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did you know? names and surnames in Spain

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I am a Spaniard and have just taken part in a forum discussing the cultural differences between Europe and the USA.

In Spain, all newborns get their (Christian) name,i.e., Juan, and then they get their father´s and their mother´s first surname. For instance, if my dad is Angel López Isusi and my mom is Beatriz Villate Almarza (imaginary names), I would be Mikel López Villate. There is the possibility of having my mom´s surname first, and then I would be Mikel Villate López. The difference is that in the US nobody uses more than one surname, while in Spain common use is having both. Many Americans I deal with take erroneusly my second surname as my first, which is considered as part of my Christian name.

Also, women never take their husband´s names, my mom would never be Beatriz López, she always keeps her surname, and it REALLY puzzles me, how come that women in the US accept this "domination" and loss of name so easily?

In Portugal the mother´s surname comes always first.

One more point regarding names in Spain: Jesús is a very, very common name for a man over here, something very odd for many foreigners, they find it blasphemous...My uncle is called Jesús María, for instance, and María is part of many names of men in Spain. And many women are called Maria Jesús Surname Surname...

Last: Concepción, Anunciación, Milagros (Miracles), Pilar, Regla (women´s period), Dolores (pains), Nieves (Snows), Rosario (Rosary), Asunción, Encarnación (incarnation, Purificación, Inmaculada (inmaculate), Inocencia,..., are just a small part of very common Spanish names for women, of an obvious religious origin (names of virgin´s, here in Spain there must be over 3000 "different" virgins, and women used to take the name of the virgin for themselves).

This is probably very funny for Americans...

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