Selected category ◊ Jabier Goitia ◊

• Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Hello! Your information is very helpful! I wonder if you might help me find the source of my surname, as it could be Basque. The surname is ‘Deocariza’. It seems to exist only in the Philippines. The family members are much taller than most other Filipinos. They have unique yet fair faces.

I cannot find any exact matches outside of the Philippines. I’ve found two similar surnames that are Basque. ‘De Ciriza’ and ‘De Oca’.

The family doesn’t look Latin except for me. Latinos speak to me in Spanish. They assume I am Latino. My mother is of Scottish descent. I think the Celtic cousin DNA brought forward recessive Basque features that are dormant in my Philippine family.

Can you help me decipher my surname?


A reader of our blog “Euskararen Jatorria”, asks us from the Philippines the possibility that his surname "Deocariza" could be of Basque origin, because he has exhausted other possibilities and none has given him a reliable result.

Our methodology is relatively simple; it is based on the revision of hundreds of thousands of toponymic names to determine if some of them may be directly related to the surnames or other descriptors that they offer us.

The Basque tradition frequently relates the family names with the name of the house or headquarters in which the family new members were born. That house, usually inherits the name of the place, therefore there is usually a relationship between the place name that describes a place, the house that was built on it and the family name.

For example, if a place was rich in pear trees ("madari" in Euskera), the place could be called
"Madariaga" and if a house was built there, it received the same name as the place and those who were born in it, would be called Madariaga although centuries later the pear trees had disappeared
and now there were pines.

Speaking in Spanish, the language of the empire, when a secretary referred to one of the sons of the solar called Madariaga, he inscribed him as Juan, Pedro or José De Madariaga, that is, the preposition "De", remained attached to the surname.

The same could happen with some men from the village of Ocáriz (nowadays it appears as Okáriz when being subject to Basque spelling).

Okáriz is a village with about twenty houses located in the "Llanada Alavesa", very close to
the Basque capital, Vitoria. There is also a very similar toponym, "Okarizti" in Gipuzkoa, whose final part, "arizti", means clearly, "oak forest".

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• Monday, May 04th, 2015

Europe has lived in a deep absentmindedness fourteen centuries since the fall of the Roman Empire until well inn the nineteenth century and has done it, dreaming that the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome were the basis of our history and our knowledge, while the powers were kneating a fat sauce to explain this mith to the people.

With the discoveries of Sir W. Jones on the apparent relationships of Latin and Greek to Sanskrit in a pre romantic environment, a Germanic “folk fever” began to search for racial and linguistic background who long yearned and in the last one hundred and seventy years has formed such a tangle of academic interests, publishers and even politicians and so many speeches, hypotheses and papers, which has come to recreate (if not invent) an entire estate of a kind of registry that they call “Indo-Germanic” roots ; roots that never existed, but that this “great cake” needs to stay inflated.

In this communication the outrages committed are denounced as much as the general abandonment of science and, above all, the systematic decision not to bear the Euskera in mind, the only language spoken before the dates for which they roam and the only way to explain placenames from the Azores to Kamthacka.

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• Friday, July 25th, 2014

In conclusion we can and must say that the hundreds of historical names that make up the only body of study of Iberian place names, nor are they representative neither express in their writing the original sounds and therefore are useless for research; that the real names of Iberian place are (after removing those that provide evidence of youth), are the nearly half million of minor names (and also mayor ones) that can be accessed through the National Geographic Institute.

We must also say that aside from the passions of those who see the Basque and the Ibero as sister languages ​​and in the same way, those who see that brotherhood, Euskera, even in the current situation where several hundred of roots are awaiting to be discovered, is able, it is agood tool to approach the Toponymy and most of Sciences and Arts and bring a little light on aspects that carry three thousand years in darkness.

Place Names of “Iberia”, “España” “Gallego” family located in Spain indicating the time zone and UTM coordinates


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• Sunday, July 20th, 2014

In addition to the merely physical, linguistic analysis making use of Proto Euskera, provides evidence that can change established paradigms that anyone questions, for example, when there, are studied and analyzed genetic given names, for example, ending “… briga” already mentioned by Roman writers as Celtic and abounded by our sages to the point that the iberian peninsula resulted divided by a diagonal Celtic / Not Celtic, such establishment fades when a multitude of finishes have names in “… briga” or in “… brika” and you can check that they are all in high (iga) and in many cases there are seen in aerial photography, signs of construction type fold, strong, speck or defense.

The explanation by means of the Euskera is elementary: “Iga” high, “Bir” indicate duplication, so the famous Celtic briga, is nothing more than a “bir iga” cacophonic “briga” which has the meaning of “double shoulder” rather than military and ranchers who spoke another language, knew it was a very effective construction both to deter potential attackers rustlers or to discourage predatory beasts of their calves.

