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Spanish Baby Names

and other name News of the Week

By Clare Green

This week’s news includes gender-crossing starbaby names, a YouTube trend we love, and the latest popularity charts from Spain.

But first, happy Fourth of July to all those celebrating! If your baby arrives today, they’re in good company with lots of interestingly-named people born on the same day. And even if not, you may be interested in patriotic baby names that honor the best things about independence.

Top Spanish Baby Names

Maybe you’ll find something you love among the top Spanish baby names? Spain recently released its statistics for 2018: here’s an easy-to-read Top 100 list, and the full national and regional statistics.

Like the USA and other countries, the names at the top of the list are slow to change. Lovely Lucia holds the top spot for another year running, while Hugo reclaims it from the previous year’s number 1, Lucas. Also like us, many Spanish parents love groups of names with similar sounds. In the Top 100 you’ll find gangs like:

Marco, Marc and Marcos
Ivan and Izan
Lucas, Luca and Luka
Alba and Alma
Naia and Nahia
Ainara, Ainhoa, Aitana and Aina
Nour, Nuria and Nerea

Do you have any favorites you’d like to see imported?

Let’s briefly cross the border into Portugal. I don’t know much about Portuguese stars but I love it when they use great names. The latest find (via the blog Nomes e mais Nomes)? Twin girls with the super-Marian names Mercedes and Maria do Mar, born to actor Helena Costa.

Celebrity Baby Names: boy James & girl James

If you need any more convincing that James is a go-to cool middle name for both sexes, just look at the starbaby announcements this week, where there’s one of each – plus more unisex baby names.

On the boys’ side we have Kingston James, a new baby for actor Alexa PenaVega. She and her husband have an older son named Ocean King. They clearly like that “King” sound, and this time round they chose a name that’s more popular and more commonly male. (Ocean is below the Top 1000 for boys and girls, and is used almost equally for both.)

And on the girls’ team is Roux James, a daughter for Orlando soccer players Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer. She joins an ever-growing list of girls with James as a middle name – which she shares with her dad – while Roux is a neat nod to mom’s surname, and a member of the elite group of girls’ names ending in X. The whole thing is truly a name of two halves.

Another celeb crossing name gender lines is Australian DJ Liv Nervo, who recently welcomed a daughter named Ace Paloma. Even though Ace doesn’t make the charts at all for girls, it doesn’t seem strange. Like many modern virtue names, there’s no reason for it to be tied to either sex, and after all, the sound is found in popular girls’ names like Grace and Kacey. Liv is one half of the DL act Nervo, along with her twin sister Mim. I only heard of them when Mim had baby Ithaca Storm back in February, and since then I’ve been eagerly waiting to find out what Ithaca’s cousin would be called.

Of course, it’s not only the famous who are using gender-neutral names. In the last month, Nameberry readers have welcomed a girl named Peregrine, amongst other excellently-named babyberries.

Surname baby names often fall down arbitrary gender lines. With no background cultural knowledge, how could you guess that Harper leans female, Mason male, and Parker almost equally both? Now the surname Adler (meaning “eagle”) is given to a few girls each year, but many more boys. It looks likely to enter the boys’ Top 1000 in the next few years, especially now that Danielle Fishel (aka Topanga in Boy Meets World) has named her son Adler Lawrence. His middle name both honors one of his grandfathers, and – fans may remember – was Topanga’s surname. I’ve also heard Adler mentioned on a couple of YouTube videos in the last few months (like this one and this one), so it’s one to watch with eagle eyes.

The Names Not Taken

Speaking of YouTube, I don’t know who filmed the first “Names I love but won’t be using” video, but they’re now a staple subcategory of parenting/baby name videos. I personally think they’re a great way to find names in a similar style (a bit like our Namehunter tool), and see how varied other people’s styles can be.

For instance! Family lifestyle YouTuber Myka Stauffer just welcomed a son Onyx Trey, who joins big sisters Jaka and Nakova, and brothers Radley and Huxley. She hasn’t said, but possibly it’s Trey because he’s the third boy? If you like Myka’s style, it’s easy to find further inspiration: there are numerous videos on baby names she loves and ones she loves but didn’t use (including Nikolai, Lawson, Edwin and Lucino). Altogether, it’s an interesting mix of international names, edgy surnames, and a few vintage choices.

If you have names you love but wouldn’t use (and don’t we all?) but don’t fancy making a video, you can always share them with our community – and maybe inspire someone else – in the Nameberry forums.

Changing Baby’s Name

Finally, a few thoughts about changing children’s names after they’ve arrived. It’s something that many parents consider, and some actually do, for various reasons. One example? This mother who changed her daughter’s name as part of the healing process from postnatal depression, and has no regrets.

Sometimes it can take a while for a name to sit comfortably on a real baby even if it turns out to be the right name, as this mother is finding. Do you have any experience of this? If so, did you change the name, or did it work out in the end?

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