Change to Spanish Naming Practices

In Spain, women do not change their surnames upon marriage, and children get the surnames of both parents. Parents have always been allowed to choose the order of the surnames, but the default has been to put the father’s name first. (And in cases of dispute, the father’s name always goes first.) A new law will alter this, making the default order the alphabetical one.

Critics said it would endanger surnames whose first letters are at the end of the alphabet. These will gradually be relegated to second place on the surname list and not be passed down to grandchildren

For more, go here. (Thanks, Mr Jender and Jender-Parents!)

3 thoughts on “Change to Spanish Naming Practices

  1. Critics seem to have a point. If, every time someone called Vasquez marries someone called Alboniz, their children are Alboniz Vasquez by default, in a few generations there will only be a handful of surnames left, all beginning with “A”. Wouldn’t it be better to rule that there’s no default?

  2. Since parents still can change the default, though, I wonder if the force of the patronym-first custom would mean that parents will take more active thought on which order they wish, instead of just letting the law determine the default. If so, that might mix things up more than one would expect; and it’s possible that people were thinking that if you didn’t have any default at all, the patronym-favoring custom would just automatically continue out of force of habit.

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