Women in Spanish society do not alter their names when they marry. That is, the mother, father, and children in the same family will all have separate surnames. It is only if there are no sons who can carry on the family name that a woman would be allowed to use her husband's last name as her own.
In fact, it is considered very rude for a woman to use her husband's last name even if she has the legal right to do so. This respect comes from the belief that each person has a unique identity that should not be merged with anyone else's, including their husband or wife.
When a woman marries, she gives up her own name and takes her husband's last name, becoming one single entity under the protection of her spouse. This last name usually contains both surnames but may also just contain the mother's name if there are no sons who can carry on the family name. For example, if Ana Maria was married to Juan Pablo, her surname would become Pablo instead of Annia María. However, if there are children from this marriage, they would then receive the double surname of Pablo and Ortiz.
Once upon a time, Spanish-speaking civilizations practiced the transfer of one Spanish surname, selecting either the mother or father. A significant trend appears when looking at Spanish surnames. According to history, around the twelfth century, as populations swelled, people needed a mechanism to differentiate one name or family from another. Thus, they began using their first names as surnames.
Over time, these new surnames became standardized and were adopted by many families in a region so that now only one person per family is known by his or her first name. This is why you will often only find last names on official documents-the first name is what identifies someone within a community of friends, family, or employees.
Last names are also useful for differentiating people who have the same first name. For example, if two persons named "Maria" work together at a company, one can identify them based on their last name (since there is only one Maria working at the company).
First names are also valuable for personal identification because everyone has one. Last names, on the other hand, are unique to each individual within a given population. This is why last names are useful when trying to identify unknown bodies found dead or victims of accidents. Forensic scientists can use information about previous owners of a name tag to help identify people who have been lost in disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes.
People in Spanish culture typically have two surnames. The paternal surname (apellido paterno) is the father's first surname, while the maternal surname (apellido materno) is the mother's first surname. If a person is born into an existing family name, he or she will usually keep this name unless he or she can prove that they are not related to the previous owners of the name. In this case, they will be given another name. Names that are commonly used as replacements include nombres de pila ("stack names"), so called because these names are often chosen by children who have no choice in the matter.
In Spain, the most popular names for boys are Antonio, Pablo, Jaime, Fernando, and Jesus. For girls, these names are replaced with Isabel, Maria, Rosa, Celia, and Paula.
In Mexico, names tend to be shorter than in Spain. These names are also very common for boys: Francisco, Juan, Martin, Enrique, and Alejandro. For girls, there are several options including Beatriz, María, Laura, Ana, and Jessica.
In Colombia, names are usually taken from animals, plants, or objects. These names are popular among both boys and girls: Héctor, Alberto, Luciano, Álvaro, Diana, Tomás, and Sebastián.
People in Spain now have a single or composite given name and two surnames (apellidos en Espaol). The only criterion is that every son and daughter have the same surname order, which they cannot modify independently. This is why many Spaniards have several files in the government records database with the same first and last names.
In medieval Spain, people often had different names according to their social status. Kings were usually called by titles related to their office: Dafydd ap Gwylawd, for example "David king". Commoners were named after their parents or other individuals: Llewelyn ab yngwydlais, "Llewelyn the shepherd". Women did not have surnames; instead, they used the name of their husband or father.
During the Renaissance, names began to be used as a form of identification. This is how we get our first examples of people with the same name: Christopher Columbus is a familiar name today because it was given to several men who lived at the time of Christ. The one who discovered America was called "Konrad" but since he was also known as "Columbus", the two names became interchangeable.
After the discovery, people started to use it as a pretext to give themselves names that would express some quality they wanted to convey.
You might be wondering why people in Spanish-speaking nations have such lengthy names. This is due to the fact that we often have two, if not more, family names (surnames). When a kid is born, he or she takes the first surname of the father and the second surname of the mother, according to an old tradition. Thus, they will be known by three names: their first name, their paternal surname, and their maternal surname.
This system has several advantages for the parents and the children. The parents get to know at a glance who all of their friends are, since everyone is required by law to have a different surname. This way, other people can't be confused with each other and cause trouble for one another. The children enjoy a degree of protection as well because if someone tries to commit identity fraud by taking the child out on social services' files as someone else's offspring, there's a good chance that they won't find any matches.
Also, since most jobs require you to show your ID card to prove who you are, having different surnames makes it easier for people to work with you even if you aren't related.
Finally, in an era when privacy is becoming increasingly rare, having multiple surnames ensures that nobody will ever find out anything about your past or present life unless you want them to.
So, overall, this system helps people avoid confusion and protect themselves from harm.
A married Spanish or Spanish-speaking woman—used as an analogous title to Mrs. or Ms. —is called señora.
Yes. That is how the people of all Spanish-speaking nations are addressed. First name, last name of father, last name of mother's family If your given name is Juan, and your father's surname is Sanchez, and your mother's surname is Garcia, your complete name is customarily written as Juan Sanchez Garcia. If your first name is Maria, then your full name is Maria Sanchez Garcia.
In Spain, Portugal and Mexico, it is common practice for a person to use both his or her first and last names in writing. So, a friend who is called "Juan" and whose last name is "Sanchez" would normally sign his letters to other people using both names.
In Latin America, especially in countries where Spanish is not the official language, people usually use only their first name in writing. So, a friend who is called "Juan" and whose last name is "Sanchez" would normally sign his letters to other people using only his first name.
In Europe, especially in countries where French is not the official language, people usually use only their first name in writing. So, a friend who is called "Jean" and whose last name is "Camus" would normally sign his letters to other people using only his first name.
In the United States, people typically use their first name plus their last initial or their last name alone.