Central American Surnames

Central American names include those from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
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ABARCASpanish
From the name of a type of leather-soled shoe or sandal made on the Balearic Islands. It originally indicated a person who made or sold this item.
ABASCALSpanish
Means "priest's street" from Basque abas "priest" and kale "street".
ABEL (1)English, French, Danish, Spanish
Derived from the given name ABEL.
ABRAHAMJewish, English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch
Derived from the given name ABRAHAM.
ACOSTASpanish
Spanish form of DA COSTA (from a misdivision of the surname).
AGUASpanish
Means "water" in Spanish, indicating a person who lived near water or worked with water.
AGUADOSpanish
Derived from Spanish agua "water", indicating a person who lived near water or worked with water.
AIZASpanish, Basque
From Basque aitz meaning "rock, stone".
ALAMILLASpanish
From Spanish alamillo meaning "poplar, aspen".
ALFAROSpanish
Originally denoted someone who was from the city of Alfaro in La Rioja, Spain. It is possibly derived from Arabic meaning "the watchtower".
ALONSOSpanish
From the given name ALONSO.
ALVARADOSpanish
From a Spanish place name, possibly derived from Spanish alba "white".
ÁLVAREZSpanish
Means "son of ÁLVARO".
AMADORSpanish
Derived from the given name AMADOR.
ANDRÉSSpanish
Derived from the given name ANDRÉS.
ANTÚNEZSpanish
Means "son of ANTONIO".
AQUINOItalian, Spanish
From the name of an Italian town near Rome, the home town of the 13th-century saint Thomas Aquinas. In Italy it is derived directly from the town's name. As a Spanish-language surname, it was sometimes bestowed by missionaries in honour of the saint as they evangelized in Spanish colonies.
ARAUJOSpanish
Spanish form of ARAÚJO.
ARAYASpanish
Denoted a person from Araia in the Basque Country, Spain. It is of uncertain meaning.
ARCESpanish
Means "maple tree" in Spanish.
ARECHAVALETASpanish
Originally indicated a person from the town of Aretxabaleta in Spain. It means "oak trees" in Basque.
ARENASSpanish
From various Spanish place names, which are derived from Spanish arena meaning "sand".
ARITZASpanish, Basque
From Basque aritz meaning "oak tree". This was a nickname of Iñigo, the first king of Pamplona, Spain (9th century).
ARMANDOItalian, Portuguese, Spanish
Derived from the given name ARMANDO.
ARREOLASpanish
Variant of ARRIOLA, found predominantly in Mexico.
ARRIOLASpanish, Basque
From Basque place names, themselves derived from Basque arri "stone" and -ola "place of, house".
ASÍSSpanish
Originally denoted a person from the Italian city of Assisi (called Asís in Spanish).
ASTURIASSpanish
From the name of a region in Spain, formerly a medieval kingdom. It is possibly derived from Basque asta "rock" and ur "water".
BANDERASSpanish
Spanish cognate of BANNER.
BARROSPortuguese, Spanish
From the Portuguese and Spanish word barro meaning "clay, mud". This could either be an occupational name for a person who worked with clay or mud such as a builder or artisan, or a topographic name for someone living near clay or mud.
BASURTOSpanish
From the Basque place name Basurtu, a village (now part of Bilbao) in Biscay. It means "middle of the forest".
BAUTISTASpanish
Derived from the given name BAUTISTA.
BELLOSpanish, Italian
Means "beautiful" in Spanish and Italian, originally a nickname for an attractive person.
BELMONTESpanish, Italian
From various place names in Italy and Spain meaning "beautiful mountain".
BENÍTEZSpanish
Means "son of BENITO".
BERMÚDEZSpanish
Means "son of BERMUDO".
BLANCOSpanish
Means "white" in Spanish. The name most likely referred to a person who was pale or had blond hair.
BOLÍVARSpanish
From Bolibar, the name of a small Basque village, derived from Basque bolu "mill" and ibar "meadow". This name was borne by the revolutionary Simón Bolívar (1783-1830).
BOSQUESpanish
Spanish form of BOSCO.
BUSTILLOSpanish
From the name of Spanish towns, diminutive forms of BUSTO.
BUSTOSpanish, Italian
From the name of towns in Spain and Italy, derived from Late Latin bustum meaning "ox pasture".
BUSTOSSpanish
Variant of BUSTO.
CABELLOSpanish
Means "hair" in Spanish, used as a nickname for a person with a large amount of hair.
