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250+ Puerto Rican Last Names: Popular to Rare

Discover the finest Puerto Rican last names from a tiny island surrounded by sunshine.

Though Puerto Rico is one of the smallest and most famous Caribbean islands, little is known about its surnames. Spanish, German, and French cultures have influenced Puerto Rican last names. Many names also have indigenous and Afro-centric origins, so there’s even more to the story.

Learn the meanings and origins of 255 Puerto Rican last names. They’re conveniently organized into categories covering popular, unique, and rare names for ease. Puerto Rican surnames are calling you across the ocean!

85 Popular Puerto Rican Last Names

You might easily recognize many of these well-known Puerto Rican last names.

  1. Abreu – has Galician-Portuguese origins as a Spanish variation of the biblical Abraham.
  2. Alonso – originally the Visigothic male name Adalfuns, meaning “noble” in German.
  3. Alvarez – means “son of Alvaro” in Spanish, linked to the Arabic “al-Faris,” meaning “the knight.”
  4. Arroyo – a geographical form among Puerto Rican last names meaning “watercourse irrigation channel.”
  5. Badalejo – a short form of Albadalejo, based on towns in La Mancha, Spain.
  6. Betancourt – originally the unique French Béthencourt, who discovered the Canary Islands.
  7. Blanco – a nickname used for fair-haired boys; means “white” in Spanish.
  8. Bonilla – the name of two Spanish towns, one in Cuenca and one in Ávila.
  9. Borges – equivalent to the English Burgess, meaning “of the town” and “bourgeois.”
  10. Boricua – from Borinquen, a name given to the indigenous Taínos of Puerto Rico.
  11. Burgos – given to someone “from Burgos,” the capital of Old Castile, Spain.
  12. Camacho – a nickname for a thin person, initially starting as a definition for a “linnet robin” (bird).
  13. Campos – means “fields” for someone from the countryside; several place names in Spain.
  14. Canales – from the Spanish “canal,” meaning “water channel,” from the Latin “canalis.”
  15. Cardona – from the French “cardinal,” an occupational name; originally the Latin Cardinalis.
  16. Carrasquillo – a diminutive taken from the Spanish “carrasco,” meaning “holm oak.”
  17. Carrillo – a Spanish nickname for someone with a “cheek or jaw issue,” also means “cart.”
  18. Castillo – a topographical surname for someone living at or near a castle, from the Latin “castellum.”
  19. Castro – given to a person living “near a castle,” means “fortification.”
  20. Chavez – named after the Portuguese town of Chaves, Tras-os-Montes, ranked 22nd among Hispanic surnames.
  21. Cintrón – one of many Puerto Rican surnames used as nicknames; from the Spanish “cinturón,” meaning “belt.”
  22. Colón – from the Latin Colombus, meaning “dove,” as given to many Catholic saints.
  23. Correa – its many meanings include “leather strap,” “belt,” and “shoelace,” from the Latin “corrigia,” meaning “fastening.”
  24. Cortez – comes from the Old French “corteis,” meaning “courteous” or “polite.”
  25. Cruz – a Spanish and Portuguese surname meaning “cross,” referring to the Catholic cross.
  26. De Jesus – a common patronymic surname meaning “of Jesus” from Spain.
  27. De La Paz – means someone “from Paz” Galicia; also a Christian epithet that means “of the peace.”
  28. Delgado – originally came from the Latin “delicatus,” meaning “delicate” and “soft.”
  29. Delleon – a variation of De Leon, a surname for those from the Spanish province of León.
  30. Del Rios – made up of the Spanish “del,” meaning “from” and “Rio,” for the Rio Grande River.
  31. Del Toro – means “of the bull” in Spanish as a nickname for a bullfighter.
  32. Diaz – related to the Spanish Diego, from the Latin “dies,” meaning “days.”
  33. Dominguez – one of the patronymic Puerto Rican surnames, taken from Domingo.
  34. Feliciano – originated as the Latin “fēlix,” meaning “happy” and “lucky.”
  35. Fernández – means “son of Fernando” when based on the German Ferdinand, meaning “brave traveler.”
  36. Ferrer – from the Latin “ferrarius,” an occupational name given to an “ironworker” or “blacksmith.”
  37. Garcia – given to a “descendant of Garcia,” the Spanish Gerald; given to someone from Garcia, Spain.
  38. Gil – the meanings include “naive” and “innocent” in Spanish, “bullfinch” in Polish, and “joy” in Hebrew.
