Category: Latina names
The term Latin American, of course, takes in a number of countries and cultures, with both shared name histories and trends and distinctly individual ones. The names in Portuguese-speaking Brazil are, for example, quite different from those in the various Spanish-speaking cultures. Some currently popular names prove to be international favorites: right now, the biblical Benjamin is the top name in both Argentina and Chile, and the U.S. Number 1 Jacob is also found at Number 2 in Argentina.
Here are some attractive names gleaned from the available lists of recently or currently popular choices in some Latin American countries that might be unfamiliar in el Norte, but are still eminently adoptable .
Nameberry’s own Nephele, known for her wonderfully clever and generous anagramming skills, has been studying the lower depths of the popularity list and gives us a report on some of the surprises she found there.
Now that the Social Security Administration has released its annual baby names listings beyond the top 1,000 (including all names that had at least five occurrences in any given year), names researchers can better track the influence of popular culture on our names.
For example, a girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Greidys” – with an astonishing count of 186 baby girls having been given that name in 2009. Its variants “Greydis” and “Greidy” also appear for the first time on the 2009 list, again in the astonishing numbers of 100 and 25 occurrences respectively.
Another girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Chastelyn” with 150 occurrences. Its variants “Shastelyn” and “Chastelin” also appear for the first time in 2009, with 34 and 33 occurrences respectively.
While we may expect new names to appear on the SSA lists each year, these new names generally don’t have more than a dozen occurrences, if even that. Why are the names “Greidys” and “Chastelyn” (with their variants) suddenly so prominent in their first appearance on the SSA list?
Our Latin friends can answer that question easily enough. These names shot to popularity with those who watch the Spanish television network Univision’s reality TV show called Nuestra Belleza Latina * (which translates into “Our Latin Beauty”). The winning contestant in the show’s third season (2009) was a Latin beauty from Cuba, named Greidys Gil. Another popular contestant was Chastelyn Rodriguez from Puerto Rico. And thus were two new names embraced by American moms (or dads!) in search of baby names.
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::