Latin culture is influencing everything in the United States, including baby names. With the growing prominence of Latin stars and parents of all ethnic backgrounds more interested in using culturally significant names, Hispanic choices are moving up the popularity lists.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Jessica Alba and Ricky Martin may be among the most famous Latin celebrities, but their names were inspired by the general culture and are hardly inspiring modern baby namers in search of an authentic Latin choice. The Latin celebrities (and a few fictional characters) from the worlds of film, music, sports, and fashion whose names have proven influential in the U.S. include:
OSCAR de la RENTA
Several names that rank high on the popularity list in the U.S. have a Latin flavor and are well-used by Hispanic parents along with parents of many other ethnic backgrounds. Isabella, Olivia, Sophia, Angelina, and, for boys, Gabriel fit into this group. Names (and variations) with a more distinctly Latin heritage that are climbing the popularity list in the United States – and are definitely not for Latin babies only — include::
For parents who love Latin names but want to look for choices less well-known in the U.S., here are some names with a Spanish, Catalan, or Basque background virtually unused here but ripe for import: