100 Dominican Last Names With Meanings And History

A beach in the Dominican Republic

Authors have a lot to think about before deciding on a character.

The name of the character is arguably the most important. Your character’s name needs to match their personality to have an impact on readers.

If you’re thinking of giving your character a surname from the Dominican Republic, our list of Dominican last names has multiple options for you. There are about 121,510 surnames in the Dominican Republic, inspired by Spanish names, history, the Bible, and even some American surnames. People in the Dominican Republic typically carry their father’s and mother’s family names, retaining their original family names even after marriage.    

Check out our Dominican last names list for inspiration for your next character.

For more name inspiration take a look at these Arabic names and these Scottish names.

Popular Dominican Last Names

Choose a name from this list of the most well known Dominican last names for your next character.  

1. Alvarez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘son of Alvaro’, this last name is from the name of the Father.

2. Batista (Greek origin), meaning ‘to baptize’, to honor John the Baptist.

3. Cabrera (Spanish origin), meaning ‘goat herd’, derived from Dominican Republic’s small northeastern town.

4. Castillo (Spanish origin), means a ‘castle worker or dweller’, derived from the Santander mountains.

5. Cruz (Latin origin), means ‘someone dwelling near a cross’, derived from the Christian devotional symbol.  

6. Delgado (Portuguese/Spanish origin), meaning ‘slender’, this last name is derived from Latin word for dainty.

7. De Los Santos (Latin origin), meaning ‘consecrated to God’, derived from Catholicism.    

8. Diaz (Spanish origin), meaning ‘Son of Diego’, an old fashioned male name, common among last names from Spain and Portugal.    

9. Fuentes (French origin), meaning ‘spring dweller’, derived from Latin word for jet of water.

10. Guerrero (Spanish origin), meaning ‘warrior’, this last name is derived from the names of Mexican towns and cities.

11. Guzman (Spanish origin), meaning ‘good man’, derived from Visigoth.  

12. Herrera (Spanish origin), meaning ‘a place for making ironwork’, originates from the Villa of Pedraza.

13. Matos (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘bush dweller’, derived from ‘matar’ (Latin).

14. Nadal (French origin), meaning ‘Christmas’, rooted in Christian belief system.

15. Ortiz (Spanish origin), meaning ‘the fortunate’, derived from son of Ordono.

16. Peña (Spanish origin), meaning ‘someone who dwells near large rock’, this last name is derived from the Mena valley.

17. Perez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘Son of Pedro’, a form of rock.  

18. Polanco (Spanish origin), meaning ‘a place of several haunches’, this last name originates from the Polanco municipality.

19. Ramirez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘Son of Ramiro’, denotes a wise protector of Visigoth.

20. Reyes (English origin), a ‘variation of Ray’, derived from someone playing the role of King in a pageant.

21. Ruiz (Spanish origin), meaning ‘son of Ruy’, derived from Germanic Roderick (renowned power).

22. Sanchez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘Son of Sancho’, derived from “sanctum” meaning holy.

23. Santana (Spanish/Portuguese origin), means ‘someone from Saint Ana’, Catholic origin referring to the Virgin Mary.

24. Santos (Portuguese/Spanish origin), meaning ‘of the saints’, derived from the holy one.

25. Soto (Spanish origin), meaning ‘forest dweller’, this last name is derived from El Soto.      

Unique Dominican Last Names

Dominican musican men playing trumpets.

Let your character stand out by choosing a surname from these unique Dominican names.  

26. Acosta (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘seacoast dweller’, derived from Spanish ‘Costilla’ which means wealth.

27. Alba (Latin origin), meaning ‘white’, it translates to sunrise in Italian and Spanish.

28. Cepeda (Spanish origin), meaning ‘someone from a place with abounding heath.’  

29. Contreras (Latin origin), meaning ‘coming from Contreras, Castile’, village close to Burgos.  

30. Duran (French origin), meaning ‘lasting’, from the place, Durran.  

31. Estevez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘son of Stephen’, this last name denotes rich family heritage.  

