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Thou hast a common name, sirrah

27 Jul 09 | Re: Archaic hispanic patronymics

In Spain, like in England, Scotland, Wales, Russia, Sweden and everywhere else, a lot of the most common surnames are patronymics, ie names that come from a first name. Some of the most widespread are:

The strange thing about the Spanish patronymics is that these days, nobobdy in Spain is actually called Gomo, Sancho, Lope, Gonzalo or Rodrigo any more. (Maybe in Latin America, but not in Spain.) Clearly these must have been very common names at one time, and they pop up in 16th and 17th century literature, eg Sancho Panza, but they’ve all now fallen completely out of favour. It’s the equivalent of English people all being called Ethelbertson or Gawainson or Bedeson. It’s weird.

If anyone knows of any modern-day Lopes or Gonzalos, please let me know.

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