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Gender: surname
Pronunciation: BAH-kah
Meaning: cowherd, brother
Related Names: Baquer, Baquera, Baquerizo, Baquero, Vaca, Vacario, Vacaro, Vacas, Vaquero, de Baca, de Vaca

Length: 4 Gender: {{#if surname



Rank in 2000s: 0 0

Name: baca Origin: Spanish,,, Croatian,, Meaning (no case): cowherd, brother

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There are two origins for the surname Baca: one Spanish and one Eastern European.

In Spanish, Baca comes from Vaca, the word for cow[1] (the letter "v" and "b" are pronounced the same in Spanish). Baca was likely an occupational surname for cowherds or people who were otherwise involved in the business of cattle.[1] House of Names traces the Baca family to the Castile region of Spain.[1]

Another possible origin for the Spanish Baca surname is from the phrase "Cabeza de Vaca" or, "head of the cow." According to this story of origin, a shepherd by the name of Martin Alhaja placed the skull of a cow on the roadway as a sign to guide soldiers through a pass on their way to defeat the Moors in the 13th century.[1]

The Eastern European origin of the name comes from Croatia, Hungary and Romania. It may have derived from the Romanian word baciu, meaning shepherd, in which case the meaning is very similar to the Spanish meaning. Baca may also have developed in this region as a nickname. In Croatian, baca is a familiar word for brother, and in Hungarian, it means "obstinate."[1]


According to, Baca ranks as the 1,904th most common surname in the United States. The highest concentration of people with the last name Baca is in New Mexico, followed by California, Texas, Colorado and Arizona.[1] Within the state of New Mexico, Baca ranks as the 15th most common surname.[1]


  • The Baca family were among the first Spanish settlers in New Mexico. Cristóbal Baca was a Mexican-born military captain who colonized New Mexico in 1600. After the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, one of his descendants, Manuel Baca, was among those who returned to the area when the Spanish re-conquered New Mexico. He fathered no fewer than eight children.[1]
  • Luis María Cabeza de Baca, born in Santa Fe in 1754, was an important land grant recipient, and his family held much land in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado until the 20th century. Luis had twenty children, by three different women[1]— part of the reason Baca is such a common name in New Mexico.
  • The town of Trinidad, Colorado was named after Trinidad Baca.[1]


  • BACA: Bikers Against Child Abuse
  • BACA: Bay Area Cricket Alliance
  • BACA: Boston Association of Cabaret Artists
  • Baca County, Colorado
  • De Baca County, New Mexico


Author: Sarena Emily Levinson



Facts about BacaRDF feed
Gender surname  +
Length 4  +
Meaning cowherd, brother  +
Meaningnc cowherd, brother  +
Name baca  +
Origin Spanish  +, and Croatian  +
Popularity 0  +
Pronunciation BAH-kah  +
Rank in 2000s 0  +
Related Baquer  +, Baquera  +, Baquerizo  +, Baquero  +, Vaca  +, Vacario  +, Vacaro  +, Vacas  +, Vaquero  +, De Baca  +, and De Vaca  +
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