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Spanish Word Names Beyond Cruz and Cielo

Spanish Word Names Beyond Cruz and Cielo

Spanish word names celebrate the beauty of the Spanish language, and offer an alternative to the growing trend for English word names.

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 among the popular names in Spain 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.

Names meaning love

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).

Marian names

Names inspired by bynames for the Virgin Mary are a staple of traditional Spanish naming. Nowadays they’re less prevalent, although many parents might put them in the middle spot. Those in the charts today include:

Consuelo

Dolores

Luz

Milagros

Pilar

Rocio

Rosario

Soledad

Best Spanish word names and meanings

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 — April

Alba — sunrise

Aleta — wing

Alma — soul

Alondra — lark

Ambar — amber

Angel — angel

Aurora — dawn

Avion — airplane

Azucena — lily

Azul — blue

Baya — berry

Blanca — white

Brisa — breeze

Celeste — light blue

Cielo — heaven

Cruz — cross

Delfina — dolphin

Dia — day

Domingo — Sunday

Dulce — sweet

Esmeralda — emerald

Esperanza — hope

Estrella — star

Fausto — splendor

Fenix — phoenix

Flor — flower

Gema — gem

Haya — beech

Isla — island

Jacinto — hyacinth

Joya — jewel

Julio — July

Lamar — the sea

Lareina — the queen

Leon — lion

Leona — lioness

Liviana — lighthearted

Lluvia — rain

Lucero — bright star

Lucio — pike

Luna — moon

Marea — tide

Margarita — daisy

Mariposa — butterfly

Maximo — maximum

Melisa — balm

Miangel — my angel

Milagro — miracle

Mira — sight

Monte — mountain

Ola — wave

Paloma — dove

Perla — pearl

Rana — frog

Reina — queen

Rey — king

Reyes — kings

Ria — estuary

Rico — rich

Rio — river

Romero — rosemary

Rosa — rose

Rubi — ruby

Salvador — savior

Santos — saints

Sena — sign

Serafin — seraph

Servando — serving

Sierra — saw / jagged mountains

Silvestre — wild

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com