Colombian Last Names

Updated May 25, 2022

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Colombia is primarily a Spanish-speaking country in South America; therefore, a majority of the surnames in the country are from the Spanish language. Like other cultures, Colombian last names have been influenced by occupations and topographical locations. There are many patronymic last names as well. 

While the majority of Colombian last names are derived from Spanish there are some that stem from other languages as well. If you are of Colombian descent and are looking for the meaning of your last name, check out our list of Colombian last names and meanings. 

Popular Colombian Names of  Spanish Origin 

Many common Spanish last names found worldwide are also popular in Colombia. 

  1. Aguilar - Spanish. Haunt of Eagles. 
  2. Cabrera - Spanish. Place of goats. 
  3. Cardenas - Spanish. Bluish-purple. Named for the thistle plant that grows in Spain's Almeria and Logrono regions. 
  4. Correa - Spanish. Belt. It is possible a name with Jewish origins. 
  5. Cortes - Spanish. Courteous. It can also be spelled, Cortez.
  6. Garcia - the Spanish version of the German name Gerald. It is the most common daily name in the region, with 22% of the population having the name.
  7. Guerrero - Spanish. Warrior. 
  8. Guzman - Spanish. Good man. 
  9. Herrera - Spanish. Iron smith. Blacksmith. 
  10. Iglesias - Spanish. Church.
  11. Lozano - This Hispanic family name means an elegant or haughty person. 
  12. Mendez - Spanish. Cleverness. 
  13. Molina - A Hispanic name that means the last belongs to the mill.
  14. Morales - Spanish. Mulberry tree. 
  15. Peña - Spanish. Rock or cliff. 
  16. Leon - A Spanish name given to landowners in Leon and possibly the people who worked the land. 
  17. Moreno - Spanish. A Sephardic Jewish name was first used as a nickname for a dark-haired person. 
  18. Murillo - Spanish. Wall or boundary.
  19. Nunez - Spanish. Son of Nuno. 
  20. Rojas - Spanish. Red. 
  21. Suarez - Spanish. Swineherd. 
  22. Torres - Spanish. Towers. Possibly the name for someone who resided near a castle.
  23. Vargas - Spanish. From the pasture.
  24. Velasco - Spanish. Crow. 
  25. Zapata - Spanish. Half-boot. An occupational name that was given to cobblers. 

Patronymic Colombian Surnames

Patronymic names are names derived from the name of the father. In Spanish, these names usually have an -az, -ez, iz, or -oz suffix.

  1. Alvarez - German. This name comes from Old German for Son of Alvaro.
  2. Diaz - Spanish. Son of Diego.
  3. Fernandez - Spanish. Son of Fernando.
  4. Gomez - Spanish. Son of Gome.
  5. Gonzalez - Spanish. Son of Gonzalo. A derivative of the Latin name Gundisalvus.
  6. Gutierrez - Spanish. Son of Gutierre. 
  7. Hernandez - Spanish. Son of Hernando. 
  8. Lopez - Spanish. Son of Lope. 
  9. Martinez - Spanish. Son of Martin. It is the second most common name in Catalonia.
  10. Muñoz - Spanish. Son of Muno. 
  11. Ortiz - Spanish. Son of Orti. 
  12. Perez - Spanish. Son of Pedro. Pedro is the Spanish version of the Latin name Peter which means rock!
  13. Rodriguez - Spanish. Son of Rodrigo. Rodrigo comes from the German name Roderic meaning famous or influential. 
  14. Ruiz - Spanish. Son of Roy. 
  15. Sanchez - Spanish. Son of Sancto. 

Colombian Last Names Influenced by Other Languages 

Because of Spain’s location in Europe, other languages and cultures have influenced some popular last names. A handful of these last names made their way over the ocean from Spain to Colombia. 

  1. Castro - Iberian. Fort or castle. 
  2. Cano - Kurdish. Life. It is also a Spanish/Portuguese name that means old, white or grey hair, 
  3. Delgado - Portuguese. Thin or slender. It was used as a nickname. 
  4. Giraldo - Old German. Ruler of the spear.
  5. Jimenez - Iberian/Basque. Son of Jimeno. 
  6. Medina - Arabic. City of the prophet. It is often used as a girl’s name in Islamic countries. 
  7. Mendoza - Basque. Cold mountain. 
  8. Montoya - Basque. If you love Princess Bride, you’ll be familiar with the name Montoya. But did you know it means valley and hills?
  9. Ramirez - German. Son of Ramiro.
  10. Rios - Portuguese. From the Rio Tinto river. 
  11. Rivera - Italian. Riverbank. 
  12. Romero - Italian. This name refers to a person who took a religious pilgrimage to Rome. 
  13. Santos - Portuguese. Saintly or holy.
  14. Valencia - Latin. Strong and healthy.
  15. Vega - Arabic. Often found on lists of girl’s baby names, it means falling star. It also means swooping eagle or descending eagle. 


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L. Elizabeth Forry

About L. Elizabeth Forry

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with 15 years of classroom… Read more