  39. Gómez – for a “son of Gome,” appears in Portuguese as Gomes and in Catalan as Gomis.
  40. Guttierez – means “son of Gutierre,” the Spanish form of Walter, meaning “he who rules.”
  41. Hidalgo – a Spanish word for a “nobleman,” from “hijo de algo,” meaning “son of something.”
  42. Huertas – a Spanish and Jewish surname for someone from Huerta, also meaning “vegetable garden.”
  43. Iglesias – the name of a Spanish town in the Burgos province; also means “churches.”
  44. León – is also a male name first based on the Latin “leo,” meaning “lion.”
  45. Lorenzo – from the Roman Laurentius, meaning “from Laurentum,” a Roman city referring to the “laurel tree.”
  46. Lugo – inspired by the Celtic god Lugos; also a city in Galicia.
  47. Malave – a Basque form of Zumalave, from Zumalabe, meaning “pasture oven.”
  48. Maldonado – made up of the Spanish “mal,” meaning “badly,” and “donado,” meaning “given.”
  49. Marin – first appeared as a Roman surname based on Marius, meaning “of the sea.”
  50. Matos – a Sephardic Jewish entry among Puerto Rican family names, meaning “tribes.”
  51. Merced – taken from the title Nuestra Señora de la Merced, meaning “Our Lady of Mercy.”
  52. Miranda – a popular female name and place name that means “worthy of admiration.”
  53. Molina – dates back to the Middle Ages from the Latin “mola,” meaning “millstone.”
  54. Montalvo – the name for various locations in Spain, from the Latin “montem albus,” meaning “white mountain.”
  55. Móntes – is a Spanish name for a “mountain dweller” based on “monte,” meaning “mountain.”
  56. Morales – a Spanish geographical last name and the plural of “moral,” meaning “mulberry tree.”
  57. Muñoz – the Spanish word for “hill” also appears as Munhoz in Portuguese.
  58. Narvaez – primarily a Basque surname for someone “from Narváez” in Ciudad Real, Spain.
  59. Navarro – given to someone “from Navarre” in Spain and a term for a “Basque-speaking person.”
  60. Ortega – comes from the Spanish “ortiga,” meaning “nettle,” and a nickname for a “female black grouse.”
  61. Ortiz – means “son of Orti” and “brave” or “fortunate” in Latin.
  62. Otero – means “height” and “hill” in Spanish, from the Latin “altarium,” meaning “high.”
  63. Peralta – taken from the Latin “pietra,” meaning “rock,” and “alta,” meaning “tall.”
  64. Perez – a patronymic Spanish surname meaning “son of Pero or Pedro,” a Spanish form of Peter.
  65. Ramos – means “bouquets” or “branches” in the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
  66. Reyes – means “kings” in English and refers to any “royals” or “royalty.”
  67. Rivera – has Spanish and Italian origins, based on “ribera,” meaning “riverbank.”
  68. Robles – the plural of the Spanish “roble,” meaning “oak,” or “from Los Robles” in León.
  69. Rodriguez – means “son (or descendent) of Rodrigo,” the Spanish form of Roderick, meaning “famous ruler.”
  70. Romero – a Spanish nickname meaning “pilgrim,” which first described a “pilgrim to Rome.”
  71. Rubio – means “red” from the Latin “rubeus,” usually given to someone with red hair.
  72. Ruiz – originally the German Hrodric, meaning “famous ruler,” a Spanish pet name for Rodrigo.
  73. Salazar – means “old hall” in Spanish; a town in Burgos, Castile, Spain.
  74. Sanabria – given to someone “from Puebla de Sanabria” near Zamora, Spain; also appears as Zanabria.
  75. Sanchez – comes from the Latin “sanctus,” meaning “holy,” and “ez,” meaning “son of.”
  76. Santiago – named after multiple Spanish locations containing churches dedicated to St. James, or “Sant Iago.”
  77. Serrano – given to someone living near a “mountain ridge” or “chain of hills.”
  78. Sierra – derives from the Latin “serra,” which describes any “mountain range.”
  79. Soto – among Spanish locales called El Soto; uses the root “grove,” meaning “small wood.”
  80. Suárez – means “son of Suero” or “son of Soeiro,” originally from the Latin Suerius, meaning “swineherd.”
  81. Torres – taken from the Latin “turris,” meaning “towers,” ranked 50th among American surnames.
  82. Valentin – means both “strong” and “healthy,” based on the Latin Valentinus.
  83. Vásquez – means “son of Vasco,” which first appeared in Latin as Velascus.
  84. Vega – given to a “dweller in the meadow” or “one who lives on the plain.”
  85. Viera – means “faith” in Spanish; very popular in the Canary Islands.

