In Spain and other Hispanic countries, a person has two surnames, the first being the first surname of his or her father, and the second the first surname of his or her mother. So when Jorge García Benitez and Rosalia Cruz Rodriguez have their child Miguel, they name him Miguel García Cruz. If Miguel grows up and marries a woman named Anita Verdugo Torres, and have a daughter named Sarita, her full name would be Sarita García Verdugo. Occasionally one will choose to pass along both his or her parents’ names and combine them with a hyphen, so Pablo Ibaldez Vargas will have a child by Amelita Venega Zuniga and name him Juan Ibaldez-Vargas Venega. Or if Amelita instead of Pablo is the one who wants to keep both names in the family, their child would be Juan Ibaldez Venega-Zuniga. Often the conjunction “y” is used to join paternal and maternal names: Miguel García y Cruz. Of course, your Hispanics in the United States and Canada will have only one surname.


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