Spanish Word Names
The parent in search of truly distinctive Spanish baby names has to move farther than ever away from the established roster. One new direction — or is it two? — for the intrepid baby namer is toward foreign-word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. A handful of Spanish word names are already hot in the US, such as Luna, meaning "moon," and Cruz, the word for "cross."
Along with Luna and Cruz, other Spanish word names in the US Top 1000 include Alma, Dulce, Esmeralda, Julio, Leon, Luz, Maximo, Paloma, and Salvador. In Spain, word names such as Alba, Vega, Candela, and Mar are popular for girls. We combed our own diccionarios for French, Italian, and Spanish words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names, and here are some Spanish ideas. But no reason to stop here — consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.
Origin:Scottish place-name or Spanish
Description:Isla is a hit name throughout the English-speaking world, perhaps because its spelling and pronunciation don't make sense for those whose native language is not English. Think island without the final two letters.
Description:The name of the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is derived straight from the Latin word for moon, luna. Luna’s divine complement is Sol, the god of the Sun. In Roman art, Luna is often depicted driving a chariot.
Description:A Nameberry favorite, Aurora has consistently been on the US popularity list since the nineteenth century, but has really taken off in the past 30 years. Aurora also enjoys remarkable international popularity, ranking in the Top 100 throughout the English-speaking world as well as in Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, and several other European countries.
Description:Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. Now holding steady around Number 100, Clara is a modern classic, neither too popular nor too unusual.
Origin:Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Sanskrit
Meaning:"admirable; peace; female ruler; ocean"
Description:This name owes its present life to actress Sorvino. Mira and Mirra have an arty aura.
Description:Victoria is the Latin word for “victory” and a feminine form of Victor. It is the name of the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint. Queen Victoria, for whom the Victorian Era is named, ruled over England for over sixty-three years.
Origin:Greek variation of Leo
Description:Leon is one of the leonine names that is extremely hot in Europe right now. Although it peaked here in the 1920s, it is slowly making its way back, and it could climb further with parents wanting a more serious and studious alternative to Leo.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese
Description:Esmeralda came into use as an applied use of the Spanish word for emerald, esmeralda. In the 1831 Victor Hugo novel Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the heroine was born Agnes, but called La Esmeralda in reference to the jewel she wears around her neck. The name Esmeralda got increased visibility via the Disney version of the story.
Meaning:"lady of sorrows"
Description:Though it's related to the Virgin Mary, this name was once perceived as the height of sensuality, a role since taken over by nicknames Lola and Lolita.
Description:Alba is quietly making a behind-the-scenes comeback, perhaps thanks to actress turned baby-product mogul Jessica Alba. Last on the Top 1000 a century ago, the name was given to nearly 200 baby girls in the US last year. Alba might be tomorrow's successor to Ava and Ella. In Spain, Alba ranks among the Top 20 girls' names. Alba is the name of a character in The Time Traveler's Wife.
Description:Alma is a somewhat solemn, soulful name that had a burst of popularity a century ago, then faded into the flowered wallpaper, and is now finding its footing once more.
Origin:Korean; Hindi; Arabic; Ewe
Meaning:"this world's beauty or grace; army; to praise; bringing heaven to earth"
Description:Sena is one of those names that is as obscure in the Western World as it is simple and straightforward. Sena exists as a name in a range of languages and cultures and may be pronounced like Senna (with a soft e) or Sienna. Sena is also a place name, a surname, the name of several groups of people, and the name of a genus of moth as well as a kind of wine, among other things. The similar Cinna from The Hunger Games may make Sena more plausible as a first name.
Description:Celeste is a softly pretty and somewhat quaint name with heavenly overtones, which kids might associate with Queen Celeste of Babar's elephant kingdom. She's a light and lovely choice that's finally getting noticed.
Origin:Latinate variation of Rose
Meaning:"rose, a flower"
Description:As sweet-smelling as Rose but with an international flavour, Rosa is one of the most classic Portuguese, Spanish and Italian names, which is also favored by upper-class Brits, having an ample measure of vintage charm. Rosa has been on the popularity charts for every year that's been counted, especially popular from the 1880s through the beginning of the twentieth century.
Description:A Top 100 name from 1896 to 1921, Leona reached as high as Number 72. Since then, Leona had seemed to be one of the most unfashionable of the pride of lion names, but singer Leona Lewis has done a lot to rejuvenate it. Leona returned to the Top 1000 in 2009 after decades of being away.
Origin:Spanish, Portuguese and Italian word name meaning "pretty"
Description:Linda will live forever in baby name history for toppling Mary from its four hundred year reign as Number 1. Queen of Names in 1947, Linda has fallen even further in favor than Mary today.
Although pinochle-playing partner Sam came out of retirement, we don't see it happening to Sol. Near soundalike Saul has more of a shot.
Description:For a single-syllable Latino surname, this new popular kid on the block packs a lot of energy and charm and is one of the most stylish Spanish names for boys in general use today. Victoria and David Beckham named their third son Cruz, following Brooklyn and Romeo, and it was also picked up on by tennis star Lleyton Hewitt for his son. Other parents may prize its Christian associations.
Description:Sierra is a name borrowed from the western mountain range, with Latin rhythm and cowboy charm, that has led to many offshoots: Cierra, Cyara, and so on. It is now probably past its peak but retains its pretty-yet-strong sound. The meaning refers to the sharp, irregular peaks of some of the Western mountains such as the Sierra Nevada.