85 Unique Puerto Rican Last Names

There is something incredibly distinct about these Puerto Rican surnames.

  1. Agüeybaná – named after the most famous Taino chief in what is now Puerto Rico.
  2. Ayala – also appears as de Ayala based on the town of Ayala in northern Spain.
  3. Baez – means “son of Pelayo” in Spanish and also appears as Páez.
  4. Baron – first a title of nobility from the Old French and Old German “barun.”
  5. Barreda – the name of many locations in Spain, from “barro,” meaning “clay” and “loam.”
  6. Batista – based on the medieval Latin first name Ba(p)tista, meaning “baptist.”
  7. Belasco – a Basque variation of Belasko, composed of “bela,” meaning “raven,” and the suffix “-sk.”
  8. Belmontes – named after places in Spain, Portugal, and Italy called Belmonte, meaning “beautiful mountain.”
  9. Bermudez – derived from the Visigothic Bermudo, from “ber-,” meaning “bear,” and “mōd,” meaning “courage.”
  10. Biagi – means “son of Biagio,” a Spanish form of Giacomo or the Hebrew Jacob, meaning “supplanter.”
  11. Calvo – a nickname for a “bald-headed man,” from the Latin “calvus,” meaning “bald.”
  12. Carreon – taken from the Latin “caro,” meaning “meat,” also appears as Carrion.
  13. Cartagena – one of many Spanish Puerto Rican last names based on places; means “from Cartagena.”
  14. Castellano – mainly an Italian name for someone “from Castello” based on the Latin “castellanus.”
  15. Cuevas – the plural of the Spanish “cueva,” meaning “cave,” used for someone from Las Cuevas.
  16. Damiani – an Italian plural form of Damiano first inspired by the Greek goddess Damia.
  17. Davila – a geographical surname used for someone who comes “from the village.”
  18. Del Valle – made up of the Spanish “del,” meaning “from the” and “valle,” meaning “valley.”
  19. Donate – like many Puerto surnames, Donate has Latin origins, from “donatus,” meaning “gift” or “present.”
  20. Enriquez – means “son of Enrique” and is common in Mexico, Ecuador, and the Philippines.
  21. Espana – based on España, from the Latin Hispania, the name for Spain or a Spanish person.
  22. Espinosa – an uncommon place name in Spain; also from “espina,” meaning “thorn.”
  23. Estevez – means “son of Stephen” in Spanish and refers to the esteva flower.
  24. Falero – initially used in Venice, Italy; from the Latin “faler,” meaning “apportionment.”
  25. Felix – originally a medieval given name, meaning “happy,” “lucky,” and “fortunate.”
  26. Figueroa – the name of towns in Galicia, Spain; derives from “figueira,” meaning “fig tree.”
  27. Fortuño – taken from the Latin surname Fortunius, from “fortuna,” meaning “luck.”
  28. Galicia – given to those “from Galicia” in northwestern Spain and originally used by the Romans.
  29. Guevara – a Castillian form of Gebara for those from Álava, Spain; most famous for Che Guevara.
  30. Guzman – means “descendant of Guzmán,” or “good man,” for a nobleman or someone from Guzmánes, Spain.
  31. Irizarry – a variation of the Basque Irisarri, named after a town in Navarre, Spain.
  32. Jimenez – for a “son of Jimeno (Simon),” meaning “gracious harkening” or “snub-nosed.”
  33. Joaquin – means “established by God,” as the Spanish form of Joachim, the Virgin Mary’s father.
  34. Jusino – given to a “son of Giuseppe (Joseph),” and originates in Sicily.
  35. Laguna – means “pool” and “pond” from the Latin “lacuna,” meaning “hollow” and “hole.”
  36. Laureano – comes from the Latin Laurentius, meaning “laurelled,” also a male first name.
  37. Lebron – is from the Spanish “liebre,” meaning “hare,” also means “brown-haired one.”
  38. Lozada – a Spanish variation of Losada, a nickname for someone “in good health.”
  39. Luna – a Spanish and Sephardic Jewish surname based on locations in Zaragoza and León.
  40. Mateos – the plural form of Mateo, the Spanish variation of Matthew, meaning “gift of God.”
  41. Medina – from the Arabic word “madīnah,” meaning “city of the prophet.”
  42. Melendez – a variation of both Menendez and Mendez; from the German Hermenegild, meaning “whole tribute.”
