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Thursday, August 07, 2014 (read 11916 times)
Common and Uncommon Spanish Namesby Tyson
There are common Spanish surnames and then there are the not-so-common ones. And then there are people whom, through curious twists of fate, have ended up with unlikely combos of Spanish last names, folks like Pedro Trabajo Cumplido, whose full name forms a short sentence, a mini message that may or may not describe his character. Even if Trabajo Cumplido (work complete) were in reality a poor worker, his name looks great on a resumé. It seems 64 people in Spain have the last name of Vago (lazy), and no matter how hard working a Vago job candidate may be, he or she may have the extra challenge of proving to hiring managers that their family name is not an accurate indicator of their work style.
García is the most common last name in Spain, followed by Fernández, and Gonzalez, Rodríguez, and Lopez. Less frequent surnames include Marciano (the Spanish word for Martian), which is not a surname with geographical origins; Marciano seems to be a name of Italian origin derived from the name Marcus. Interestingly the last name Mars is French.
Funny Spanish Names
Spain has a smallish community of families with anatomical surnames: Ojo (eye), Bigotes (whiskers), Dedo (finger) Rostro (face), Barbas (beards), and Pecho (breast). Interestingly, Spain has some 359 Guapos (handsome) while it has over 2,000 Feos (ugly). Seisdedos (sixfingers), Viejobueno (nice old man), Espantoso (scary), and Triste are more curious surnames found in Spain.
People in Spain (like in most Spanish speaking countries) traditionally take their mother and father’s last names (women don’t take their husband’s last name when they marry), so if for example a Rostro and a Feo were to marry and have children, the little ones’ last names would roughly translate to ugly face. The possible curious combinations of just the few names listed above are seemingly endless; consider Dedo Espantoso, Ojo Triste, or the paradoxical Guapo Feo.
There are countless lists of supposedly real Spaniards with funny full names. As with any list of this type however, it’s never clear of course how much reflects reality and how much can be assumed to belong to the intriguing realm of the urban legend. You decide for yourself.
Debora Hombres (devours men), Armando Guerra (preparing for war), Rubio Moreno (blond brunette), Florentina Caldito Blanco (Florentina white soup), and Migue Marco Gol (Miguel I score a goal). Perhaps the most difficult to believe is the extraordinary Presentación de Piernas Largas (presentation of long legs).
Unusual First Names in Spain
Spain also has its fair share of unusual first names. Huerta de Rey, a town of just over 1,000, in Burgos Spain, has gained a certain amount of fame for its abundance of residents with uncommon given names. The town’s incredible amount of unique names even set a record that appears in the best selling copy-righted book of all times, The Guinness Book of World Records. In 2008, the event Encuentro Internacional de Nombres Raros took place here to celebrate unique names. Bienvenida, Mentiros, and Sindulfo were just a few of the unusually named people in attendance.
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