120 Cuban Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings

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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.

In This Article

120 Cuban Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings

1. Acosta

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.

2. Aguila

It is a surname of Spanish origin that translates to eagle and can also mean an arrogant and superior man.

3. Aldana

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.

4. Alfonso

It is a surname of German origin with a literal meaning of someone who is noble and ready.

5. Alliegro

It is an Italian origin surname that means to be happy or cheerful.

6. Alonso

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.

7. Álvarez

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.

8. Amoros

A beautiful name with a beautiful meaning, “someone who is filled with love.”

9. Amaral

It is derived from the Latin word “amarus” meaning bitter that is mostly used to define the taste of wine.

10. Arce

Arce, meaning stone, is derived from the Hispanic word Basque artze where “arri” means stone and tz (e) means abundance or plenty.

11. Arenas

It is a Spanish origin name, meaning sand.

12. Aragón

Taken after the first wife of King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Aragón means “valley.”

13. Armas

Armas means “arms” or “weapons.” Ana de Armas, a Cuban actress, is a famous bearer of the name.

14. Arroyo

A surname of Spanish origin, Arroyo, means a passage used as a water bed for irrigation.

15. Aparicio

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.

16. Ascencio

Believed to have been granted by the early Christians, Ascencio means ascension to a greater level or position. It denotes the ascension of Christ.

17. Avellaneda

It means “hazel forest” where “Avellana” means hazel and “eda” means a collection of things.

18. Avila

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.

19. Ayala

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.

20. Balmaseda

Also written as Valmaseda, Balmaseda means a valley of vineyards.

21. Bartelemi

Bartelemi is a name of French origin, meaning someone with a bounty of the land.

22. Basílio

Basilio, meaning someone belonging to the royalty, was customarily used for people born into an upper-class family.

23. Batista

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.

24. Bazán

Bazán is derived from the Basque word Baztan, which refers to a shrub commonly called a bramble.

25. Bernal

Bernal denotes someone who has the strength of a bear.

26. Beltrán

It is a derivative name from the German words “berht” meaning bright, and “hramn” meaning raven.

27. Betancourt

Believed to have been derived from Béthencourt, it means a farmyard.

28. Bello

The last name of Italian origin that directly translates to nice can mean handsome and attractive.

29. Benavídez

Derived from the Arabic name, Ben Avid, Benavídez means “the son of the servant of God.”

30. Benítez

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.

31. Blanco

Blanco is the Spanish word for the color white. Carlos Blanco is one of its famous name bearers.

32. Borges

Borges means someone hailing from a town.

33. Borja

Derived from the Arabic word burj, Borja means tower.

34. Castaneda

It means chestnuts. Carlos Castaneda was an American writer who wrote a sequence of books about shamanism training.

35. Castilla

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.

36. Cabrera

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.

37. Caballero

Derived from the Latin word caballarius, it means a soldier on a horse.

38. Calderín

Derivative includes caldera of Asturian origin. This can mean a cauldron or crater.

39. Cañizares

It means a person who lives by the tall grass. Alejandro Cañizares, and Claude R. Canizares are some of the name bearers.

40. Céspedes

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.

41. Cisnero

The surname sounds as beautiful as its meaning. Cisnero is derived from the Spanish word “cisnes” meaning swan.

42. Corzo

Corzo means deer and can also likely mean “someone shy.” Aldo Corzo is a football player who plays for the national team of Peru.

43. Coronado

It means “to be crowned” or “crowned.” Coronado is also the name of a city in California.

44. Cortina

The surname Cortina, meaning a garden or a vegetable farm, can be traced back to the places named “corte” in Italy.

45. Cuevas

Believed to have originated from the hilly border regions of Spain, Cuevas means “cave” or “caves.”

46. Delfín

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.

47. Destrade

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.

48. Despaigne

The meaning of the surname when broken down, denotes a person of Spain in French, where “de” means “of” and “spaigne” means “Spain.”

49. Delgado

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.”

52. Desnoes

Desnoes can refer to either walnut or someone from a walnut forest.

53. Diaz

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.

protip_icon Trivia
Joey Diaz is Cuban-born American actor and comedian, known for his roles in Spider-Man 2, Maron, and The Bronx Bull, to name a few.

54. Escalante

Derived from the Spanish word “escala,” Escalante means ladder and means a mountain with terraced farming.

55. Fajardo

Believed to have originated from the province of Galicia, Fajardo refers to someone hailing from that province.

56. Falcón

Falcón can refer to a falcon or someone who raises falcons.

57. Ferrer

Ferrer in Latin refers to a blacksmith or a person who works with iron.

58. Fernández

It is a Spanish origin surname that shares its meaning with the last name, Hernández. Fernández means a courageous voyager.

59. Fonseca

Derived from the word fonte seca, Fonseca means a dried-up spring or a dried water source.

60. Fredrick

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.

61. Fuentes

Fuentes translates to fountains in Spanish. Adrián Fuentes, a Spanish soccer player, is one of its notable names.

62. García

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.

protip_icon Quick fact
A famous person bearing the name is Andy García, a Cuban-born American actor, director, and musician. He is known for his memorable roles in The Untouchables, Ocean’s Eleven, The Godfather III and Internal Affairs, to name a few.

