Category: Spanish baby names

Place Names: New Destinations

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Feeling that geographical names have become kind of ho-hum?  It’s true that many people have tired of Paris and some of the over-visited names from the American West like Cheyenne, Sierra, Dakota and Dallas.  But that’s no reason to write off the whole category—we can renew our passports and look a bit farther afield for some fresher, more interesting and exotic choices from the global atlas.

FOR GIRLS

AILSA  —  Ailsa Craig is the name of a rocky island off Scotland, and Ailsa has long been used as a Christian name–as all of us namberryites well know

ÁLORA—  A picturesque Spanish town near Malága, overlooking citrus orchards and olive groves

ANDORRA  —  A small country located in the Pyranees—could work as an updated Andrea

CORTINACortina d’Ampezzo is one of the most famous and beautiful ski resorts in Italy; a more feminine namesake for Courtney?

ELANORA –This name of an Australian suburb is used as a girls’ name in that country

ELBA—The Italian island best known as the site of Napoleon’s exile; possible update of Ella?

GENOA –Picturesque birthplace of Christopher Columbus, native version is GENOVA; a possible newer path to the Gen nickname

IBIZA  (ih-BEETH-a)—Another interesting island name, though a little bit lispy

ISCHIA (IS-key-a)—An Isla-like Italian island name

JAVA — This Indonesian island name was recently used by Lost hunk Josh Holloway for his daughter

LILLE —  (LEELE) –We’ve seen the growing popularity of double-L names, now here’s a French city with three of them

LIXA –An old Portuguese city with a modern-sounding name

LULEÅ — A city on the northern coast of Sweden; birthplace of the founder of the Nordstrom department store chain

LUCERNE –A Swiss canton and lake name, with the possibility of a Lucy nickname

LUZA – A Russian town on the Luza river—but too much like loser?

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Exotic Lite: Boys’ Edition

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We recently looked at girls’ names popular around the world yet exotic-sounding in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries, and today we turn to the boys’ version of this kind of name.

If you’re looking for a name for your son that has an international flavor yet is not too obscure or difficult to understand and pronounce, you might want to consider these choices.

ALESSANDRO – A top name in Italy, makes Alexander both softer and sexier to the American ear.

ALEXEI – Russian spin on Alex or Alexander popular there, pronounced Alex-ay or (less popular) Alex-ee. Down side: Its similarity to the very popular girls’ name Alexa.

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Spanish Baby Names: New Trends

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In southern Spain recently, researching Spanish baby names, I came up against the fact that Spain is a widely varied country with different languages and cultures — and different names depending on ethnicity and region.

Rather than simply Spanish baby names, there are Catalonian baby names and Basque names, names more popular in Galicia and those favored in Navarre. And of course names popular in Spain may be different from those used most widely in other Spanish-speaking countries, such as Mexico or Brazil.

Spanish baby names that are stylish today and may be ready for import to the U.S. include:

girls

* Aitana
* Alba
* Amada
* Aniceta

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Cheery-O Names

O--teddy bear

From the time we wrote our very first name book, we’ve both been totally charmed by the unique verve and spirit of  names ending in the letter ‘o’.  And, over time, our love for them has only increased.  We’re glad to see that more and more people seem to be agreeing with us; lately there’s been an infusion of newly popular choices–and, surprisingly, this is beginning to be true for girls as well as boys.

Here are some of the currently coolest boys’  names, many of then reflecting the ever-growing globalization of baby names:

ALDO, ARLO & ARNO

BRUNO

COSMO & COSIMO

ENZO

HORATIO

HUGO

INDIO & INDIGO & INIGO

LASZLO

LEO

MATEO /MATTEO

MILO

ORLANDO

OTTO

RIO

ROCCO

ROMEO & VALENTINO — two choices previously considered uberly-romantic, now sudden celebrity faves

THEO

VIGGO

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photo by Sara Atkins

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:

Female

AMERICA FERRARA

CAROLINA HERRERA

DAISY FUENTES

DORA the Explorer

EVA MENDES

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