What has come to mean, in short, is that the characteristic Iberian place names, is not that hundred of unpronounceable names of which only a few show a similar “not maked up” with their original or other names (Castulo-Kastillo, Saetavi-Xátib, Oria-Oria, Mentesa-Mendexa …), but the thousands of other names of mountains, rivers, plains, hills or streams that are repeated with very little variation throughout Iberia; names can sound to Castilian as Ballesta, Braga, Casilla, Fraile, Gallego, Gallina, Gándara, Gurugú, Iglesia, Jardín, La Guardia, La Herrera, La Rabiosa, La Mancha, Lámpara, La Rinconada, Obispo, Oreja, Oso, Miguel Palacios Paul, Piojo, Valencia …

Neither Crossbow refers to a weapon or toa bend of a river, or Braga is a cloth or Casilla is a hut or Fraile is a wandering brother or Gallego is someone who came from Galicia, and Gallina is a fowl, etc.. etc.. just alofonic words with regard to common voices in recent millennia, but they have a definite meaning and decryption through advances done in Proto Euskera.

It is striking the immense variety of names (over 600 variants with many repeats) that begin with “Lar …”, “La R …” or even “Ar …” (where has been applied a kind of apheresis to change the course article “the” in the Galician “a”), all unquestionably related to the potential of “pasture or meadow” of their environment, suggesting that the territory was not only stepped with a continuity enough to keep the names at remote and apparently little interest, corners, but that visitors to these sites, maintained some kind of communion with their peers, so that the same names are in Extremadura and in the foothills of the French Alps sites.

In addition there are many components of names that scholarship had “separated” from their bodies or altered to make them credible to the Roman, Christian and Gothic culture, so there are infinite San, Santo, Santa, Sande, Santu … that have undergone office operations for coupling to distant, unknown and inconsistent saints. Very frequent endings “ate” and “ete” are classified as pejorative endings, when they undoubted reference to mountain passes and pluralization of content, or the “eno” and “ano”are packaged as antroponímic endings when they are size indicators …

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• Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

In the last three centuries there have been many isolated scholars who have emphasized the possibility that the Basque outside the base material of several languages​​, including Latin, and also of Spanish place names, but they have always been quarantined or ridiculed. In the earliest times the disqualification was based on the simple path difference between the language of the empire and the one was talking about thousands of villagers, shepherds, blacksmiths and sailors, during the nineteenth century, arguing that they were feelings of nationalistic fever and in recent decades, deterring them or buying them with proffesorships and greedy representations … posh little effort.

This latest version, the current is very serious because it is giving as a product, generations of young graduates and doctors who have lost the interest in the most valuable of this language after being a vehicle of communication and essential part of the Basque soul: It’s ability to help science to “recreate” the prehistoric world.

The initial Mental bias was due to the mystical-humanistical and Roman-Grecian component of monks and chroniclers that later percolated by means of the strength of business and power, because in fact, that central “force idea” that those outstanding men the important and powerful man puts names to places, has led them to believe and teach that the names ( ofkings, leaders, saints, villains …) it has been determined most of the place names.

The truth is that neither men nor celebrated anniversaries have left big traces in the intended place names, names between that few of those mentioned were claimed for Basque as they asured they had the intuition that in “this language meant other things.”

Indeed, when straddling the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the fact that several national scholars (Larramendi, Mogel, Astarloa, Erro, Hervás …) and some prominent foreign as W. Humboldt launched a movement to promote the study and asked to go deepening on Basque (who had never been studied scientifically), the reactionary forces accused it of political intentionality until get its desprestige, almost before the actual start that could have provide valuable and abundant evidences pointing to a new area and a wide horizon.

The anthropocentric drift quoted above becomes ridiculous as soon ay you can have thousands of place names and lexemes belonging to several languages ​(that group called Indo-European) with a matching genetic instead of some tens of city names or names in tombs or on a commemorative writing (Ascoli) and as soon as instead of conjectures and rather than hundreds of “laws of evolution of phonemes” tailored to meet the final product there is a suitable tool for the translation as the Proto Euskera, the Basque of many roots, which I call “Eukele”.

W. Humboldt used to say ” it has to deepen the Basque roots.. ” because that was the key to reach consistent translations.

It was since always known that the ability of aggregation, agglutination of Euskera, was based largely on the availability of simple roots with unambiguous meanings, marking a clear difference with those (roots) of Celtic and Sanskrit. But only a few were available.

In the recently published in Spanish “The 1,500 DNA particles of Euskera” you can find until 1541 roots , being very clear that there rest many more to rescue. It is said that Sanskrit has 1,700 of these lexemes and morphemes. Euskera is sure to surpass it as soon as an organized and systematic research that multiply the productivity of the work of an isolated person with limited means, could start.

