in a Family Name?
What is your name, using the Spanish custom?
When a woman gets married, she drops her mother's last name and replaces it with her apellido de casada (the apellido paterno of her new husband). Therefore, my name changed from Karina Romero Vazquez to Karina Romero de Avila. In English, you would call "Avila" my married name. In Spanish, we call this the apellido de casada.
I married Ricardo Avila and became:
The "de" indicates that I'm now married to Señor Avila. If a woman's full name does not have "de" between the apellidos (last names) then that woman is not married.
Now, when my husband got married he didn't change his name at all. The idea is that the father's name is always kept within the next generación (generation).
Do you think this is confusing? Let's see if you can figure out the full names of our two children. I will give you their first names, Daniel and Zamara.
1) Daniel Avila Romero
2) Daniel Romero Avila
3) Daniel Romero de Avila
4) Zamara Romero de Avila
5) Zamara Romero Avila
6) Zamara Avila Romero
If you guessed Daniel Avila Romero and Zamara Avila Romero, you answered correctly! Now try to imagine what would happen if Daniel got married to someone by the name of Maria Sanchez Juarez. What would Daniel's name be? How would you write Zamara's name if she got married to someone by the name of Juan Hernandez Lopez?
You guessed it! Daniel's name would not change at all, but Zamara's name now would be Zamara Avila de Hernandez.
We always use our full names in formal situations. Once people are familiar, we sometimes use only two names. When this is done, we drop their apellido materno and use only their nombre y apellido paterno (first name and father's last name). Married woman would use their nombre y apellido de casada (first name and married name).
Just like there are very common names in the U.S. and Canada, some popular names in Mexico for las niñas (girls) are Maria and Lupita. For los niños (boys) Juan and Jose/Pepe. Common apellidos (last names) are Martinez and Hernandez.
In Mexico, it is common for families to be very large because of all the different generations living under one roof. Even after I got married, I live in the same house as my mamá (mother) and papá (father). In this photo you can see the three generations represented in the Romero family.