Spanish Word Names Beyond Cruz and Cielo
Spanish baby names are a big presence on the American charts, especially in states with a large Latinx community, such as California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Within that, word names are a relatively small but interesting group. As in other languages, the most popular Spanish choices include names with positive or spiritual meaning, and from nature.
In the States, some have taken off for thousands of parents who don’t speak Spanish at all. Top-ranking names like Luna, Aurora and Leon are crossovers that are not just Spanish but also Latin, Italian or pan-European. The fastest-rising specifically Spanish word names include celebrity-endorsed Cruz and starry Vega.
In Spain itself, word names are more popular for girls than boys. The only male word name in the Spanish Top 100 is Angel, while the girls’ Top 100 includes Alba, Alma, Vega, Abril, Candela, Victoria, Blanca, Rocio, Clara, Luna, and Mar.
There are a few gray areas in deciding what counts as a Spanish word name in the US. Salvador and Cielo clearly are. Rey for boys probably counts, but many Star Wars fans who gave it to their daughters may not know that it means king in Spanish. Meanwhile, names like Iman and Callista happen by coincidence to be Spanish words (meaning magnet and chiropodist!), but they were almost certainly chosen with other roots in mind.
Let’s look at some special categories of Spanish word names, then dive into the lists.
A note: I’ve omitted accents that are authentically Spanish but unfortunately don’t work accurately with our database — for example, Rubi is really Rubí. They also don’t appear in the official US data.
Love is a many-splendored thing, and plenty of Spanish names celebrate it. Amor (love) is used for both sexes, and Miamor (my love) Amore (another term of endearment) for girls. There’s also Amado and Amada, both meaning beloved, and even some verb conjugations, like Amar (to love) and Amare (I will love).
Best Spanish word names in the charts
All of these names were given to at least five boys or girls in 2019 — and in some cases, not many more than that.
Abril — AprilAlba — sunriseAleta — wingAlma — soulAlondra — larkAmbar — amberAngel — angelAurora — dawnAvion — airplaneAzucena — lilyAzul — blueBaya — berryBlanca — whiteBrisa — breezeCeleste — light blueCielo — heavenCruz — crossDelfina — dolphinDia — dayDomingo — SundayDulce — sweetEsmeralda — emeraldEsperanza — hopeEstrella — starFausto — splendorFenix — phoenixFlor — flowerGema — gemHaya — beechIsla — islandJacinto — hyacinthJoya — jewelJulio — JulyLamar — the seaLareina — the queenLeon — lionLeona — lionessLiviana — lightheartedLluvia — rainLucero — bright starLucio — pikeLuna — moonMarea — tideMargarita — daisyMariposa — butterflyMaximo — maximumMelisa — balmMiangel — my angelMilagro — miracleMira — sightMonte — mountainOla — wavePaloma — dovePerla — pearlRana — frogReina — queenRey — kingReyes — kingsRia — estuaryRico — richRio — riverRomero — rosemaryRosa — roseRubi — rubySalvador — saviorSantos — saintsSena — signSerafin — seraphServando — servingSierra — saw / jagged mountainsSilvestre — wildSirena — sirenSol — sunTierra — landVega — plainVela — candleVida — lifeZafiro — sapphire