  43. Milan – a Spanish and French nickname meaning “kite” given to an “avid person.”
  44. Muniz – relates to the rare first name Mummius; means “son of Mummius.”
  45. Nazario – derives from the Latin Nazarius, meaning “of Nazareth” for Jesus of Nazareth.
  46. Negron – originally an Afro-French nickname based on “nègre,” meaning “black.”
  47. Nieto – means “grandchild” in Spanish and also appears as Neto in Portuguese.
  48. Noriega – dates back to Asturias, Spain, from the Spanish “noria,” meaning “a deep well.”
  49. Nuño – also a male name taken from the Latin “nunnus,” meaning “grandfather.”
  50. Orantes – means “those who pray” in Spanish, common in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
  51. Padilla – means “bread pan” in Spanish from the Latin “patella,” referring to a “shallow dish.”
  52. Palomar – the name of several places in Spain; means “dovecote,” from “paloma,” meaning “dove.”
  53. Parras – describes either a “grapevine,” “trellis,” or a “pergola” in Spanish.
  54. Parrilla – is the Italian female form of Parrillo; also a nickname for a “bird-like” person.
  55. Pereira – comes from the Galician and Portuguese “pereira,” meaning “pear tree.”
  56. Pinto – means “colored” or “painted” from the Latin “pinctus,” given to a “lively or restless person.”
  57. Prado – a Portuguese place name that also means “meadow,” from the Latin “pratum.”
  58. Puig – derives from the Catalan “puig,” meaning “hillock,” used for someone living in a “high place.”
  59. Quiñones – the plural Spanish form of the Latin “quinio,” meaning “group of five.”
  60. Quintana – the name of several locations in Spain; also means “country house.”
  61. Rafael – the Spanish spelling of the Hebrew Raphael, meaning “God has healed,” and also a boy’s name.
  62. Ramon – a Spanish variation of the German Raginmund, meaning “counsel” and “protection.”
  63. Rosas – from the Latin “rosa,” meaning “rose,” first used for those living near “wild roses.”
  64. Rufino – used in Spain and Italy, derived from the Latin Rufinus, from “rufus,” meaning “red.”
  65. Salamanca – named after a city in Spain that dates back to pre-Roman times.
  66. Salas – means “rooms” and “halls” in Spanish and is commonly used in Costa Rica and Mexico.
  67. Sandoval – made up of the Latin “saltus,” meaning “grove” and “novalis,” meaning “newly cleared land.”
  68. Santini – an Italian patronymic variation of Santino, meaning “little saint” or “sacred.”
  69. Santos – both a Spanish first name and surname that means “saints.”
  70. Seda – a Spanish occupational name for a silk merchant based on “seda,” meaning “silk.”
  71. Sepulveda – means “to bury,” given to those living near the Sepulveda mountains in Segovia.
  72. Silva – primarily a Portuguese surname taken from the Latin “silva,” meaning “forest” or “woodland.”
  73. Silvestrini – among Puerto Rican family names based on Silvester, from “silva,” meaning “wood.”
  74. Sola – from the Spanish-Catalan “solà,” meaning “place exposed to the sun,” an occupational name for a shoemaker.
  75. Sosa – a Spanish form of the Portuguese Sousa; from “sosa,” meaning “seaweed.”
  76. Sotomayor – made up of the Spanish “souto,” meaning “grove small wood” and “Maior,” meaning “larger main.”
  77. Surillo – a Catalan surname that is a “diminutive” for “suro,” meaning “cork tree.”
  78. Trevino – means “lives on a boundary” in Spanish; place names in Burgos and Cantabria, Spain.
  79. Trinidad – means “trinity,” also given to those born on the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
  80. Valiente – a Spanish nickname for someone who is “brave,” associated with Valencia, Spain.
  81. Valle – taken from the Latin “vallis,” meaning “valley,” given to a “dweller in a valley.”
  82. Vargas – for someone “from Vargas” in Cantabria, Spain; based on “varga,” meaning “thatched hut.”
  83. Vera – means “river bank” in Spanish, referring to “land between a river and an upland.”
  84. Villanova – a place name in Spain based on the Latin “villa nova,” meaning “new settlement.”
  85. Zamora – dates back to the 16th-century and means “wild olives” in Spanish.

