Every country, every culture have their own customs and traditions. And what some people find logical and normal, is not the same for other ones. That’s the case of the use of two family names. Although I am from Spain and I’m explaining how this works in my own country, you can apply this to people from other Spanish speaking countries –as far as I know!-.
So, in case you still don’t know about it, here in Spain we use last names in a different way. When I say “different”, well, in depends on the country you are from. So I should say, the way we use them is different from the way used in countries like United States or Great Britain.
As far as I know, there are two “big” differences:
We have two last (family) names.
The first one is our father’s first family name. And the second one, our mother’s first family name.
I will give an example: Imagine my father’s complete name (Name + his father’s first family name + his mother’s first family name) is: Luis García Ruiz.
And my mother’s complete name (Name + her father’s first family name + her mother’s first family name): María Gil López.
My name would be Angeles García Gil. (Garcia – from my father and Gil from my mother.)
When we –women- get married, we don’t take our husband’s name. We keep our family names. Imagine I’m married to “Juan Gil Gómez”. I would not take his family name (Gil), I’d keep mine (both according to the example given above, García Gil).
Here in Spain there are two official ID documents, and both include, apart from our name, our two family names. Those documents are “el carnet de identidad” (Identity card) and “el carnet de conducir” (driving licence).
A final note: Maybe you have already noticed there are quite a lot of Spanish family names ending in –ez. (For example, my own last name, “Fernández”.
The suffix –ez means “son of”, and it was used to indicate that that person was the son of John, Peter, etc… In my case, “Fernández” would be “son of Fernando (Ferdinand). Other similar names are: “Martínez”, son of Martín, or “González”, son of “Gonzalo”.
What do you think about this? Is it similar in your country?
(Image credits: www.pixabay.com)
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