Mexican Culture


Primary Author
Nina Evason,
  • Mexican names follow Spanish naming customs: [personal name(s)] [father’s family name] [mother’s family name]. 
  • For example, Hector GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ (male) and Camila GUTIERREZ GARCIA (female).
  • The ‘personal name’ (or ‘given name’) is chosen at birth as the individual’s personal identifier. 
  • 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. 
  • The father’s family name is often used alone as the person’s surname. For example, Hector GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ may be known as Hector GONZÁLEZ. However, it is uncommon to use the mother’s family name like this. 
  • Mexican women typically change their name at marriage by adding the husband’s father’s family name to the end or their name, with a ‘de’ to conjoin it or replacing their mother’s family name with this. For example, if Camila GUTIERREZ GARCIA married Javier CASTRO HERRERA , she may be known as Camila GUTIERREZ GARCIA de CASTRO or Camila GUTIERREZ de CASTRO
  • Some Mexican women choose not to change their names at marriage, keeping their original family name.
  • 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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