85 Rare Puerto Rican Last Names

Less common Puerto Rican last names like these don’t come around often.

  1. Albizu – a Spanish variation of Arbizu, ranking 788th in Puerto Rico in 2010.
  2. Amo – a Spanish occupational name for a “tutor,” “guardian,” or “master,” from the Latin “amma.”
  3. Armendariz – based on the Basque first name Armendariz, from the Latin “armentarius,” meaning “herdsman.”
  4. Asturias – describes a region in Spain; from the Basque “asta,” meaning “rock,” and “ur,” meaning “water.”
  5. Azarolla – a rare example among Puerto Rican last names, deriving from the Basque “azeri,” meaning “fox.”
  6. Banuchi – a surname used more in Puerto Rico than anywhere else, though its meaning is unclear.
  7. Bardales – the plural form of the Spanish “bardal,” meaning “covered with thorns.”
  8. Bello – appears in Italian and Spanish as a nickname for a “handsome” or “beautiful” person.
  9. Bover – a Catalan occupational name for a herdsman, from the Latin “bovarius,” meaning “cowherd.”
  10. Cadenas – taken from the Spanish “cadena,” meaning “chain,” as an occupational name for a “jailer.”
  11. Calvin – originally the French Cauvin and is based on “chauve,” meaning “bald.”
  12. Cano – a Spanish nickname for someone with “white hair,” from “cano,” meaning “white or gray-haired.”
  13. Carrion – from four locations in Spain and a medieval French noble name for those from Cairon.
  14. Casarez – from the Spanish “casal,” meaning “hut” or “cottage,” also appears as Casares.
  15. Chaparro – refers to “oak bushes (used as firewood),” from the Basque “txaparro,” a nickname meaning “chubby.”
  16. Ciervo – an Italian form of Cervo that means “stag,” an occupational name for a hunter.
  17. Clemente – represents a Spanish spelling of the Latin Clemens, meaning “merciful.”
  18. Echeverria – a version of the Basque Etxeberria, from “etxe,” meaning “house” and “berri,” meaning “new.”
  19. Elizondo – a town in Navarre, Spain, also given to those living “near a church.”
  20. Esteban – dates back to the Greek Stéphanos, meaning “crown” or “garland.”
  21. Favela – named after a medieval Asturian king, from the Spanish “faba,” meaning “broad bean.”
  22. Fonseca – based on the Latin “fons sicca,” meaning “dry well,” common among Sephardic Jews.
  23. Gabaldon – refers to Gabaldón, a town located in the province of Cuenca, Spain.
  24. Galeano – also appears as Galiano and is taken from the Latin Gallus, meaning “rooster.”
  25. Gorbea – the name of a mountain and massif in the Basque Country, Spain.
  26. Grijalva – refers to Grijalba, in Burgos, Spain; composed of “iglesia,” meaning “church” and “alva,” meaning “white.”
  27. Henriquez – means “son of Henry” in Portuguese and appears in Spanish as Enriquez.
  28. Hipolito – comes from the Latin Hippolytus, referring to someone “destroyed by horses.”
  29. Howe – the rarest of Puerto Rican surnames from the Old Norse “haugr,” meaning “hill.”
  30. Laris – a variation of the Basque Lariz, once used for someone living near an oak wood.
