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The South American Last Name

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

Every time someone sees my full name, they get confused. It is just a normal name to me, but to other people, it is mind blowing. Here in America, it starts with your first name, middle name, (if it applies to you), and then your father’s last name. So, most Americans might think that that's how it works everywhere, but that’s not true. I am originally from South America, and my name is unique here. I have my first name(Francieli), my father’s last name(Casco), and my mother’s last name(Pereira). In South America, naming a child is like that. You will always have your mom’s last name last. Since 1999, the order of the surnames in a family is decided when registering the first child. Ancestors usually had two surnames, so the registration almost always reflects that tradition. Most South Americans have three to five names. It's a very unique way to name a child. When people move to the US, they might switch around their two last names to their mother’s last name then their father’s last name. I never really put my mind around that and now when people ask me, it's like a little fun fact to tell. It is nice the way they do it because the last names from the two families will never get lost.

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