What is the origin of the last name Barrera?

The last name Barrera has its origins in Spanish, specifically deriving from the Arabic word "bara'r" meaning "enemy" or "gatekeeper." It is believed to have been originally used to describe someone who guarded a fortress or acted as a barrier against enemies. Over time, it evolved into a hereditary surname and can be found throughout Spain and Latin America, carrying a rich history of familial and cultural significance.

Countries of origin for the last name Barrera

The last name Barrera traces its origins to Spain, specifically the region of Catalonia. It is a patronymic surname, meaning that it was derived from a male ancestor’s given name. In this case, the name Barrera is thought to have originated from the given name Varrón.

As a patronymic name, Barrera signifies “son of Varrón” or “descendant of Varrón.” The addition of the suffix -era is a common way of forming patronymic surnames in the Spanish language.

While the exact meaning of the name Varrón is uncertain, it is believed to have derived from the Latin name Varro. Varro was a Roman cognomen, or a third name used to distinguish individuals within families, rather than a given name. It is thought to have been derived from the Latin word “varrus,” meaning “bent” or “crooked.”

Over time, the surname Barrera spread beyond its original place of origin in Catalonia and became more widely distributed across Spain. This dispersion might have been facilitated by factors such as migration, marriage alliances, and political and social changes.

During the period of Spanish colonization, which began with Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the Americas in the late 15th century, Barrera may have been among the surnames brought to the New World by Spanish colonizers. This could explain its presence in various Spanish-speaking countries, including Mexico and countries in Central and South America.

Today, the surname Barrera is found not only in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries but also among Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. It is likely that some individuals with the last name Barrera in the US are descendants of Spanish colonizers or immigrants from Spain or Latin America.

Interesting facts about the last name Barrera

  • The surname Barrera is of Spanish origin.
  • It is derived from the word “barrera,” meaning “barrier” or “obstacle” in Spanish.
  • The name Barrera is a fairly common surname in Spanish-speaking countries, especially in Spain, Mexico, and Colombia.
  • While it is primarily a Spanish surname, it can also be found in other countries with Spanish influence, such as the Philippines.
  • Historically, surnames like Barrera were often derived from the profession or occupation of an ancestor. In this case, it could have referred to someone who worked as a barrier-maker, gatekeeper, or someone who set up barriers or obstacles.
  • The surname Barrera may have also originated as a locational name, meaning it was derived from a specific place or geographical feature named Barrera.
  • Some notable people with the surname Barrera include Mexican professional boxer Marco Antonio Barrera and Colombian football player Fredy Barrera.
  • Variants of the surname Barrera exist in other languages, such as Barreira in Portuguese and Barrara in Italian.

Name Rank


There are around 60998 people with the last name Barrera in the US

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