Mexican Culture

Naming

  • Mexicans have a personal name(s) followed by two surnames – the father’s family name and then the mother’s family name. For example: Hector Marίa GONZALEZ LÓPEZ.
  • The first of the surnames (the father’s family name) is used alone to address people, whilst the second family name (the mother’s) is rarely used in isolation. For example, Hector Marίa GONZALEZ LÓPEZ would be appropriately abbreviated as Hector GONZALEZ.
  • People may have two personal names (e.g. Hector Marίa). The second personal name does not always reflect the gender of the person. In this case, the first of the two may be used on its own, but the second should not be. 
  • It is not customary for Mexican women to adopt their husband’s surname at marriage.
  • Among friends and family, Mexicans often use nicknames to refer to one another. Commonly, Mexicans will create nicknames based on an easily noticeable personal characteristic or as a shorter form of one’s first name. For example, one’s nickname might be ‘el gordito’ (‘the fat one’) or ‘Pato’ (a shorter form of Patricio).

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