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Hispano American naming customs may be different from the two-surname personal appellation practised in Spain.

Contents

Argentina

Despite Argentina being an Hispanophone nation, the social identity of most Argentines is registered to the birth records with only the apellido paterno (paternal surname); thus would the writer Jorge Luis Borges occasionally be referred to by his full name: Jorge Luis Borges Acevedo. Analogously, Honduras requires birth certificates recording two surnames. In Argentine culture, children occasionally are named with two, phonetically contrasting names whose combinations are pronounced differently; for example, the composite name Juan Román — correctly accented and spelled as Juan Román is pronounced as two words, whereas the closed spelling JuanRoman is pronounced as one word, a usage common to northern-most South America.

The Caribbean

Besides the Spanish naming customs, the countries at the Caribbean periphery, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela et al., also use foreign naming customs; thus the name Yesaidú (“Yes, I do") derived from English, and Adonis (derived from the Greek), and composite names such as Yolimar (Yolanda + Mario), Glorimar (Gloria + María), and Luyen (Lucía + Enrique).[1][2]

Venezuela

In August 2007, a draft law [3] by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council thus sought to limit the national Venezuelan Spanish naming custom:

Proyecto de Ley Orgánica del Registro Civil: Limitación a la inscripción de nombres Artículo 106. . . . no permitirán que . . . les coloquen nombres que los expongan al ridículo; sean extravagantes o de difícil pronunciación en el idioma oficial; contengan variantes familiares y coloquiales que denoten una identificación confusa o que generen dudas sobre la determinación del sexo. En estos casos, el registrador ofrecerá como referencia, un listado de los nombres y apellidos más comunes. . . . Quedan exceptuados de esta disposición los nombres de los niños, niñas o adolescentes de las etnias indígenas del país, así como los nombres de los hijos de los extranjeros. . . .”

Civil Registry Organic Law Project: Limitation upon the inscription of names Article 106 “. . . [the civil registrars] will not permit that . . . [parents] place names [upon their children] that expose them to ridicule; are extravagant or of difficult pronunciation in the official language; that contain familiar and colloquial variants that denote a confused identification or that generate doubts about the determination of the sex. In these cases, the registrar will offer, as reference, a listing of the most common names and surnames. . . . The names of boys, girls, or adolescents of the country’s indigenous ethnic groups, and the names of the children of foreigners, are excepted from this disposition. . . .”

In the event, popular complaint against the naming-custom-limiting Article 106 compelled the Venezuelan National Electoral Council to delete it from the Civil Registry Organic Law Project.[4]

The marital conjunction "de" (of)

Most Latin American Spanish naming traditionally presumed a wife’s assuming her husband’s apellido (his paternal surname) suffixed after her (maiden) first surname with the conjunction de (“of") — thus Ángela López Sáenz, as wife of Tomás Portillo Blanco, would become Ángela López de Portillo; the contemporary naming custom now practises a wife’s retaining her surname. This is more social than formal, because her full married-name (Ángela López Sáenz de Portillo), usually is a formal, documentary convention. Furthermore, custom provides her with ceremonial life and death wife-names, Ángela López, Sra. de Portillo (Ángela López, Wife of Portillo) wherein Sra. (señora, “Mrs”) connotes "wife"; and Ángela López Sáenz, vda. de Portillo (Ángela López Sáenz, Widow of Portillo), wherein vda. (viuda, “widow”) denotes widowhood.

Contemporarily, this Spanish naming custom practice is culturally perceived as an antique form of patriarchal sexism against women because the conjunction de implies chattel ownership, wife as personal property of the husband.

Spanish naming customs differ by country, but in Argentina, Eva Perón (Evita) and Isabel Perón (Isabelita), the second and third wives of Juan Perón (an ex-president), became politically important women by retaining the Perón surname, a political-brand-name, hence their exceptional one-surname usages without the proprietary, “wife”-connoting de.

References

  1. ^ Venezuela: Adiós Lenin. . . . and Other ‘Exotic’ Names, Humberto Márquez, IPS, 12 September 2007.
  2. ^ What's in a name? In Venezuela, just about anything, Simon Romero, International Herald Tribune, 7 January 2007
  3. ^ Proyecto de Ley Orgánica del Registro Civil

    Limitación a la inscripción de nombres Artículo 106 ... no permitirán que ... les coloquen nombres que los expongan al ridículo; sean extravagantes o de difícil pronunciación en el idioma oficial; contengan variantes familiares y coloquiales que denoten una identificación confusa o que generen dudas sobre la determinación del sexo. En estos casos, el registrador ofrecerá como referencia, un listado de los nombres y apellidos más comunes.... Quedan exceptuados de esta disposición los nombres de los niños, niñas o adolescentes de las etnias indígenas del país, así como los nombres de los hijos de los extranjeros....

  4. ^ No se incluirá en anteproyecto de ley de registro civil artículo relacionado con los nombres, National Electoral Council, 13 September 2007
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