These Euskeran roots are incredibly specific, unambiguous and precise, contrasting with the mother languages ​​like Sanskrit or Celtic, whose basic particles are “ill-defined” and open to various interpretations.

Returning to the historical process, in a way it is understandable that a bishop of the sixth century or even a Jesuit of the XVI arrived not knowing-as it is feasible today, that there are a long-dozen of names “Zaragoza” in Spain or that there can be found once and again across different regions many “Madrid”, “Lacoruña”, “Larrioja”, “Iglesia”, “Gallego”, “Miguel” and a thousand more that can provide after a quick search in databases of the National Geographic Institute, names and sounds that remain crimped in local little place names that remains less altered as they had been maintained through oral transmission until the Count of Floridablanca and successors began to fix them into maps.

It is because that small modifications suffered that are true fossils, archaeological pieces with a great deal of information not limited to a few dozens of the above oulined names from the writings of the Roman historians and geographers.

Understandably, (I said) that the burden of prejudice, with the limited data ammount and the previous conditioning to which they were subjected by (archi copied) the previous literature, the “not great” scholars were content to confirm the previous -and-in some case – to expand a bit more on the same line.

This has lead to the absurd situation in which a Latin which is probably the most recently about the called “Latin Languages ​”, is considered older than Castilianwho can precede it bay millennia and then, laws of phonetic evolution are invented it suit to an alleged flow Latin – Castilian, when the flow can be the reverse.

So we can say without blushing that all made ​​so far with the Ibero, is practically zero.

The Spanish place names, as well as with its natural wealth, its physiography, is varied, richer and more complex than that of neighboring countries and infinitely more than the one of Nordic countries who were forbidden to human occupation until eight or ten thousand years.

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• Monday, July 14th, 2014

This toponymy has its own laws, some of which have already been discovered and tested. Here are the highlights:

* The vast majority of the old place names refer to salient features of the environment such as relief, physiography, geo-mineralogical materials found, how the water shows and even the vegetation cover and the conditions for the transit.

* The hidronimia is abundant but not most of it revolves around the lexeme “ur”, (today’s water) but on the ancestors “ü” and “i” and most that the awaited rivers, shows an amazing variety of sources, jets, wells, springs, confluences, fords, wetlands, meanders, bars, sheets, potholes, waterfalls, siphons, marshes, bogs, small and big lakes, ponds, streams, pond- estuaries, reservoirs, glaciers …

* There is no reference to weather conditions or to any circumstances of short return period but has been but some related to fords and snowdrifts.

* Contrary to what is believed in many segments of the population, there is little reference to the divinities.

* Except near cities and at determinate environments (gardens, home gardens, parks, orchards…), there is very few anthroponims, onomastic references to civil, military or religious men and women in the naming of places.

* With agiónims (saint names) assumptions, it is the same, there are recent and true (very easy to spot) names, but the vast majority of alleged references to saints, are phonetically similar names, with its very different and unique original meaning have been made up to closer to the names of saints, sometimes as far as strangers, during the middle Ages and even in fully historical periods3.

* Many many names are metastizated or suffer small alterations, additions or losses and all kinds of known evolutionary phenomena, to the point that you can now find expressions from Castilian, Catalan or Galician similar to the original, but totally absurd.

* The regionalist and nationalist passions show a huge rush for defacing the names and bring them to their canonical tastes: In Galicia names starting by “La ..” are changed to “A …” even when “la” it is not an article; in Euskadi changes from “V” to “B” or “ano” shave in “ao” in Catalonia removed the “h” after “c” with the endings “ach” is in “ac” …

* There are whole families of names that are not just found in any of the Spanish regions, but at North Africa and they are repeated in countries of the European Plain, in the Macaronesian region, and even in Siberia

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• Thursday, July 10th, 2014

España, (written under this way or whatever) is a very frequent place name in the known “limestone part” of the Iberian Peninsula. See Table II, España at the end.

Spain: “The impressive Rock.” Espa, exaggeration, hyperbole, huge, awesome thing. Ña, grind, cut rock. It is likely that for those tribes facing north from Africa, Gibraltar (the rock of Calpe) coul be the main reference of the Spain that was behind the rock.

Another key example of a special physiography is the rock known as Espuña Murcia.

Espuña: “The Rock of the big impression” Espa, awesome, U, big, Ña, rock cut, grind.

Those who have traveled the Spanish “serranías” following the Bonelli’s eagle (Hieratus fasciatus), have felt a jolt every time can be seen that central rock highlighting his gray and golden rock walls by us on the flat Murcian horizon.

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