Basque, Spanish, and Aragonese:1. formerly most common in the Basque country and in Aragon, this name is generally assumed to be from abarca ‘sandal’ (Basque abarka), which refers to the traditional Basque peasant sandal or moccasin made of uncured leather. In the past this word was also applied to footwear made from wooden materials, and is probably derived from Basque abar ‘branch’, ‘twig’. Some scholars, however, think that abarka is an old topographic term referring to a grove of holm oaks or kermes oaks. 2. habitational name from the village of Abarca in the province of Palencia.
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.