Spanish Baby Names
Spanish baby names are widely-used in the US, and many of the same Spanish names are on the popularity lists throughout North and South America as well as in Spain. The names on this list include the best-known Spanish baby names and the most usable Spanish names for girls and boys that bridge cultures.
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.
Origin:Latinized form of Hugh
Description:Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
Origin:Spanish, diminutive of Dolores
Meaning:"lady of sorrows"
Description:A hot starbaby name – chosen by Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Lisa Bonet, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson, and Annie Lennox, and used as the nickname of Madonna's Lourdes – Lola manages to feel fun and sassy without going over the top. Be warned, though: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," to quote a song from the show Damn Yankees.
Origin:Italian variation of Luke and Lucas
Meaning:"man from Lucania"
Description:If there was once a bias against this charming and venerable Italian name for possibly sounding too feminine, consider it gone. Since Luca entered the boys’ names U.S. popularity list in 2000, it has shot up in popularity. It's one of the top Italian baby names in the US and a popular choice throughout Europe as well.
Origin:Italian variation of Henry, also diminutive of Vincenzo and Lorenzo
Description:Enzo originated as the Italian variation of Heinz, a German name derived from Heinrich, related to Henry. It has historically been used as a short form for Italian names such as Vincenzo and Lorenzo. The most famous bearer of the name is Enzo Ferrari, founder of the luxury sports car brand.
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:Mateo is a Latinate form of Matthew, which derived from the Hebrew name Mattiyahu, consisting of the elements mattan, meaning "gift" and yah, which references the Hebrew God. Mateo can also be spelled Matteo, which is the Italian variation. Matheo is an archaic Spanish spelling, although it is used in France as Mathéo.
Origin:Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
Meaning:"bright, shining light"
Description:Elena, a pan-European version of Helen, has roots in Spanish, Italian, Slavic, and Romanian, among others. Helen, the name from which it derives, came from the Greek word helene, meaning "torch." Alternate spellings include Elaina, Ellena, and Alena.
Origin:Italian word name or Scandinavian short form of Maria
Meaning:"mine or bitter"
Description:Mia originated as a short form of Maria, which ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. In modern times, Mia has been used as a nickname for names including Amelia, Emilia, and Miriam. Mia is also an Italian and Spanish word meaning 'mine.'
Origin:Italian, feminine variation of Lucius, Latin
Description:Lucia is derived from lux, the Latin word for light. It is considered to be the feminine form of Lucius as well as the Latinate spelling of Lucy. Due to its connection to light, Lucia was traditionally given to babies born as daylight was breaking.
Meaning:"birthday [of the Lord]"
Description:Natalia was derived from the Latin word natalis, meaning “birthday.” It refers to the birthday of Jesus Christ, and thus originated as a name for girls born on Christmas Day. Related forms include the French Natalie, Portuguese Natalina, and Russian diminutive Natasha.
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 more than 150 baby girls in the US last year. Alba might be tomorrow's successor to Ava and Ella. In Spain, Alba ranks among the Top 10 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:Italian, Portuguese, Slovene and Croatian variation of Agnes
Description:This form of Agnes, Ines has always been popular since the true story of the thwarted lovers Queen Ines of Castro and King Peter of Portugal. This has to be one of the most heartbreaking and bloody true romances in history!
Description:Sofia is a variation of the Greek name Sophia, which was derived directly from sophia, the Greek word for wisdom. It was the name of a Roman saint—the mother of Faith, Hope, and Charity—and queens of Russia and Spain. Sonya is the Russian form of Sofia.
Meaning:"from the sea"
Description:This pretty sea-born name was used to dramatic effect by Shakespeare in his play Pericles for the virtuous princess who says she is "Call'd Marina, for I was born at sea."
Origin:Italian and Spanish form of Mark
Description:Simple and universal, Marco is a Latin classic that would make a much livelier namesake for an Uncle Mark. It was used for her son by actress Jill Hennessy and goes well with surnames of any nationality.
Description:Valentina is a more romantic and artistic ballerina-type successor to Valerie; a pretty, recommended choice. Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault named their daughter Valentina Paloma.
Origin:Spanish variation of Alice
Description:Alicia is a Latinized variation of Alice, a name ultimately derived from the German Adalhaidis. It emerged in the 19th century, but the 20th saw many spelling evolutions for Alicia, including Alecia, Alisha, Aleesha, and Alysha. Alyssa originated as a form of Alicia.
Origin:Spanish variation of Raphael
Meaning:"God has healed"
Description:Rafael is perhaps the ultimate romantic Latino name, not a bad gift to give your son. The Raphael spelling is the original Hebrew version.
Origin:Spanish variation of Carmel
Description:Carmen has long been associated with the sensuous, tragic heroine of Bizet's opera, based on a novel by Prosper Merimee; more recently it has called to mind two other bombshells: Carmen Miranda (born Maria) and Carmen Electra (born Tara), as well as the great jazz singer Carmen McRae. In the celebrity baby name world, this classic Spanish name for girls was used by Hilaria and Alec Baldwin for their daughter.
Origin:Spanish variation of James
Description:The energetic Diego is rising rapidly along with a lot of other authentically Spanish baby names that work perfectly well with surnames of any origin.
Origin:Latin, feminine variation of Adrian
Meaning:"man of Adria"
Description:This a-ending feminine form of Adrian, from the northern Italian city of Adria, is a soft and lovely Italian choice. It appears as a character in Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.
Origin:Place-name or Latin
Description:Santiago is a spirited Spanish name with great crossover potential: a place-name (it's a city in Chile), a surname, and the patron saint of Spain. It's a name on the rise in the charts.
Description:Previously used primarily by Latino families, this name of the great hero of the Trojan War as related in Homer's Iliad is beginning to be considered more seriously by others seeking noble ancient hero names as well--it was also the name of the knight who raised King Arthur as his own son.
Origin:Hebrew or Egyptian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Origin:Russian, diminutive of Larissa or Larisa
Description:This is an alternative to Laura or Lauren made romantic by Dr Zhivago, and badass by video-game heroine Lara Croft.
Origin:Hawaiian, Greek, Basque
Meaning:"dolphin; to flow; wave, sea foam"
Description:Multicultural option, equally intriguing as, but more unusual than, Maia.
Origin:Italian variation of Leah
Description:Used throughout Europe and in Hawaii, Lia sounds just like its mother name Leah, but looks particularly pretty on paper.
Meaning:"behold, a son"
Description:International variant of Reuben that is actually much more popular than the original in the US.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese variation of Francis
Meaning:"Frenchman or free man"
Description:Francisco is one of the more popular Spanish names for boys in the US, which is unsurprising given its popularity back in Spain and Portugal as well as Latin America, coupled with its classic status. It also has a cool hipster vibe to it, given the reputation of the city of San Francisco.
Origin:French and German variation of Louis
Description:Luis has long been one of the most popular Hispanic names in America — it was in the Top 100 every year from 1980 to 2014, though it's dropped a bit in popularity. It's familiar, yet would add a worldly touch to a basic surname.
Meaning:"little dark one"
Description:Ciara is very popular in Ireland, more familiar here as the Anglicized Kiera or Keira. The uninitiated will tend to pronounce Ciara as the Italian Chiara, a form of Claire—kee-AHR-a or even see-AHR-a, like the American singer-songwriter Ciara. In the US, Ciara peaked in 2005, when it was the Number 150 name; it's since fallen down to Number 882.
Origin:Spelling variation of Tiago, diminutive of Santiago
Description:Some high-profile soccer stars, such as Thiago Silva, have contributed to its success. The correct Portuguese pronunciation is chee-AH-go.
Origin:Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic
Meaning:"colorful, bird, sign"
Description:Simple names have their appeal, but Aya, barely more than a breath, maybe be too simple. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2012.
Origin:Spanish variation of Charles
Description:Notable namesakes include musician Santana, writers Fuentes and Castaneda, and numerous athletes. Carlos Irwin Estevez is the birth name of Charlie Sheen.
Origin:Spanish and Italian variation of Anthony
Description:Antonio is a Shakespearean favorite -- the Bard used it in no less than five of his plays, and has long been a ubiquitous classic in Spanish-speaking countries, where the nickname Tonio is also prevalent. Antonio is also among an elite group of perennially popular names in the US, where it has always been among the boys' Top 1000 since baby name record-keeping started in 1880.
Origin:Italian variation of Marius
Description:Familiar via such notable Marios as Lanza, Cuomo, Andretti, Puzo, and Van Peebles, this Italian name has been fully integrated into the US.
Description:This shimmery name, often given to girls born on the harvest feast of Shavuot, and also used in the Muslim community, is increasing in popularity.
Description:Valeria -- the original form of the name, used by early Christians -- is now more popular than the Franco-American Valerie.
Origin:Italian variation of Darius
Meaning:"kingly or possess well"
Description:More creative and classier than Mario. It has regularly ranked near the bottom of the US Top 1000 over the last four decades. It does much better across the pond, and is especially popular in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.
Origin:Spanish variation of Xavier
Description:One of the most popular Spanish names for boys in the US, Javier is embodied for many Americans in the magnetic persona of Spanish-born Oscar-nominated actor Javier Bardem.
Origin:Spanish variation of Paul
Description:Pablo, the commonly used Spanish version of Paul, has the added bonus of some fantastic artistic bearers: painter Picasso, cellist Casals, and poet Neruda.
Meaning:"the Lord is salvation"
Description:Jesus -- pronounced hay-SOOS -- is used exclusively and extensively among Spanish speakers, though JEE-zus as in the first name of Christ is never used in the Anglophone world. Jesus Quintana was a character in The Big Lebowski and Jesus Velasquez appeared on True Blood.
Description:This cross-cultural name, found in Wales, Brittany, and Spain, is a surprise star in the U.S. in recent years, largely thanks to actor Gael Garcia Bernal. It's especially popular in Texas.
Description:Long an extremely popular name in Spain, Iker (usually pronounced EE-kuhr in the English speaking world) is the rare Basque name that's starting to make it big in the States also, thanks to soccer player Iker Casillas. Indeed, it's been one of the fastest growing boys' names of the decade.
Origin:Spanish variation of Hannah
Description:Pared-down form loses none of the name's grace or power. Ana is one of the most popular Spanish names for girls in the US.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese version of Joseph
Description:Jose is as widespread in the Hispanic community as Joseph and Joe are elsewhere in the U.S., though its numbers here are starting to decrease somewhat. Jose is one of those Spanish baby names that has never crossed over into the Anglo naming culture.
Description:Ignacio, like Horacio, makes its gray-bearded English equivalent name sound positively dashing. While the Ig- beginning summons up such associations as ignoble and ignorant, the era for Ignacio and Ignatius and Iggy may be nigh.
Origin:Spanish variation of Ralph
Description:Raul and French brother Raoul are much more appealing than flat-footed daddy Ralph. Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia, who starred in the Addams Family movies, brought fame to the name before his death in 1994.