What are some rare Spanish surnames

Actually it is just an inconspicuous new administrative regulation for the registry offices, but for Spain it means a small revolution: From next month onwards, parents should decide for their newborn children whether the father's or mother's surname is listed first. Because officially every Spaniard has two family names; up to now, that of the father automatically came first.

But that is now a thing of the past. For a few years now, the mother's name has been allowed to come first, but only if this was specifically requested from the family court. Less than one percent of parents in the country did this. From now on, parents have a new civic duty to make a decision within three days. If they do not agree, the registry office decides what can be contested - but only jointly by both parents. Then at the latest they have to pull themselves together.

Statisticians speak of a small revolution because the innovation is likely to break up a firmly established order in the medium term: the hit list of Spanish family names, firmly cemented for generations, as historians have shown on the basis of the baptismal and death registers.

Ten names are represented more than a million times each, 38 percent of Spaniards have one of them on their papers. There is no other European country with such a high dominance of a few names. This is due to the tradition of double names, passed on from generation to generation.

More than three million Spaniards bear the family name García. With a total population of 46 million, this makes up a good 6.6 percent of the population. The inflationary surname comes from the Basque term "gartzea", which means "young". The Basques only live in a small corner in the north of the country, and less than a million people still speak Basque today; How the name spread like that is a mystery that no one has yet solved.

Less puzzling is the history of common family names that are of Germanic origin: Gonzalo - the fighter, Fernando - the brave, Rodrigo - the glorious, Gomo - the warrior. The old Spanish ending -ez stands for "son of", like the Scandinavian -sen or the Slavic -ow. All these names were brought with them by the Goths, who poured into the country in the course of the great migration at the end of the Roman period, the names refer to the favorite pastime of this people, namely to wreak war on foreign countries.

Cultural scholars like to and often refer to the differences to other countries: While in Spain, whose entire Middle Ages were shaped by the battles between Christians and Moors, the warrior was evidently the ideal man, things were much more down-to-earth north of the Alps. In the German-speaking world, surnames refer to the honorable craft such as Müller, Schmidt, Schneider, Fischer, Weber and legal positions such as Meier and Hoffmann.

The Romans also left their mark on Spain: Martinez is the son of Martin, who in turn is the son of Mars. The origin of Sánchez, on the other hand, is controversial. Linguists derive it from the Latin sanctus - "holy". Of Christian origin is Pérez: Peter. López, on the other hand, is not Christian: lobo means wolf.

First of all, it cannot be expected that the Spanish hit list will become more feminine. Women also bear the names of the paternal line. But they will be better distributed, according to statisticians, the proportions of the dominant groups will decrease from generation to generation. At least, because in the end it also helps the authorities, who occasionally lose track of all the Garcías and González.

Only one surname effect is already mourning all of Spain, you could see it especially with the former regional president of Madrid, who, by the way, is currently incarcerated for corruption. The man's name is González González, which sounds about the same to Spanish ears as Meier-Meier to Germans.