  31. Lastra – place names in Galicia based on the Spanish “lastra,” meaning “flat slab of rock.”
  32. Llamas – a place name in Asturias, Spain, which is also the plural of “llama,” meaning “mud.”
  33. Loperena – a Basque name for a house belonging to someone named Lope.
  34. Magallanes – given to someone from the village of Magaláns in Galicia, Spain.
  35. Malo – composed of the Breton-French “mach,” meaning “pledge hostage” and “lou,” meaning “light bright.”
  36. Mancha – inspired by La Mancha in Spain; derives from the Latin “macula,” meaning “stain.”
  37. Maysonet – a Puerto Rican spelling of the French Maisonette, from “maison,” meaning “stoneworker.”
  38. Melchor – the Spanish form of Melchior taken from the Hebrew “melech,” meaning “king.”
  39. Meraz – the Spanish spelling given to the Asturian-Leonese town of Merás.
  40. Miers – the name of a village in Cantabria, from “mies,” meaning “ripe grain harvest time.”
  41. Monsanto – means “sacred mountain” in Spanish and among Puerto Rican family names based on location.
  42. Montoya – taken from a Basque place name that means “hills and valleys” in Spanish.
  43. Moscoso – is a town in Galicia with many flies taken from “mosca,” meaning “fly.”
  44. Nepomuceno – named after the 14th-century patron saint of Bohemia, St. John of Nepomuk.
  45. Neri – created in honor of St. Philip Neri, a 16th-century Italian priest.
  46. Novar – a geographical surname based on the Spanish root “nava,” meaning “treeless plateau.”
  47. Ocon – a location in Spanish La Rioja or the town of Villafranca de Ocón in Burgos.
  48. Olivar – a version of Olivares, a plural form of the Spanish “olivar,” meaning “olive grove.”
  49. Olivencia – an alternate version of Olivenza, a Spanish town located near Portugal.
  50. Ordaz – a Spanish variant of Ordás that dates back to the Latin Fortunio, meaning “fortunate.”
  51. Pabon – another spelling of Pavón, a Spanish nickname for a “proud” person, from “pavón,” meaning “peacock.”
  52. Pantoja – a geographically based surname for those living in Pantoja in Toledo.
  53. Pastrana – a Spanish last name referring to a city in northern Spain near Salamanca.
  54. Picazo – means “magpie” in Spanish as a nickname for a “talkative person.”
  55. Piña – relates to Pina de Ebro in Zaragoza; it also comes from the Latin “pinna,” meaning “rock.”
  56. Pizarro – a form of the Spanish “pizarra,” meaning “slate,” and an occupational name for a quarry worker.
  57. Poblete – a surname given to those from Poblete in the Ciudad Real province, Spain.
  58. Ponce de Leon – named after the famous Spanish explorer or someone from the Province of León.
  59. Rada – means “natural bay” in Spanish after several locations in Spain.
  60. Rendon – means “bold” or “daring” as an alternative spelling for the Spanish Rondón.
  61. Rentas – is the plural of the Spanish “renta,” meaning “income” or “rental,” used primarily by Afro-Caribbeans.
  62. Resta – a form of “resto,” meaning “remainder” or “leftover,” also a possible nickname for Oreste.
