Argentine Culture

Naming

  • Many people have a given name followed by a middle name and a surname. For example, Maria Karina GONZALEZ
  • Most Argentines adopt their father’s surname. However, in some regions of Argentina where there continues to be a strong Spanish influence, many will have two family names –  the father’s surname followed by the mother’s surname (e.g. Maria GONZALEZ GARCIA).
  • Married women can choose to adopt their husband’s surname or to continue using their maiden name. 
  • Some married women will add their husband's name to their surname with the preposition ‘de' (‘of') (e.g. Maria GONZALEZ de LOPEZ).
  • It is common for people to be given a nickname. Many nicknames in Argentina are diminutive forms of words that describe physical characteristics. For example, one might be given the nickname ‘gordita’ (‘little fat one’) when they are young, and it will continue to be used throughout their life. Such nicknames are intended to express endearment, rather than an insult. 
  • Previously, it was common for children to be named after their parents or after historical, political or sporting figures. This is no longer the norm as many children are given names that are distinctive or that are personal preferences of the parents.
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