Every single day, babies are born into every country and culture and the very heart of culture often determines the naming process. If you want to find out which are the top 20 most popular Spanish names, keep on reading. The Spanish culture in particular has remained predominately Roman Catholic and hence Maria (famous for being the Spanish version of Mary, hence the song, Ave Maria or “Hail Mary”) has been very popular for girls and Jesus (pronounced Hay-soos), José (pronounced Ho-say or the Spanish version of Joseph) and Juan (pronounced H-won or the Spanish version of John) have remained popular for boys.
The key point to remember about naming your baby is that it is one that will most likely stick with your baby for the rest of his or her life so it’s important to choose one that you feel the best resonates with.
A Word about the History of Spanish names and meanings
A longtime tradition of Spanish names that remains to this day is to give the child one the surnames of both parents-usually the father’s to the first child and the mother’s to the second child, etc. though this process is often reversed in Spain. Many Hispanic immigrants and descendants in the U.S. also still carry the tradition. In 1999, it became required that parents follow the same order of surnames in all of their children. If the parents are unable to agree to an order, an official must decide. In the case of the father being unknown or refusing to recognize the child as his son or daughter, the Spanish baby names custom is usually given both of the mother’s surnames.
In chapter five, part two of the novel, Don Quixote (1605-1620) by Miguel de Cervantes, Sancho’s wife, Teresa Cascajo – Panza makes a significant remark giving a clue to the custom of Spanish names and meanings of the time. She reminds Sancho that even though she’s his wife, it was the custom for her to be referred to with the Cascajo instead of the Panza name. Apparently the custom had been to refer to the wife by the marital surname for quite some time but that had started to die down at the time Don Quixote was written.
Baby names in Latin America and other Spanish speaking countries
The Spanish language is spoken in many other countries besides Spain. It is an official language in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela and is also spoken by the people of Belize, Andorra and Gibraltar but also by other communities in many other countries all over the world. Most of the baby names used in all these countries is Spanish names, influenced by the meaningful names of the Spanish origin and culture.
Spanish Baby Names: Popular, Common and Celebrity Names
As of 2014, the top five most popular Spanish baby names for girls are:
1. Sofia – has its origins in Greece and means “wisdom”
2. Isabella – is of Hebrew origin meaning “devoted to God”. It’s also possible that the fact that this is also the name of the main female character in the recent Twilight series may be an influence.
3. Camilla – Italian in origin and meaning “attendant”.
4. Valentina – Latin in origin, meaning “strong”.
5. Valeria – a form of Valerie, which is also Latin in origin meaning “strong”.
As of 2014, the top five most popular Hispanic baby names for boys are:
1. Santiago – simply Spanish for St. James (i.e. the biblical disciple, James, son of Zebedee)
2. Sebastian – Greek in origin meaning “majestic”.
3. Matias – Hebrew in origin and meaning “gift of God”.
4. Mateo – Greek in origin but also meaning “gift of God”.
5. Nicolas – Greek in origin, meaning “victorious people”
The current top five Spanish boy names in Spain are:
1. Alejandro – the Spanish version of Alexander and meaning “defender” and “protector of mankind”.
2. Daniel – Hebrew in origin and meaning “God is my judge”.
3. David – Hebrew in origin, meaning “beloved”.
4. Pablo – Latin form of Paul and meaning “small”.
5. Adrian – Latin form of Hadria meaning “dark”.
The current top five Spanish girl names in Spain are:
1. Maria – Spanish version of Mary, which has many origins from Italian meaning “beautiful” to Latin meaning “ransom”, “virgin” or “merciful”.
2. Laura – in Spanish, the name means “crowned with laurels”
3. Lucia – Latin in origin meaning “light”
4. Paula – feminine version of Paul and Latin meaning “small”
5. Andrea – was actually originally a male name, it’s a derivative of Andrew and
Greek in origin for “strong, manly and brave”
Celebrities with Hispanic Names
Current celebrities with Spanish girl names:
– U.S. singer and actress, Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García de Estefan, a.k.a. Gloria Estefan-was born in Havanna, Cuba in 1957
– Modern Family star, Sofía Margarita Vergara, a.k.a Sofia Vergara is from Columbia and has also co-hosted two talk shows.
Current celebrities with Spanish boy names:
-U.S. singer and actor, José Antonio Domínguez Banderas, a.k.a. Antonio Banderas was born in Benalmadena, Spain in 1960.
-U.S. comedian and actor, Richard Anthony Marin, a.k.a. Cheech Marin is of Mexican origin.
Our remarkable category of Spanish Names will definitely inspire you to find the perfect name along with meaning, the use of the name, popularity, pronunciation and additional information for your family’s latest addition.
See our wide lists of
- Mexican names and meanings
- Argentine names and meanings
- Bolivian names and meanings
- Chilean names and meanings
- Costa Rican names and meanings
- Cuban names and meanings
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If none of the above suits you and you’re still searching for a name, check our wide list of Baby Name Categories.
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