CABRERASpanish
From various place names derived from Late Latin capraria meaning "place of goats", from Latin capra meaning "goat".
CAMPANAItalian, Spanish
Occupational name from Late Latin campana meaning "bell", ultimately derived from the Italian region of Campania, where bells were produced.
CAMPOSpanish, Italian
Means "field" in Spanish and Italian.
CAMPOSPortuguese, Spanish
Portuguese and Spanish variant of CAMPO.
CARDOSOPortuguese, Spanish
From a place name meaning "thorny" in Portuguese and Spanish, ultimately from Latin carduus.
CAROSpanish, Italian
From Spanish and Italian caro meaning "beloved".
CASALSpanish
From the Spanish word casal meaning "house", ultimately from Late Late casalis and Latin casa.
CASTILLASpanish
Originally indicated a person from Castile, a region (and medieval kingdom) in Spain. The name of the region is derived from Late Latin castellum meaning "castle".
CASTILLOSpanish
Spanish cognate of CASTLE.
CASTROSpanish, Portuguese
Means "castle" in Spanish and Portuguese, and referred to one who lived near a castle.
CATALÁNSpanish
Originally indicated a person who came from Catalonia, a region of eastern Spain.
CHAVESPortuguese, Spanish
From the name of a Portuguese city, derived from the Roman name FLAVIUS (being named for the emperor Vespasian, whose family name was Flavius).
CHÁVEZSpanish
Variant of CHAVES. A famous bearer was the labour leader César Chávez (1927-1993).
COLÓNSpanish
Spanish form of COLOMBO.
CRESPOSpanish, Portuguese, Italian
Referred to a person with curly hair, from Latin crispus meaning "curly".
CRUZSpanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese cognate of CROSS.
CUÉLLARSpanish
Derived from the name of the town of Cuéllar in the Segovia province of Spain. It may be derived from Latin collis meaning "hill".
CUESTASpanish
Spanish form of COSTA.
CUEVASSpanish
Derived from Spanish cueva meaning "cave".
DALÍSpanish
From a given name, itself a diminutive of names beginning with the Germanic element adal meaning "noble". This was the surname of the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (1904-1989).
DE LA CRUZSpanish
Spanish cognate of DELACROIX.
DE LA FUENTESpanish
Means "of the fountain" in Spanish.
DEL BOSQUESpanish
Means "of the forest" in Spanish.
DE LEÓNSpanish
Referred to someone from the Leon region of Spain.
DELGADOSpanish, Portuguese
Means "thin" in Spanish and Portuguese, ultimately from Latin delicatus meaning "delicate, tender, charming".
DÍAZSpanish
Means "son of DIEGO" in Spanish.
DOMÍNGUEZSpanish
Means "son of DOMINGO".
DUARTEPortuguese, Spanish
From the given name DUARTE.
ECHEVERRÍASpanish
Derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria, which itself is derived from Basque etxe "house" and berri "new".
ELIZONDOSpanish
Originally referred to a person who lived close to a church, from Basque eleiza "church" and ondo "near".
ESCAMILLASpanish
Derived from the name of the town of Escamilla in Gualadajara, Spain.
ESCÁRCEGASpanish
Derived from the Basque place name Eskarzaga, which itself is derived from Basque hazkar "maple".
ESCARRÀSpanish
Possibly from Catalan esquerrá meaning "left-handed".
ESPARZASpanish
Derived from the Basque place name Espartza, a town in the province of Navarre.
ESPINASpanish
Means "thorn" in Spanish, a name for someone who lived near a thorn bush.
ESPINOSASpanish
From Spanish espinoso meaning "thorny", ultimately from Latin spinosus, a derivative of spina meaning "thorn, spine".
ESTÉVEZSpanish
Means "son of ESTEBAN".
FÉLIXFrench, Spanish, Portuguese
From the given name FELIX.
FLORESSpanish
Means "son of FLORO" in Spanish.
FONSECASpanish, Portuguese
Originally belonged to a person who lived near a dry spring, from Latin fons "well, spring" and siccus "dry".
FONTANAItalian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish cognate of FONTAINE.
FUENTESSpanish
Means "a spring, a well" in Spanish, derived from Latin fons.
GALLEGOSpanish
Originally indicated a person from Galicia, a region in northwestern Spain.
GALLOItalian, Spanish
Means "rooster", ultimately from Latin gallus. This was a nickname for a proud person.
