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Stunning Spanish Names for Girls and Boys

Stunning Spanish Names for Girls and Boys

If you’re interested in Spanish names for your baby-to-be, you’re probably familiar with the many Spanish choices popular in the US, like Sebastián and José, Camila and Sofia. But there are many intriguing baby names that are popular in Spain and Latin America but virtually unknown to anglophones.

Sure, classic Spanish names such as Maria and Pablo are among the most popular names in Spain right now. But other names belvoed in Spain love are overlooked elsewhere, including ones influenced by places, nature, history, and the Basque and Arabic languages.

Here’s our pick of the best Spanish names in the Top 100 in Spain but less common elsewhere.

Spanish Names for Girls

Aitana

Rank: 25 in Spain, 325 in USA

The name of a Spanish mountain, brought to the world's attention by actress Aitana Sánchez-Gijón. It is rising fast in the States, but much more popular in Spain and Argentina.

Alba

Rank: 18 in Spain, 1226 in USA

With a great meaning ("dawn") and a light, distinctive sound, Alba is popular in several European countries but is still relatively underused by English speakers. The equally lovely Alma is also in Spain’s Top 20.

Carmen

Rank: 14 in Spain, 456 in USA

It can be easy to overlook familiar classics, but Carmen is worth a second glance. Some of the reasons you might love it? It’s timeless — ranking between 100th and 500th place for over a century — musical, biblical, and sounds distinct from all the girl names ending in A. Alec and Hilaria Baldwin chose it for their daughter in 2013.

Gala

Rank: 48 in Spain, 2809 in USA (60 girls)

A festive-sounding name that's on the rise in Spain. In the States, it's a familiar word but rare as a name: the light, fresh sound may appeal if you like names like Gaia and Lola.

Ines

Rank: 37 in Spain, 1836 in USA (110 girls)

Inés is a classic in Spain, but feels more modern to anglo ears than its English version, Agnes. It has seen a little more use since Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds named their second daughter Inez, but still remains under the radar.

Laia

Rank: 26 in Spain, 1626 in USA (129 girls)

Laia, pronounced “la-ya”, is a lovely addition to the family of liquid L-names with solid roots of its own. It’s short for Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona, and is in the Top 10 in its native Catalonia.

Lucia

Rank: 1 in Spain, 126 in USA

Spanish parents love Lucia – it’s been the top girl name there since 2003. In America, Lucy is still the more popular form, but Lucia feels like a fresh, sophisticated alternative. There are several possible pronunciations, so pick your favorite. If you feel like it needs a little extra, Luciana is another option.

Triana

Rank: 31 in Spain, 4998 in USA (26 girls)

Is this Spain’s best-kept secret? Triana strikes a perfect balance of standing out and fitting in. It’s close to names like Briana and Eliana, but extremely rare, yet with legitimate roots as a place name with possible connections to ancient Rome.

Valeria

Rank: 5 in Spain, 146 in USA

While Valentina has soared in popularity recently, quieter Valeria has remained more steady and timeless. It shares the same root, meaning strength or health.

Vega

Rank: 15 in Spain, 3747 in USA (40 girls)

Vega is a fab two-for-one. As the Spanish word for meadow, it’s a lovely subtle nature name. From a different (Arabic) root, it’s one of the brightest stars in the night sky, in the constellation of Lyra. Either way, it’s a rarity waiting to be discovered. Similar Vera is also in Spain's Top 100.

Spanish Names for Boys

Alvaro

Rank: 11 in Spain, 794 in USA

Boy names ending in O are cool. And this one is lesser-known outside the Spanish-speaking world but has lots of potential. Its bearers include a modern saint, several soccer players, and the French actress Anne Alvaro. It could be an original way to honor another Al– name.

Bruno

Rank: 16 in Spain, 617 in USA

Meaning "brown" and with namesakes from medieval saints to Bruno Mars, this vintage name with a cool O ending is on the brink of a revival.

Dario

Rank: 41 in Spain, 675 in USA

Fresher than Darius (not to mention Daryl), Dario is enjoying a moment in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. In America, it’s rising but still underused, and if you love quirky nicknames, it could lead to Dare, or Rio.

Enzo

Rank: 10 in Spain, 121 in USA

This zippy name is short for Lorenzo, but now outranks the full form in both Spain and the US.

Gael

Rank: 30 in Spain, 104 in USA

Gael was one of the fastest-rising names in the US in 2012, thanks to a winning combination of actor Gael García Bernal, and a character in the telenovela Abismo de Pasión. This gentle, straightforward name has remained a well-liked option ever since, and is in line to enter the Top 100 boys' names soon.

Gonzalo

Rank: 21 in Spain, 1548 in USA (114 boys)

A dramatic name with a long history, Gonzalo feels familiar but has never been overly popular in the States. It doesn’t need a nickname, but if you must, Galo and Zalo are modern-sounding and have less baggage than Gonzo.

Izan

Rank: 25 in Spain, 1076 in USA (201 boys)

Here’s an unusual alternative to Ethan. Izan, which starts with the same long “ee” sound, is the Basque version and is now used all over Spain. Other stylish Basque names include Iker and Ibai.

Javier

Rank: 27 in Spain, 239 in USA

Xavier is a Top 100 name in the US, but its gentle cousin Javier sits steadily lower in the charts, always used but never among the most popular names. If you love that Spanish J-sound, which sounds a lot like the English H, other names to consider include Jago, Joaquin and Julen.

Rafael

Rank: 58 in Spain, 232 in USA

Soft-yet-strong Rafael and Raphael are enormously popular in Europe and South America, but haven't caught up in the States yet. Bonus: cool nicknames Raff and Rafa.

Thiago

Rank: 15 in Spain, 106 in USA

Thiago is the more streamlined, slightly less popular cousin of Santiago. Originally a Portuguese name, it’s also much loved by Spanish and Latinx parents and is one of the fastest-rising names of the last decade. It could honor a James or Jacob, or anything connected with St James – he’s the patron of veterinarians, pharmacists and several countries including Spain.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green 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. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare 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