  63. Ribas – a Castillan variation of Ribes, a geographical surname taken from “riba,” meaning “bank.”
  64. Rizo – means “curl” in Spanish and a nickname for someone with curly hair.
  65. Rubalcaba – inspired by a place name in Cantabria, located in northern Spain.
  66. Sahagun – a town in León taken from San Fagun, meaning Saint Facundus.
  67. Salmo – from the Latin “salmō,” meaning “salmon” and a nickname from the Spanish “salmo,” meaning “psalm.”
  68. Salome – originally comes from the ancient Hebrew “shalom,” which means “peace.”
  69. Santibanez – means “son of Saint John” in Spanish and includes “santo,” meaning “saint.”
  70. Segundo – is derived from the Latin “secundus,” meaning “second,” as given to a second son.
  71. Sultan – a Spanish nickname for someone acting “pompously,” from the Arabic title of sulṭān.
  72. Talamantes – a town in the Spanish Zaragoza province; from “tal amante,” meaning “what a lover.”
  73. Tellez – a patronymic Spanish last name meaning “son of Tello,” meaning “earth.”
  74. Toledano – given to someone “from Toledo” in Spain and often used by Sephardic Jewish residents.
  75. Trejo – an occupational Spanish surname for a blacksmith based on “tajo,” meaning “tool.”
  76. Trujillo – a place in Extremadura, Spain, known for its conquistadors, who traveled to the Americas.
  77. Urbano – is derived from the Latin “urbanus,” meaning “from the city,” used by multiple popes.
  78. Urias – dates back to the Hebrew Uriah, meaning “God is light,” most popular in Mexico.
  79. Valdivia – first used for Spanish residents of a valley with the root “val(le),” meaning “valley.”
  80. Valenzuela – a place in Córdoba and Ciudad Real, Spain, also means “little Valencia.”
  81. Vicario – a title derived from the Latin “vicarius,” meaning “substitute,” given to a substitute official.
  82. Vigorito – comes from the Latin “vigore,” meaning “vigor,” which is considered a lucky name.
  83. Zamarron – a Spanish town in Granada; a nickname taken from “zamarra,” meaning fur or fleece jacket.”
  84. Zamorano – given to someone “from Zamora,” sometimes appearing as Samora.
  85. Zurita – means “dove” in Spanish and is also derived from the Basque “zuri,” meaning “white.”

Puerto Rican Last Names FAQ

Why Do Puerto Ricans Have Two Last Names?

Like other Spanish-speaking countries, Puerto Ricans traditionally have two surnames. The first is based on their father’s surname, while the second comes from their mother’s side. Sometimes, they’ll mainly go by the first (paternal) surname. However, you’ll usually find both last names on all their official IDs and documents.

What Are Other Names for Puerto Ricans?

The term “Puerto Rican” means “rich port” in Spanish. In addition, the terms “boricua” and “borincano” can refer to those from Puerto Rico. They’re taken from the indigenous Taino “borikén” and “borinquen.” The Spanish also call the island of Puerto Rico “La Isla del Encanto,” meaning “the island of enchantment.”

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.