Category: Hispanic baby names

Exotic Lite: Boys’ Edition

We recently looked at girls’ names popular around the world yet exotic-sounding in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries, and today we turn to the boys’ version of this kind of name.

If you’re looking for a name for your son that has an international flavor yet is not too obscure or difficult to understand and pronounce, you might want to consider these choices.

ALESSANDRO – A top name in Italy, makes Alexander both softer and sexier to the American ear.

ALEXEI – Russian spin on Alex or Alexander popular there, pronounced Alex-ay or (less popular) Alex-ee. Down side: Its similarity to the very popular girls’ name Alexa.

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Major League Baseball Names

With the World Series fast approaching and the baseball season coming to a fever pitch,  the sports pages are filled with the names of players.  Irresistible  lists of names. So though I’m far from what anyone would call a dedicated sports fan, I’ve become mesmerized by the rosters of team players’ names.  After parsing those of all the major league teams, I have now made my picks of a favorite first name from each–my own personal MVPs.  You might like to do the same.

Oh, and a bonus for me–I finally see what’s behind the popularity of the boy’s name Jacoby–probably the last person to know.

Here they are:

ANDERSON  Hernandez  —  New York Mets

AUGIE  Ojeda  —  Arizona Diamondbacks

BOONE  Logan  —  Atlanta Braves

CASPER  Wells  —  Detroit Tigers

CHASE  Utley  —  Philadelphia Phillies

COLBY  Rasmus  —  St. Louis Cardinals

DEXTER  Fowler  —  Colorado Rockies

DMITRI  Young  —  Washington Nationals

ELVIS  Andrus  —  Texas Rangers

FELIX  Pie  —  Baltimore Orioles

FERNANDO  Perez  —  Tampa Bay Rays

GIO  Gonzalez  —  Oakland Athletics

HEATH Bell—San Diego Padres

JACOBY Ellsbury  —  Boston Red Sox

JENSEN  Lewis  —  Cleveland Indians

KAZUO  Matsui  —  Houston Astros

KENDRY  Morales  —  Los Angeles Angels

KIKO  Calero  —  Florida Marlins

LUCAS  May  —  Los Angeles Dodgers

MICAH  Hoffpauir  —  Chicago Cubs

OCTAVIO  Dotel  —  Chicago White Sox

OMAR  Aguilar  —  Milwaukee Brewers

ORLANDO  Cabrera  —  Minnesota Twins

OSIRIS Matos —  San Francisco Giants

ROBINZON  Diaz  —  Pittsburgh Pirates

ROMAN  Colon  —  Kansas City Royals

VERNON  Wells  —  Toronto Blue Jays

XAVIER  Nady  —  New York Yankees

YONDER  Alonso  —  Cincinnati Reds

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Latin culture is influencing everything in the United States, including baby names.  With the growing prominence of Latin stars and parents of all ethnic backgrounds more interested in using culturally significant names, Hispanic choices are moving up the popularity lists.

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Jessica Alba and Ricky Martin may be among the most famous Latin celebrities, but their names were inspired by the general culture and are hardly inspiring modern baby namers in search of an authentic Latin choice.  The Latin celebrities (and a few fictional characters) from the worlds of film, music, sports, and fashion whose names have proven influential in the U.S. include:





DORA the Explorer


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New York Baby Names

Having a baby in New York City is different from having one anywhere else, and that includes choosing a name.

The most popular New York baby names are a departure from the popular names in the rest of the country, for one thing. Daniel tops the boys’ chart for the very first time in the 2007 New York City name popularity statistics, with Jayden rising to number two. Sorry, Mayor Bloomberg, but Michael has now fallen from the top spot to number 3 for the first time in 50 years. Isabella and Sophia tied for number one for girls, unseating Ashley and Emily.

Other names that are higher on the New York popularity list than they are in the rest of the country include, for girls: Rachel, Chloe, Angelina, and Esther, and for boys, Justin, Sebastian, and David.

The reason? The diverse ethnic population accounts for much of the unique mix of New York baby names. One of the few locales that breaks down name popularity by ethnicity, names high on the list for Hispanic babies born in New York City include Angel, Luis, and Jose for boys; Mia, Angelina, and Sofia for girls.

African-American parents differed from those of other ethnic backgrounds in favoring names of black celebrities. Jada, Imani and Aaliyah were high on the girls’ popularity list, while Elijah and Isaiah were popular for boys.

The Asian popularity list featured some counterintuitive ethnic favorites. The number one name for Asian baby boys is Ryan, for example, with Kevin, Vincent, and Ivan also ranking high. For girls, Tiffany, Fiona, and Winnie, a name that doesn’t even break the national top 1000, are popular.

And then there are names on the New York City list popular among Hasidic Jewish parents that are virtually unheard of elsewhere in the country: Malky, Raizy, and Shira for girls; Moishe, Chaim, and Menacham for boys. Plus ethnic choices such as Fatoumata, Xin, Tatiana, and Mohamed that reflect New York’s special mix.

But New York wouldn’t truly be New York without a range of sophisticated names as well. Names favored by New York parents and found here more often than in other parts of the country include such refined choices as Sebastian, Julian, and Henry for boys, and Alexandra, Charlotte, and Alice for girls. Maximus and Giuliana (yes, Giuliana) have an only-in-New York quality, though Rudy was not to be found.

Of course, beyond the most popular list, there are names that are trendy in hip New York that are still rarely heard in most parts of the country. Oscar, Ruby, Atticus, and Isla may be bordering on overexposed in Tribeca and Park Slope, but might still be radical choices west of the Hudson River.

New Yorkers chose a range of place names for their children, including Dakota, Sierra, Asia and Paris. But in an ironic twist, Brooklyn, number 57 nationwide, is nowhere among them.

Chelsea is one New York neighborhood name that does show up on the popularity list, just outside the Top 100. New York parents — or fans of the city — in search of more original local choices might want to consult the list of New York baby names based on the city neighborhoods.

This post appears in somewhat different form in the current issue of Big Apple Parent and can be found online at

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