Cubans take pride in the fact that the roots of Cuban last names can be traced back to different countries and ethnicities.
Cuba is the largest Caribbean island situated north of the Caribbean Sea. Its capital city is Havana. The island country is famous for its picturesque beaches, architectural marvels, rum, cigars, and of course, the friendly people.
People in Cuba generally have more than one surname because they believe in inheriting both their paternal and maternal surnames. This post explores some popular Cuban last names with meanings that people of different origins have brought to the country.
120 Cuban Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings
It means “someone from the coast.” Acosta is a town in the country of Spain. A notable name bearer is Carlos Acosta, a ballet dancer from Cuba.
It is a surname of Spanish origin that translates to eagle and can also mean an arrogant and superior man.
It is believed that the surname originated from the heirs of King Thedrick, who established “The house of Aldana” close to Santiago de Compostela. It refers to a location by the hill or place on a slope.
It is a surname of German origin with a literal meaning of someone who is noble and ready.
It is an Italian origin surname that means to be happy or cheerful.
A name of Spanish origin, Alonso is derived from the word alphonso which means “a righteous person” in Spanish. It is also is a form of wheat and can denote a person hailing from an Alonso-grown place.
It refers to “son of Alvaro” and also means garden. Adalberto Álvarez, one of the most famous Cuban musicians, was known to bring the music genre “Son cubano” back to life.
A beautiful name with a beautiful meaning, “someone who is filled with love.”
It is derived from the Latin word “amarus” meaning bitter that is mostly used to define the taste of wine.
Arce, meaning stone, is derived from the Hispanic word Basque artze where “arri” means stone and tz (e) means abundance or plenty.
It is a Spanish origin name, meaning sand.
Taken after the first wife of King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Aragón means “valley.”
Armas means “arms” or “weapons.” Ana de Armas, a Cuban actress, is a famous bearer of the name.
A surname of Spanish origin, Arroyo, means a passage used as a water bed for irrigation.
It denotes someone or something as thin and skinny as a ghost or apparition. Yalitza Aparicio and Sofia Aparício are some of the famous name bearers.
Believed to have been granted by the early Christians, Ascencio means ascension to a greater level or position. It denotes the ascension of Christ.
It means “hazel forest” where “Avellana” means hazel and “eda” means a collection of things.
Avila means someone from the city or the town. The surname was given as a tribute to Saint Teresa of Ávila, a town in Spain and also her birthplace.
A name of Basque origin, Ayala, means pasture by the hill. Jaime Zobel de Ayala was the founder and former chairman of the Ayala Corporation.
Also written as Valmaseda, Balmaseda means a valley of vineyards.
Bartelemi is a name of French origin, meaning someone with a bounty of the land.
Basilio, meaning someone belonging to the royalty, was customarily used for people born into an upper-class family.
The last name translates to Baptist in Spanish or Portuguese and can also be written as Bautista. Dave Bautista, a wrestler turned actor, is one of the most famous WWE wrestlers.
Bazán is derived from the Basque word Baztan, which refers to a shrub commonly called a bramble.
Bernal denotes someone who has the strength of a bear.
It is a derivative name from the German words “berht” meaning bright, and “hramn” meaning raven.
Believed to have been derived from Béthencourt, it means a farmyard.
The last name of Italian origin that directly translates to nice can mean handsome and attractive.
Derived from the Arabic name, Ben Avid, Benavídez means “the son of the servant of God.”
The Spanish origin last name, Benítez, means son of Benito, where Benito refers to someone who is blessed. Otto Benítez, two times winner of the Uruguayan chess championship, is one of its notable name bearers.
Blanco is the Spanish word for the color white. Carlos Blanco is one of its famous name bearers.
Borges means someone hailing from a town.
Derived from the Arabic word burj, Borja means tower.
It means chestnuts. Carlos Castaneda was an American writer who wrote a sequence of books about shamanism training.
Meaning castle, Castillo is believed to have been derived from different names of Spanish origin, namely, Castro, Castello, and Castillo. Fidel Castro, who was a Cuban dictator, is a famous name bearer.
Derived from the Latin word “capraria,” Cabrera refers to a place full of goats. Miguel Cabrera is a famous baseball player of the team Detroit Tigers.
Derived from the Latin word caballarius, it means a soldier on a horse.
Derivative includes caldera of Asturian origin. This can mean a cauldron or crater.
It means a person who lives by the tall grass. Alejandro Cañizares, and Claude R. Canizares are some of the name bearers.
