Venezuelan Culture

Naming

Naming Conventions

  • Most Venezuelan names follow the Spanish naming convention. This is a personal name(s) followed by the father’s paternal family name and then the mother’s paternal family name, e.g. José Antonio DÍAZ LÓPEZ.
  • It is traditional to use a person’s title and their paternal (first) family name to address them formally (e.g. Mr. DÍAZ).
  • People may have two personal names (e.g. José Antonio). The second personal name does not always reflect the gender of the person.
  • A Venezuelan woman does not necessarily have to take her husband's name at marriage. Nowadays, it is generally perceived as a very old-fashioned practice to do so. Most women keep their original family name or add their husband’s paternal name to the end of their full name with a ‘de’ to conjoin it.


Names

  • Popular baby names in Venezuela are Maria, Alejandra and Daniela for a girl, and Luis, Jose and Mauricio for a boy.
  • Names can be a marker of social class. The traditional elite tend to have more traditional Latin names, such as Miguel and Carolina. Meanwhile, people from the middle class may be more experimental.
  • Venezuelans may take inspiration from names of soccer players, well-known singers and actresses.
  • Some Venezuelans derive their children’s names from a unique combination of names that have significance to them. For example, a child with a mother named Daisy and a sister named Yuri may be named Daiyury. A child with parents named Edgar Yespica and Carmen Aguilera may be called Eyca, a combination of these initials. 
  • Some Venezuelan names may reflect migrant roots from other countries.
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