‘wicket’ or ‘ a small door in a greater one’

Quispe

It comes from the Aymara language, khespy and means “transparent”.

Ramirez

The father of Ramiro, Germanic, contraction of Ranimiro, Ranamêrs Visigoth, frog originator , “wedge”, “illustrious”, “brilliant”, “famous”. “Wedge” is a metaphor for a reckless warrior who, in his boldness, opens with his body the breach of defeat in the ranks of the enemy.

 

Rivas

Variant of Rivero, originating in the Latin term , “fencing of cuttings, gravel and grass that is made to the banks of the prey so that the water does not spill”.

Rivera

Female form of Rivero, originating from the Latin term , “fencing of cuttings, gravel and grass that is made to the banks of the prey so that the water does not spill”.

Rodríguez

Rodrigo, is a first name used as a surname, originally from the Germanic Hruotriks , originally from hruot , “fame”, “glory”, and riks , “prince”, “lord”, “mighty”, “rich”: “rich glory, “” mighty for his fame, “” glorious prince. ”

Rojas

Feminine plural of Red, from Latin rubeus , “blond”, “red”; russeus , “very alive incarnate”.

Salazar

Basque language. Originating from room, with the meaning of “dehesa”, originating from wing , “pasto”, with prosthetic S; “Cushion” or derivation of bearnés in which room defines a house more modest than a palace, “communal hut”, and czar, “old”, “old”: “old pasture.”

Sanchez

Father of Sancho. In Spain, it is used in its adjectival or nominal form of Sanctius was iberizó in Sancho, being one of the oldest italic deities of the cycle of Jupiter Sanco.

Santana

Derivative of Ana, given name used as last name. It comes from the Hebrew Hannah “the beneficent”

Saints

As a first name, he was a happy sponsor of the virtues of the good Christian. It is still used in the first and last names.

Silva

Latin silva , “forest”, “forest” (wild or cultivated).

Soda

Not the soda referred to as a sugary drink — “Barrilla”, plant of the marine beaches, of salty flavor, from which the mineral alkali is extracted. It was derived from the Latin sauce , “salada”, or the Tuscan salsola, another name for soda or soda; or from the popular Latin salda , of exit (herba), that is to say “herb salada”.

Soto

Origin of one of the 53 places of Spain of this name, mainly in Galicia and Asturias. A soto is a “place that on the banks or you see is populated with weeds, woods and trees”. It comes from the Latin saltus , with the vocalized L.

Towers

Plural de Torre, originally from the Latin turris , “building taller than wide, formerly intended for defense”.

Vargas

Plural of topographical name of a villa in Cantabria, Spain.

Vera

Originating from the Latin ora , from which said  Abora or , “at the edge”, “next to”, “edge or edge”. “It is applied to the terrain in the form of a vega that is between aguna saws and rivers”.

Villalba

Compound from villa, from the Latin uilla , “farmhouse”, “farm”, applying the adjective “white”. In all the Neolithic languages ​​its meaning changes and it comes to define a home of luxury, a population, even a city as in French villa.

Zambrano

Vasco term, originating from anba , anbu , “gamón”, and locative suffix – ano , with Z prophetic: “gamonal”.