It is the plural form of Césped, which refers to mold “peat.” Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada, one of the name bearers, was the 6th President of Cuba.
The surname sounds as beautiful as its meaning. Cisnero is derived from the Spanish word “cisnes” meaning swan.
Corzo means deer and can also likely mean “someone shy.” Aldo Corzo is a football player who plays for the national team of Peru.
It means “to be crowned” or “crowned.” Coronado is also the name of a city in California.
The surname Cortina, meaning a garden or a vegetable farm, can be traced back to the places named “corte” in Italy.
Believed to have originated from the hilly border regions of Spain, Cuevas means “cave” or “caves.”
A surname that is similar sounding to its meaning, Delfín refers to the majestic creature “dolphin.” Juan María Delfín and Remigio Delfín are some of the famous name bearers.
A name of Spanish origin, Destrade, means a destined or paved path. Orestes Destrade, a broadcaster of Tampa Bay Rays, was a Cuban baseball infielder for Major leagues like the Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The meaning of the surname when broken down, denotes a person of Spain in French, where “de” means “of” and “spaigne” means “Spain.”
Pedro Delgado, an erstwhile winner of Tour de France, is one of the famous name bearers of Delgado, which means lean or skinny.
50. De la Fe
De la Fe is a surname of French origin where “De” means “of,” “la” means “the,” and “Fe” means “faith.” So together it means a person of faith.
51. De la cruz
De la Cruz is a surname of Spanish origin with a literal meaning, “of the cross.”
Desnoes can refer to either walnut or someone from a walnut forest.
Diaz is a derivation of the Latin word “dies” meaning days. It can also mean “son of Diego.” Aledmys Díaz, Cameron Diaz, and Gloria Diaz are some of its famous name bearers.
Derived from the Spanish word “escala,” Escalante means ladder and means a mountain with terraced farming.
Believed to have originated from the province of Galicia, Fajardo refers to someone hailing from that province.
Falcón can refer to a falcon or someone who raises falcons.
Ferrer in Latin refers to a blacksmith or a person who works with iron.
It is a Spanish origin surname that shares its meaning with the last name, Hernández. Fernández means a courageous voyager.
Derived from the word fonte seca, Fonseca means a dried-up spring or a dried water source.
It is a surname of English origin that means someone peaceful or a peaceful king or ruler. Clayton Fredericks and Lucinda Fredericks are some of its notable name bearers.
Fuentes translates to fountains in Spanish. Adrián Fuentes, a Spanish soccer player, is one of its notable names.
When traced back to its origin, García can be the Spanish derivation of the German word gerald meaning the “dominion of spear.” Eric García, a footballer from Spain, is one of its famous name bearers.
The surname means a person who achieves victory. Karina Galvez is one of its name bearers.
It refers to a person who is strong, energetic, and powerful.
Hernández means son of Hernando, which is a modified version of Fernando meaning a courageous voyager.
Ibarra translates to a valley in Basque. Abelardo Colomé Ibarra was former vice president of The Council of the State of Cuba.
Iglesias is the Spanish word for churches. Enrique Iglesias and Gabriel Iglesias are some of its famous name bearers.
It is the last name with a literal meaning, child. It was traditionally used for the primogenital children of the royal families of Spain.
It is a family name denoting garden in French.
One of the most famous surnames of Cuba, Labrada means land used for farming or tilling.
Lago refers to a person living on the lakeside.
It is a family name meaning lion. Adrianne León and Gabriella Leon are some of its famous name bearers.
Ledesma is a name of Spanish origin that means big or wide.
A Cuban last name means a person who is responsible for the regulation of the law.
López means “son of Lope. Lope is derived from the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf. Steven López and Jennifer Lopez are some of its notable name bearers.
Madera in Spanish means wood.
Martinez translates to the son of Martin, who is believed to be the Roman God of war. Mayre Martinez and Olivier Martinez are some of its famous name bearers.
Marin means a person from the sea. Angel Marin is one of the former vice presidents of Bulgaria.
It’s a Spanish name for a person who works with stones for a living.
Matos refers to someone who lives in a place filled with tall shrubs.
Medina means “city” in Arabic that also happens to be the name of a city in Saudi Arabia. Alberto Medina, Adonis Medina, and Gabriel Medina are some of the famous name bearers.
Mendez refers to the “son of Mendo.” Mendo is an Albanian word meaning “to think.” Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez is the first Cuban citizen to have traveled to Earth orbit.
Related to some of the most notable people, The Mirabal sisters, Mirabal means someone surveying over a valley.
