Most Common Spanish Last Names

Spanish last names are as popular as the language and culture from which they originate. Many last names of Spanish origin have spread across the globe due to colonization and immigration. They can be found in Spain, Mexico, South America, Central America, the Philippines, and the Caribbean islands. In Spanish households, the last name of a person includes the father’s as well as the mother’s last name. Here is a list of the 20 most common Spanish last names.

1. Hernández

The last name Hernández means “son of Hernan.” The majority of people bearing this last name live in Mexico. 

2. López

This Spanish last name is incredibly widespread, especially in countries like Mexico, Spain, the US, and the UK. López means “son of Lope,”, which is derived from the Latin word “Lupus.” It means “wolf” in Latin.

3. García

García means “young” in Basque and is very common in the Iberian Peninsula, Americas, France, and the Philippines. It is also believed to have come from the Basque word Hartz, which means “bear.”

4. Rodrìguez

Rodrìguez is the Spanish variant of the Germanic last name, Roderick. In German, it means “famous power.” In Latin, it means “son of Rodrigo.” People who have this last name live in Latin America and Spain, mainly.

5. Sánchez

This last name means “son of Sancho.” It is derived from the Latin word Sanctus, which translates to “holy or saintly.” Sánchez originates from Spain and is common throughout much of Latin America.

6. Alonso

Alonso is the Spanish variant of the last name, “Alfonso,” which has Germanic origins. The last name means “noble and ready.” Many emperors who ruled parts of modern-day Portugal and Spain had this name.

7. Gómez

This typical Spanish surname comes from “Gomes,” which is an Old Galician and Portuguese surname. Gomis is the Catalan variant of the surname. Goma means “man” and the suffix -ez means “descendent of.”

8. Pérez

The family name Pérez translates to “son of Pedro.” Pedro is the Spanish version of Peter. Pérez has distinct Jewish roots. This is why the family name also originated from Israel.

9. Díaz

Díaz means “son of Diego.” Diego means “teaching” in Greek. Díaz is also believed to have originated from the Spanish word “dias,” or days. Apart from Latin America, the surname is also commonly found in Southern Italy.

10. Torres

Torres is a common Spanish and Portuguese last name. It comes from the Latin word “turris,” which means “towers.” In Italy, it is considered a Spanish-Jewish surname.

11. Romero

Romero is not just common in Spanish, but in Italian as well. It means “pilgrim to Rome.” It is also the Spanish word for the herb rosemary. Because of Spanish colonization, Romero is a popular Filipino surname.

12. Castro

The surname originates from the Iberian Peninsula and comes from the Latin word for “fortification.” Its English variant is Chester. 

13. Gutiérrez

Gutiérrez is the Spanish version of English last names like Watson, Walters, and Watkins. Gutiérrez means “son of Gutierre,” which means “ruler of the army” in German.

14. Fernández

Fernández means “brave traveler” in German and refers to the “son of Fernando” is Spanish. Fernández is common in Spanish-speaking nations as well as former Spanish colonies.

15. Martínez

This common Spanish last name means “son of Martin,” Martin meaning “Mars” in Latin. Martínez is widely used in Spanish colonies and also shared in neighboring European nations due to emigration.  

16. González

González means “son of Gonzalo.” Gonzalo means “war.” The surname is one the most common surnames in Spain, United States, and many South American countries.

17. Jiménez

In Spanish, the last name Jiménez refers to “son of Jimeno.” It is derived from the Hebrew word Simon which translates to “he has heard.” Most people bearing the Jiménez surname reside in Mexico.

18. Domínguez

This surname means “son of Domingo.” Its Latin variant “Dominicus” means “lordly.” Domínguez is popular in the US and Philippines, along with many Spanish speaking countries.

19. Navarro

Navarro is a common Spanish, French, and Italian last name. Navarro was a topographical surname used to denote a person from Navarre. The surname means “plain next to mountains” in Basque.

20. Ortega

Ortega is a topographical Spanish last name, referring to the many villages of this name in the region. It is from the Latin word Urtica which means “nettle.” The surname is common in Latin America.


Spanish last names are all around the world. Tracing where they are found, and the fact that they are so commonly found, gives us considerable insight into the history of Spain and its many colonies.

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