Sooo I posted a similar topic over on the boys' side, but now it's time for the gals!
My husband spent a few years living in Mexico and speaks Spanish fluently. Although we are both Caucasian-American, we'd love to chose a Mexican name (either first or middle) to honor that part of our adopted culture. We are planning on living mostly in the US, but there is a good chance we'll spend at least some time in Mexico.
Here is what we have right now (in no particular order):
Xochitl (He LOVES it, but I don't know if I'd be up for it as a first name)
Comments? Suggestions? Please let me know what you think!
A Spanish name?
I'd avoid Xochitl because it will have countless pronunciation problems. I think Elena, Gabriela, and Graciela are the prettiest.
I responded to your posting about boys' names. My husband is a native Spanish speaker but he's not from Mexico, so I'm not sure of the current use of these names there.
Florentina - I have never heard of this form. Florencia is a pretty common name in Argentina, where my husband is from, but it is a bit dated. Most women who have that name there are in their 30s and 40s now. I don't particularly care for Florentina, I have to say, and I usually like long elaborate Spanish names for girls like Candelaria.
Marisol - This is pretty, and I think it would work well in the US.
Xochitl (He LOVES it, but I don't know if I'd be up for it as a first name) This name, of Aztec origin, whose undoubtedly cause pronunciation problems in the US anywhere there isn't a sizable Mexican population. Folks in South America wouldn't know how to pronounce it either.
Araceli - I think this is a great option. Pretty, different, but easy for English speakers to say and pronounced the same in Spanish.
Esperanza, Magdalena, Paloma, Valentina: these are all also good bilingual options I think, also with the same pronunciation in both languages which is always a plus for me.
Graciela - This is a very dated name in Argentina, found only among women in their 50s -70s, but perhaps the perception in Mexico is different. I can see it working as a good bilingual/bicultural name as it is basically a combination of Grace and Ella.
Jacinta - I love this name but my husband vetoed it as it sounded like an old lady to him. You'd have to decide if you would flip-flop between the two pronunciations or not.
Elena and Gabriela are classic and international. Lola is a great nickname, but I would want to use it as a short form for something else.
I adore Esperanza! It's long, frilly, and feminine with a little spunk to it. I also think Paloma sounds so elegant and graceful.
My favourites are Marisol, Elena, Esperanza, Paloma, and Valentina. I think Elena would work best in the US, though.
I'd use a name that works in both cultures and isn't just really bizarre on a Caucasian girl. Xochitl? No.
I have a niece named Ana. She is a white kid; my brother and ex-SIL just liked the name. I think Ana is a great example of a name that is not unheard of on Caucasian kids but also usable in Spanish-speaking cultures. Although, when she was a baby, I made up a song for her called "White Baby With a Mexican Name," and I would sing it to her and she loved it. To this day it's her theme song. She's three but if I sing it she gets super happy.
Anyway I like Elena, Gabriela, Valentina and Paloma. I also humbly suggest Ana. It's so simple and beautiful. I also like Esperanza. It's pretty strongly Spanish but the nn Espy is so cute.
Some others for your consideration:
Dolores - probably unfashionable, well, everywhere, but this is one of my favorite names. It's vintage and lovely.
Pilar - just gorgeous
I love Spanish names! So feminine and robust. Dolores and Pilar are def my favorite ones.
I've got to say, I'm glad you guys have my back on Xochitl! I do like the sound but it would just be a nightmare anywhere but Mexico. I could roll with it in the middle though. I guess I'd have to see how attached hubby is!
Keep the suggestions coming! I am especially thankful to anyone who knows if the names are "dated" in Mexico or not. It's not necessarily something my husband paid a lot of attention to, ha!
I knew a white girl with some far-off Mexican heritage named Xela ("CHAY-lah") ..I believe she spelled it with an X. Anyway, I always thought it was a pretty name, a bit spicy but also simple. Xochitl makes me think of chilies and hot chocolate, but it's over-the-top unless used in the middle place. Paloma is gorgeous, and I think Jacinta is quite lovely and wearable too.
I kind of like Alejandra.