Miranda refers to a person or a place “deserving of acclaim.” Jimmy Miranda was a WWE legend who proposed the idea of the Jimmy Miranda Award.
Mijares means a piece of land for growing cereal or millet.
Montalván refers to the white alps. Luis Carlos Montalvan was an author who wrote many books advocating people on the use of service dogs.
Mora in Spanish refers to the fruit blackberry.
Nuñez can mean grandfather or a landholder.
It is derived from the Portuguese word for work, obraguem. Álvaro Obregón was the 46th President of Mexico.
Ojeda is a surname of Spanish origin that means a pile of leaves.
The last name denotes the bird, black grouse. Kenny Ortega, Fernando Ortega, and Jenna Ortega are some of its famous name bearers.
Otero means height in Spanish and can mean someone living at a higher altitude.
Pacheco means someone noble. It is believed to have been named after Vivio Pacieco, who fought in the Iberian Peninsula.
Pérez in Spanish refers to the “son of pedro,” where pedro is “peter” in English and means stone.
Pereira in Portuguese refers to a pear tree or plantation of pear trees.
Traditionally used to refer to edible fruit, Pomares is used for apples.
It is a last name of Spanish origin, meaning a house in the countryside.
Reyes in Spanish means kings but can also translate to “people of royalty.”
Revuelta translates to revolt in Spanish. It was used as an honorary title for those who had defeated the enemies.
Derived from the word rivera, Rivas means seashore or bank of a river.
It is derived from the Spanish word rio, meaning river.
Rojas is derived from the Spanish word Rojo, which denotes the color red.
Yet another popular Cuban surname, Rodríguez means the son of Rodrigo. Rodrigo refers to someone who is in power. Alex Rodriguez and Gina Rodriguez are some of its notable name bearers.
Roque is a Cuban last name that means rock in Catalan.
It is a last name of Spanish origin with the literal reference to the Blessed Saint Mary.
Santana refers to Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary. Carlos Santana is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
It is a last name of Galician origin, Saavedra, means an ancient hall. José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is the serving president of Nicaragua.
The surname Sarduy has the literal meaning, trees of apple. Maydenia Sarduy and Severo Sarduy are some of its notable name bearers.
Sevilla, the last name of Spanish origin, means valley.
This last name refers to a wood-grown land or a land filled with woods.
Suarez refers to “Suero’s son.” It is derived from the Latin word Suerius, meaning a person working in sugar production.
The last name of Catalan origin, Tamayo, means cattle feed or fodder. Gustavo Tamayo, an ophthalmologist from Columbia, developed the surgical technique Contoured Ablation Patterns (CAP).
Torres in Portuguese translates to tower.
Valverde refers to a green valley. Amelia Valverde, Federico Valverde, and María Valverde are some of its notable name bearers.
Derived from the Spanish word valladar, which refers to a barrier or a stockade.
Varona likely denotes a woman with courage.
Vega means a person living in the field, pasture, or grassland. Paulina Vega Holds the title of Miss Universe 2014.
A surname of Spanish origin, where “villa” means a house or a farmstead and “nueva” means new. Eduar Villanueva, Alejandro Villanueva, and Alex Villanueva are some of its notable name bearers.
Vives in Latin is a word of blessing, meaning “may you live long.”
It is derived from the Basque word zai, meaning guard or watchman.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of last names are there in Cuba?
Cuban last names have varied origins influenced by European last names. Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese surnames are common among Cubans.
2. How do last names work in Cuba?
Cuban surnames contain both father and mother’s surnames. The names may or may not be separated by a hyphen.
3. Why are Cuban surnames so long?
The Cuban surnames are often long due to using two last names. The placement of the mother’s and father’s surnames might vary based on the origin of the name. While Portuguese may use the mother’s surname first, the Spanish place the father’s surname first (1).
Cuban last names are unique and reflect the country’s vibrant culture and heritage. Each surname has a meaning rooted in its glorious history. You can go through each surname in our list and its meaning to better understand Cuban naming culture. Selecting last names as first names is also a common trend. So check out these names to find the last name you want to use as the first name for your child. Remember, like your first name, your last name or surname is also a part of identity. Hence, knowing about a country’s last names is an important part of knowing their traditions and cultures.
Infographic: Cuban Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings
One of the largest islands of the Caribbean, Cuba, takes pride in its picturesque beaches, quality food, and friendly people. It also boasts about the different cultural richness that can be understood through their last names. So, in the following infographic, we bring you a list of Cuban last names to explore and understand their culture better.
- Spanish family names.