GARCÍASpanish
From a medieval given name of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Basque word hartz meaning "bear".
GARZASpanish
Derived from Spanish garza meaning "heron".
GASPARPortuguese, Spanish
Derived from the given name GASPAR.
GÓMEZSpanish
Spanish form of GOMES.
GONZÁLEZSpanish
Means "son of GONZALO" in Spanish.
GUADARRAMASpanish
Derived from the name of the town of Guadarrama near Madrid.
GUERRAItalian, Spanish, Portuguese
From a nickname meaning "war", given to a belligerent person or one engaged in warfare.
GUERREROSpanish
Means "warrior" in Spanish, an occupational name for a soldier. It is derived from Late Latin werra "war", of Germanic origin.
HERNÁNDEZSpanish
Means "son of HERNANDO" in Spanish.
HERRERASpanish
Spanish form of FERREIRA.
HERREROSpanish
Spanish cognate of FERRARI.
HIERROSpanish
Spanish form of FERRO.
HOLGUÍNSpanish
Possibly from Spanish holgar "to rest, to enjoy oneself".
HUERTASpanish
Means "garden, orchard" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin hortus.
IBÁÑEZSpanish
Means "son of Ibán", Ibán being a variant of JUAN (1).
IBARRABasque, Spanish
From Basque place names derived from ibar meaning "meadow".
IGLESIASSpanish
From Spanish iglesia meaning "church".
IÑÍGUEZSpanish
Means "son of ÍÑIGO" in Spanish.
JIMÉNEZSpanish
Means "son of JIMENO".
JUÁREZSpanish
Means "son of SUERO".
LOBOSpanish, Portuguese
Originally a nickname meaning "wolf" in Spanish and Portuguese.
LOPEZSpanish
Means "son of LOPE" in Spanish.
LOSASpanish
From Spanish losa meaning "tile, slab".
LOYOLASpanish, Basque
From Basque loya meaning "mud". This was the surname of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of Jesuits.
LUCASEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch
Derived from the given name LUCAS. A famous bearer of this surname is George Lucas (1944-), the creator of the 'Star Wars' movies.
MACHADOPortuguese, Spanish
Derived from Spanish and Portuguese machado "hatchet" and denoted a person who made or used hatchets.
MACÍASSpanish
Derived from the given name MATEO.
MARADONASpanish
Locative name coming from the name of a place near Lugo in northern Spain. A notable bearer is former Argentinian soccer star Diego Maradona (1960-).
MARÍASpanish
From the given the name MARÍA.
MARINOItalian, Spanish
Derived from the given name MARINO.
MÁRQUEZSpanish
Means "son of MARCOS".
MARTÍNEZSpanish
Means "son of MARTÍN" in Spanish.
MATASpanish, Portuguese, Catalan
From the Old Spanish mata meaning "plantation of trees".
MEDINASpanish
From the name of a Spanish city, whose name is derived from the Arabic word for "city".
MENDOZASpanish, Basque
From a Basque place name derived from mendi "mountain" and (h)otz "cold".
MENÉNDEZSpanish
Means "son of Menendo" in Spanish. Menendo is derived from HERMENEGILDO.
MERLOItalian, Spanish
Means "blackbird", ultimately from Latin merula. The blackbird is a symbol of a naive person.
MINGOSpanish
From the given name DOMINGO.
MOLESCatalan, Spanish
Means "millstone" in Catalan.
MOLINASpanish
Means "mill" in Spanish.
MONTEROSpanish
Derived from Spanish monte "mountain".
MORALESSpanish
Derived from Spanish moral "mulberry tree".
MORENOSpanish, Portuguese
From a nickname meaning "dark" in Spanish and Portuguese.
NARVÁEZSpanish
From the name of the town Narváez in Spain.
NIEVESSpanish
Means "snows" in Spanish, from the title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de las Nieves meaning "Our Lady of the Snows".
NOGUERASpanish, Catalan
Spanish and Catalan form of NOGUEIRA.
NÚÑEZSpanish
Spanish form of NUNES.
OBANDOSpanish
Habitational name for someone who lived in Obando in Extremadura, Spain.
OCHOABasque, Spanish
From a Basque nickname meaning "wolf".
OJEDASpanish
Originally a name for a dweller on the banks of the Ojeda river.
OLASpanish, Basque
Means "forge" or "shepherd's cabin" from the Basque ola.
