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Last names on class lists


Senior Member
I am trying to figure out some of the new kiddos on my class list.

Many are hispanic and have both mom and dad's last names. I know this is traditional.

How do I list it? Betty Mom Dad or Betty Dad Mom?

When my list says Chavez Hernandez,Betty. Does that mean I write Betty Chavez Hernandez or the other way?

When learning to write last names, do you have kids use both names? (I have had some kids just use the last of the names and write that, I have had a parent get mad because I did it this way, and I feel like I can't win!)

Thanks for your help!


Senior Member

I make the list last last name first, i.e. Hernandez, Betty
Then I ask the kid what she prefers and change it if I need to.


Senior Member
Spanish naming customs are historical traditions for naming children practised in Spain. According to these customs, a person's name consists of a given name (simple or composite) followed by two family names (surnames). The first surname is usually the father's first surname, and the second the mother's first surname.
IMHO, write the name the way the family does. Unless your office screwed with it, it would be Betty Chavez Hernandez. And just because the teacher the year before did it one way, it may not be correct. I always found it best to ask the parents of young children how they would like me to write their child's name and ask older kids themselves. You may find you have a BeeBee Chavez.


Senior Member
I did a lot of research on this a couple of years ago, and here is how I understand it (which doesn't mean it's correct <!--giggle-->)

Traditional Spanish names contain two last names: the first is the paternal surname and the second is the maternal surname. Generally, if a person is ok with dropping one of the surnames, it will be the maternal (second) surname that is dropped. However, this is not a hard and fast rule as some families choose to do different things in the name of assimilation.

I would say if you're labeling things before school, it's safer to use both surnames. If you have to drop one, drop the final one. If you're teaching students to write their own names, ask them if they use both surnames.


Senior Member
My granddaughter....

She is Mila (son's last name) (Mom's maiden name). Her name on everything "unofficial" is just Mila (son's last name). My DIL is (not her real name)"Maria" (son's last name) (maiden name). Before she was married, she was "Maria" (maiden name) (mom's maiden name). The second surname is just honorary. For Betty, It would be Betty Chavez Hernandez.


Senior Member
Thank you everyone...Isn't it funny that by the time the year is over it seems like a kid could be nothing but what you now know!

Happy list making.

Peaches Pears

Senior Member
Ask each family.

When I married I simply added DH's name after mine.
I do not hyphenate but I don't get bent out of shape if others hyphenate my names.
I also do not get bent out of shape if people take a bit of time to figure my name out. I joke "my name is 'A B C' or any combination there of."
Truth is, after you have kids you are usually known as "D, E, F's Mom". ;)

Alphabetizing presents some interesting experiences for me. Sometimes I am under B, sometimes under C. It seems quite obvious to me that it should be under B since that is the first part of my last name but whatever.


Senior Member
I work at a school with 20+ languages and a large refugee population. The class lists of names are AMAZING!
At our school the general rule is that anything official always includes the full last name. This includes report cards, progress reports, any official school communication, etc.
Desk tags include the full last name (except some teachers in upper grades who use last initial - this isn't a school policy) because in general, teachers feel it is important that students are able to write and say their actual/legal name. Often those kids go by first name and first last-name, and I wouldn't require them to always write out their entire last name in those cases (once they know how to do it), but they should know what their name is, what it looks like, and how to spell it.