32. Fortuna (Italian origin), meaning ‘good fortune’, a name for foundlings.

33. Garrido (Arabic origin), meaning ‘neat’, from the Sos village near Zaragoza.

34. Guzmán (Spanish origin), meaning ‘nobleman’, derived from the Guzmán village.

35. Lugo (Spanish origin), meaning ‘place of light’, this last name is derived from the Celtic God.  

36. Marrero (Spanish origin), meaning ‘stone cutter’, one form of ‘marrear’.  

37. Mena (Latin origin), meaning ‘battlement merlons’, derived from the Roman Goddess.  

38. Mora (Spanish origin), meaning ‘moor dweller’, derived from the Toledo province.  

39. Morales (Spanish origin), meaning ‘one who lives near a blackberry or mulberry tree’, refers to Spanish towns.  

40. Ocon (French origin), meaning ‘someone living on the street of village corner’, this is a habitational last name for people from La Rioja Province’s Ocon region.  

41. Pascual (Latin origin), meaning ‘food’, honors the Hebrew feast and family tradition nearing Easter.

42. Pichardo (French origin), meaning ‘one from France’s Picardy district’, refers to the historical region of France.  

43. Quezada (Spanish origin), meaning ‘command’, derived from Santander.

44. Reynoso (Spanish origin), meaning ‘a glorious realm’, named after a village in Bribiesca, Burgos.

45. Roa (Spanish origin), meaning ‘wheel’, refers to the Burgos village.

46. Soriano (Spanish origin), meaning ‘from the Soria province.’

47. Tadeo (Greek origin) meaning ‘heart’, this last name is derived from the word, Thaddaios.    

48. Tapia (Spanish origin), meaning ‘place of cranberries’, derived from ‘toppa’ meaning ‘wall of mud.’    

49. Trinidad (Latin origin), meaning ‘holy trinity’, this surname derives from ‘Trinitas’ which refers to son of the descendant of Trinidad’.

50. Vallejo (Spanish origin), meaning ‘someone from a small valley’, derived from the Burgos mountains.

51. Zabala (Basque origin) meaning ‘flat plain’, this last name can be traced back to the knight, Lope Zavala.    

Common Dominican Last Names

Make your character more relatable by choosing from among these common surnames in the Dominican Republic.  

52. Adames (Spanish origin), meaning ‘son of Adam’, from our ancestors.

53. Aguilar (Spanish origin), meaning ‘coming from Aguilas’, derived from aquilare (Latin).

54. Alcantara (Latin origin), meaning ‘the bridge’, represents Spain’s Alcantara city.  

55. Bello (Spanish/Italian origin), meaning ‘beautiful’, this last name is derived from Latin ‘bellus.’  

56. Candella (Spanish origin), meaning ‘candle maker’, this surname is an occupational one originating from the word, Chandler.

57. De Leon (Spanish origin), meaning ‘of the lion’, a reference to the city of Leon.  

58. Diego (Latin origin), meaning ‘teaching’, this is among the common surnames derived from the word, Didacus.

59. Domingo (Latin origin), meaning ‘of the Lord’, this last name is derived from the word, ‘Dominicus.’

60. Elizondo (Spanish origin), meaning ‘someone who lives under or close to a church’, derived from the word, Eleiza of Basque origin.

61. Garcia (Basque origin), meaning a ‘flame of fire’, the French zone’s native name.

62. Gil (German origin), meaning ‘protected one.’

63. Gutierrez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘son of Gutierre’, which translates into ‘he who rules’.

64. Henriquez (Iberian origin), meaning ‘son of Henry’, originates from the Suebian and Visigothic invasions of Siberia.  

65. Juarez (Latin origin), meaning ‘an army’, this surname is the regional variation of Suárez.

66. Manuel (Hebrew origin), meaning ‘God is with us’, this last name is derived from Immanuel and has religious significance.