OLEASTROSpanish
Means "(dweller by the) wild olive tree".
OLMOSpanish
Means "elm tree" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin ulmus. The name originally indicated a person who lived near such a tree.
OLMOSSpanish
Variant of OLMO.
OQUENDOSpanish
Originally indicated a person from Okendo, Basque Country.
ORELLANASpanish
Derived from the place name Orellana which, in turn, is derived from Latin Aureliana "of Aurelius".
ORTEGASpanish
From a Spanish place name (belonging to various villages) meaning "nettle".
ORTIZSpanish
Means "son of Orti". The given name Orti seems to be disputed in meaning, deriving from either Latin fortis meaning "brave, strong" or Latin fortunius meaning "fortunate".
PALOMOSpanish
Derived from Spanish palomo "dove".
PAREDESPortuguese, Spanish
Means "dweller by the wall" from Latin paries.
PAVIASpanish
Spanish surname coming from the Italian city of Pavia south of Milano. Known especially for its old University.
PELÁEZSpanish
Means "son of Pelayo", where Pelayo is a derivative of PELAGIUS.
PEÑASpanish
Means "dweller by a large jutting rock" from Spanish peña.
PÉREZSpanish
Means "son of PEDRO" in Spanish.
PEREZSpanish
Variant of PÉREZ.
PORRASSpanish, Catalan
From a nickname meaning "club".
PRIETOSpanish
From a nickname meaning "dark", referring to a person with dark hair or skin.
PUERTASpanish
Spanish form of PORTO.
PUGASpanish
Means "a thorn" in Galician.
PUIGCatalan, Spanish
Means "dweller on a hill(ock)" from the Old Occitan and Catalan puy.
QUINONESSpanish
From various Spanish place names derived from quinon meaning "five". It indicated that the land was divided amongst five people.
QUINTANASpanish, Catalan
Means "dweller on a piece of land whose rent is one-fifth its produce" from Spanish and Catalan quintana.
QUIRÓSSpanish
Denoted a person from one of the various places of this name in Spain. Quirós, the place name, may derive from the Galician queiroa meaning "heather".
RAMÍREZSpanish
Means "son of RAMIRO" in Spanish.
RAMOSSpanish
Means "dweller in a thickly wooded area" from Latin ramus. It could also refer to someone connected with Palm Sunday in some way (French dimanche des rameaux).
RANAItalian, Spanish
Means "frog" in Italian and Spanish.
RENDÓNSpanish
Derived from the Spanish phrase de rendon "brave".
REY (1)English, Spanish, French, Catalan
Means "king" in Old French, Spanish and Catalan, ultimately from Latin rex (genitive regis), perhaps originally denoting someone who acted like a king.
REYESSpanish
Spanish variant of REY (1).
RIOSPortuguese, Spanish
Originally denoted a person who lived near a river, from Portuguese and Spanish rios "river".
RIVERASpanish
Topographic name for a person who lived on a riverbank.
RIVEROSpanish
Spanish form of RIBEIRO.
ROBLEDOSpanish
Means "oak wood" from Spanish roble "oak".
ROBLESSpanish
Means "dweller by the oak tree or forest" from Spanish roble which in turn was derived from Latin robur.
RODRÍGUEZSpanish
Means "son of RODRIGO" in Spanish.
ROJASSpanish
Variant of ROJO.
ROJOSpanish
Means "red" in relation to hair or complexion from Spanish rojo.
ROLDÁNSpanish
Derived from the given name ROLDÁN.
ROMEROItalian, Spanish
Derived from Roma, Spanish and Italian name of the city of Rome. It could have originally indicated a person who was from Rome or who took a pilgrimage to Rome.
ROSALESSpanish
Means "bed of roses" in Spanish.
RUBIOSpanish
Nickname for a person with red hair, from Latin rubeus "red".
RUIZSpanish
Means "son of RUY" in Spanish.
SALAItalian, Spanish, Catalan, Romanian
Occupational name for a worker at a manor house, from the Romance word sala meaning "hall, large room", of Germanic origin.
SALAMANCASpanish
Originally indicated a person from Salamanca, a city in western Spain which is of unknown meaning.
SALCEDOSpanish
Derived from Latin salix meaning "willow tree". The name was originally given to one who lived near a willow tree.
SALINASSpanish
Occupational name for a salt worker or someone who lived bear a salt works, from Spanish salina "salt works, salt mine", ultimately from Latin sal "salt".