63. Galves

The surname means a person who achieves victory. Karina Galvez is one of its name bearers.

64. Galiardo

It refers to a person who is strong, energetic, and powerful.

65. Hernández

Hernández means son of Hernando, which is a modified version of Fernando meaning a courageous voyager.

66. Ibarra

Ibarra translates to a valley in Basque. Abelardo Colomé Ibarra was former vice president of The Council of the State of Cuba.

67. Iglesias

Iglesias is the Spanish word for churches. Enrique Iglesias and Gabriel Iglesias are some of its famous name bearers.

68. Infante

It is the last name with a literal meaning, child. It was traditionally used for the primogenital children of the royal families of Spain.

69. Jardinez

It is a family name denoting garden in French.

70. Labrada

One of the most famous surnames of Cuba, Labrada means land used for farming or tilling.

71. Lago

Lago refers to a person living on the lakeside.

72. León

It is a family name meaning lion. Adrianne León and Gabriella Leon are some of its famous name bearers.

73. Ledesma

Ledesma is a name of Spanish origin that means big or wide.

74. Leyva

A Cuban last name means a person who is responsible for the regulation of the law.

75. López

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.

76. Madera

Madera in Spanish means wood.

77. Martinez

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.

78. Marin

Marin means a person from the sea. Angel Marin is one of the former vice presidents of Bulgaria.

79. Marrero

It’s a Spanish name for a person who works with stones for a living.

80. Matos

Matos refers to someone who lives in a place filled with tall shrubs.

81. Medina

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.

82. Mendez

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.

83. Mirabal

Related to some of the most notable people, The Mirabal sisters, Mirabal means someone surveying over a valley.

84. Miranda

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.

85. Mijares

Mijares means a piece of land for growing cereal or millet.

86. Montalván

Montalván refers to the white alps. Luis Carlos Montalvan was an author who wrote many books advocating people on the use of service dogs.

87. Mora

Mora in Spanish refers to the fruit blackberry.

88. Nuñez

Nuñez can mean grandfather or a landholder.

89. Obregon

It is derived from the Portuguese word for work, obraguem. Álvaro Obregón was the 46th President of Mexico.

90. Ojeda

Ojeda is a surname of Spanish origin that means a pile of leaves.

91. Ortega

The last name denotes the bird, black grouse. Kenny Ortega, Fernando Ortega, and Jenna Ortega are some of its famous name bearers.

92. Otero

Otero means height in Spanish and can mean someone living at a higher altitude.

93. Pacheco

Pacheco means someone noble. It is believed to have been named after Vivio Pacieco, who fought in the Iberian Peninsula.

94. Pérez

Pérez in Spanish refers to the “son of pedro,” where pedro is “peter” in English and means stone.

95. Pereira

Pereira in Portuguese refers to a pear tree or plantation of pear trees.

96. Pomares

Traditionally used to refer to edible fruit, Pomares is used for apples.

97. Quintana

It is a last name of Spanish origin, meaning a house in the countryside.

98. Reyes

Reyes in Spanish means kings but can also translate to “people of royalty.”

99. Revuelta

Revuelta translates to revolt in Spanish. It was used as an honorary title for those who had defeated the enemies.

100. Rivas

Derived from the word rivera, Rivas means seashore or bank of a river.

101. Rios

It is derived from the Spanish word rio, meaning river.

102. Rojas

Rojas is derived from the Spanish word Rojo, which denotes the color red.

103. Rodríguez

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.

104. Roque

Roque is a Cuban last name that means rock in Catalan.

105. Santamaría

It is a last name of Spanish origin with the literal reference to the Blessed Saint Mary.

106. Santana

Santana refers to Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary. Carlos Santana is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

107. Saavedra

It is a last name of Galician origin, Saavedra, means an ancient hall. José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is the serving president of Nicaragua.

108. Sarduy

The surname Sarduy has the literal meaning, trees of apple. Maydenia Sarduy and Severo Sarduy are some of its notable name bearers.

109. Sevilla

Sevilla, the last name of Spanish origin, means valley.

110. Silveira/Silvela

This last name refers to a wood-grown land or a land filled with woods.

111. Suarez

Suarez refers to “Suero’s son.” It is derived from the Latin word Suerius, meaning a person working in sugar production.

112. Tamayo

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).

113. Torres

Torres in Portuguese translates to tower.

114. Valverde

Valverde refers to a green valley. Amelia Valverde, Federico Valverde, and María Valverde are some of its notable name bearers.

115. Valladares

Derived from the Spanish word valladar, which refers to a barrier or a stockade.

116. Varona

Varona likely denotes a woman with courage.

117. Vega

Vega means a person living in the field, pasture, or grassland. Paulina Vega Holds the title of Miss Universe 2014.

118. Villanueva

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.

119. Vives

Vives in Latin is a word of blessing, meaning “may you live long.”

120. Zayas

It is derived from the Basque word zai, meaning guard or watchman.

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

cuban last names_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

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.

cuban last names with meanings (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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Cuban last names have interesting stories behind them! Discover the fascinating meanings and histories behind Cuban last names. Learn about the origins of your family name and its unique story.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Spanish family names.
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