67. Noa (Hebrew origin), meaning ‘wanderer’ or ‘comfort’, originally used to represent movement, this surname traces back to the Old Testament.  

68. Nunez (Latin origin), meaning ‘ninth’, this last name has been derived from Nonus.

69. Pinto (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese origin), translates into ‘colorful’ or ‘painted’, this surname is derived from the Madrid place called Pinto.

70. Rojas (Latin origin), meaning ‘red-colored hair’, originates in Santander.

71. Torres (Portuguese/Spanish origin), meaning ‘tower dweller’, this last name is derived from the place called Torres.      

72. Valdez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘brave’, derived from son of Baldo.

73. Vargas (Spanish origin), meaning ‘from a steep hill’, derived from a Santander village.

74. Vasquez (Basque origin), meaning ‘a shepherd’, derived from Castile’s first Vazquez family.

75. Vega (Spanish origin), meaning ‘plain dweller’, a reference to La Vega.

76. Villar (Spanish origin), meaning ‘a place for several country homes’, derived from ‘villa’.    

77. Yanez (Hebrew origin), meaning ‘son of Juan’ or ‘the one who is favored by Jehovah’, this last name draws biblical inspiration.

Ancient Dominican Last Names

Dominican Republics' official flag.

Draw inspiration from the past by selecting from one of these ancient Dominican last names.

78. Abreu (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘to reward’, this surname is derived from the noble family inhabiting northern Portugal.

79. Arias (Spanish origin), meaning ‘song’, this last name is derived from Suevian kings.

80. Aquino (Italian origin), meaning ‘sourced from the water’, derived from a noble Italian house.

81. Castro (Latin origin), meaning ‘fortification’, area landmark.

82. Chavez (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘keys’, derived from town of Chaves.

83. De la Cruz (Spanish origin), meaning ‘of the cross’, Roman torture instrument.

84. Flores (Spanish origin), meaning ‘flower’, derived from 12th century Spain.  

85. Gomez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘man’, derived from the Visigothic era.

86. Gonzalez (Spanish origin), means the ‘worker in metal ready for battle’, derived from the founder of Castile.

87. Hernandez (Spanish origin), means a ‘bold voyager’, Son of Hernando, used during the Visigoth era in the Castile Kingdom.

88. Lopez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘son of Lope (wolf)’, first name in Spain’s medieval era.

89. Martinez (Roman origin), meaning ‘Son of Martin’, derived from the Roman God of fertility and war, Mars.        

90. Mendez (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘son of Mendo’, derived from Suebian and Visigothic invasion of Siberia.

91. Peralta (Spanish origin), meaning ‘high rock dweller’, this last name is derived from the village in Navarre.

92. Pimentel (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘pepper’, from the first Count of Benavente, Rodrigo Alfonso Pimental.  

93. Ramos (Spanish origin), meaning ‘palms’ referring to the Christian feast, Palm Sunday.

94. Rivera (Spanish origin), meaning ‘riverbank’, derived from the Lord of the Castle of Rivera in 1200s.

95. Rodriguez (Spanish origin), meaning ‘Son of Rodrigo’ (famous power), named after Roderic, the final Visigothic King.

96. Romero (Latin origin), meaning ‘a pilgrim’, this last name refers to someone coming from Rome.      

97. Salazar (Spanish origin), meaning ‘manor house’, originating from people swelling near St. Lazar’s sacred places.  

98. Serrano (Spanish origin), meaning ‘mountain ridge dweller’, Latin derived originating in Leon.  

99. Sosa (Portuguese origin), meaning ‘someone from Sousa’, traces back to a Visigoth noble.

100. Tejeda (Spanish origin), meaning ‘yew and linden tree’, denotes noble lineage that dates back to 1531.

Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for names then why not take a look at these Russian boys' names, or for something different take a look at these Norwegian names for girls.


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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