SÁNCHEZSpanish
Means "son of SANCHO".
SANCHEZSpanish
Americanized form of SÁNCHEZ.
SANDOVALSpanish
Derived from the name of a town in Spain, ultimately from Latin saltus "forest, glade" and novalis "unploughed land".
SAN NICOLÁSSpanish
Indicated the original bearer was from a place named after Saint NICHOLAS.
SANTANASpanish, Portuguese
From any of the numerous places named after Saint ANNA.
SANTIAGOSpanish, Portuguese
From various Spanish and Portuguese places called SANTIAGO.
SANTOSPortuguese, Spanish
Means "saint" in Portuguese and Spanish, ultimately from Latin sanctus. This was a nickanme for a pious person.
SASTRESpanish
Spanish cognate of SARTO.
SEPÚLVEDASpanish
Derived from the name of the Sepúlveda Valley in the mountains of Segovia, and was originally used to denote people from that region. It is possibly derived from Spanish sepultar "to bury".
SIERRASpanish
Originally indicated a dweller on a hill range or ridge, from Spanish sierra "mountain range", derived from Latin serra "saw".
SILVAPortuguese, Spanish
From Spanish or Portuguese silva meaning "forest".
SOSASpanish
Spanish form of SOUSA.
SOTOSpanish
Means "grove of trees, small forest" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin saltus.
SUÁREZSpanish
Means "son of SUERO".
SUEROSpanish
Derived from the given name SUERO.
TAPIASpanish
Means "mud wall" in Spanish.
TERRAZASSpanish
Originally a name for a person from Terrazas in the Spanish city of Burgos, a place name meaning "terraces".
TOLEDANOSpanish
Derived from the name of the city of Toledo in Spain, which was from Latin Toletum, which may have been derived from a Celtic word meaning "hill".
TORRESSpanish, Portuguese
Name for a person who lived in or near a tower, ultimately from Latin turris.
TOSSpanish
Spanish form of TOSI.
TRAVIESOSpanish
Spanish form of TRAVERS.
TRUJILLOSpanish
Originally denoted a person from Trujillo, Spain, originally called Turgalium in Latin.
UREÑASpanish
Probably derived from the name of Urueña, a town in the province of Valladolid, Spain, which is of unknown meaning.
VALDEZSpanish
Means "son of BALDO".
VALENCIASpanish
From the name of the Spanish city of VALENCIA.
VARELASpanish
Derived from Spanish vara "stick". It may have originally been given to one who used a stick in his line of work, for example an animal herder.
VARGASSpanish, Portuguese
Means "hut, slope, pastureland" in Spanish and Portuguese dialects.
VÁSQUEZSpanish
Means "son of VASCO".
VEGASpanish
From Spanish vega meaning "meadow, plain", of Basque origin.
VELASpanish
Derived from Spanish vela meaning "sail" or the homonym vela meaning "watchful".
VELÁSQUEZSpanish
Derived from the given name VELASCO.
VELÁZQUEZSpanish
Derived from the given name VELASCO.
VENTURAItalian, Spanish, Portuguese
From the given names BONAVENTURA (Italian), BUENAVENTURA (Spanish) and BOAVENTURA (Portuguese).
VICARIOSpanish, Italian
Means "vicar" in Spanish and Italian, an ecclesiastic title used to denote a representative of a bishop. It is derived from Latin vicarius meaning "substitute, deputy".
VILLAItalian, Spanish
Means "town" in Italian and Spanish, from Latin. It was originally given to a person who came from a town, as opposed to the countryside.
VILLALOBOSSpanish
Denoted a person from the town of Villalobos, Spain, which is derived from Spanish villa "town" and lobo "wolf".
VILLANUEVASpanish
Originally denoted someone who came from one of the various Spanish towns by this name, derived from villa "town" and nueva "new".
VILLARSpanish
Spanish cognate of VILAR.
VILLAVERDESpanish
Originally denoted a person from one of the various Spanish towns by this name, derived from villa "farm, settlement" and verde "green".
VITERISpanish, Basque
Meaning uncertain, possibly from a Basque place name.
ZAMORANOSpanish
Originally denoted a person from Zamora, the name of both a province in Spain and its capital city.
ZAPATEROSpanish
Spanish cognate of SAVATIER.
ZUBIZARRETASpanish
Means "old bridge", from Basque zubia "bridge" and zahar "old". A famous bearer is the Spanish soccer player Andoni Zubizarreta (1961-).
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