What Are Traditions for Naming Mexican Boys?


Quick Answer

Mexican parents traditionally give their boys two forenames; certain combinations such as José Luis and Miguel Ángel are so common that children are called by both names. Mexican children receive one surname from their father and one from their mother.

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What Are Traditions for Naming Mexican Boys?
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Full Answer

Mexican naming tradition derives from Spanish naming, where José was traditionally the most common male name. José derives from the Spanish name for the human father of Jesus Christ. In the past, José María was a common combination, reflecting the names of both of Jesus Christ's parents. However, the most common male name in Mexico in 2014 was José Luis. Luis was popularized in the Spanish language after King Luis came to power in Spain in the 1700s.

Many popular traditional names in Mexico derive from Bible characters. One notable example is Miguel Ángel, which refers to the Biblical archangel, although it is also the translation of Michelangelo, a famous Renaissance painter. Other examples of names from a Biblical source include Juan, Jesús and Pedro.

Other traditional names in Mexico derive from the names of saints and other historical figures. Francisco derives from St. Francis of Assisi. Antonio was popularized because of St. Anthony the Great and St. Anthony of Padua, Portugal.

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