Not only is the Spanish language one of the most beautiful on earth, but so too are the traditional names that belong to it. Whether you have a Spanish background or just like the way they sound, choosing a Spanish name is a wonderful choice for your baby.
Spanish names have much history behind them and the meanings of these common names are fascinating to know. For those with a popular Spanish name, or even one that might not be as common, understanding a little more about what they mean and their origins can give you a lot of insight into them.
We’ve rounded up some popular Spanish names in recent years, with a trend moving away from some of the traditional names that we’ve always known. Our list has both boys and girls name in Spanish so you can see what’s being used in recent years, and perhaps give you a bit of inspiration for your future children.
The Spanish language has given birth to many wonderful boys’ names and there are some that are traditional, and others that are modern. These are some common choices in recent times of popular Spanish names for boys that you might want to consider.
It’s believed that Diego is possibly a shortened form of Santiago, but depending on the region there are different meanings. Generally, Diego means teacher, and when translated to English is the Spanish version of the name James. There have been many famous Diegos in history and it’s still widely used today.
Fernando has always been a popular Spanish name and became popularized when the Queen of England married the King of Spain in the 16th century. Fernando roughly translates to being ready for an adventure, due to the “faro” (“journey”) and “nand” (“prepared”) words.
People originally used to think of Spanish dictator Franco when they heard the name Francisco, but now it has a much holier connotation. These days, Francis and Francisco are both popular choices for parents, and it originally came from the Latin word for “Frenchman”. Many famous sports stars carry this name, including a few baseballers.
The name Santiago is formed by the word for saint and is also known as a traditional form of James. As the capital of Chile, it’s a common name in the area but is also spreading around the world. There are many versions of Santiago popular today including Tiago and Xanti, so you can get creative with how you pay tribute to its wonderful sound.
This beautiful name translates to “bright” and is pronounced like “ha-vee-air”, also coming from the English surname Xavier. This was a popular religious name in traditional times and St. Francis Xavier was the patron saint of missionaries.
Manuel is not only a popular Spanish name but used all over the world including in Germany. Coming from the Hebrew word which means “God with us”, it is a good choice for those who like traditional and religion inspired names. Commonly used with the nickname Manny, it has both a formal and informal tone to it.
Female Spanish names have evolved over the years, but there are some names making a comeback. These are the most popular recent Spanish names that have wonderful meanings and would make a great choice for any girl.
Common in both Spanish and German, Lola is actually a shortened version of the popular name Dolores in Spanish. Dolores translates to “sorrows” and was also known as another name for the Virgin Mary. This is a beautiful name that sounds even better when pronounced with a Spanish tongue and a great choice for girls.
Thought to be taken from the Spanish word ‘milagro’ meaning miracle, this is a wonderful choice for someone looking to name their baby girl. Mila is popular in many languages, and has other meanings depending on where you look, like the Bulgarian word ‘mila’ which means “dear or pleasant”. Whichever language you look at it from, it’s a beautiful name with great meanings.
This traditional Spanish name is making a huge comeback, and the meaning of it is “emerald”. Many people will find the Esmerelda name going far back in their family tree but it’s been given a modern spin and has some great nicknames including Esme and Essie. This name is thought to mean someone who is quiet and caring, but it suits all types of girls.
Nina comes from many languages around the world but is commonly used in Spanish. The Spanish origin of Nina is that it means little girl, so it’s always a popular choice for parents who are wanting to name their new baby. In Hindi, the name means ‘pretty eyes’ and it was also the name of a famous goddess.
Maya has constantly topped baby lists for popular girls names in recent years, and it’s a name that has many different meanings all around the world. In the Spanish version, Maya can translate to ‘mother’ or even as a shortened version of the name Amalia which also means “the end”.
Although not as common as some others, Jimena is seeing a rise in popularity in the last few years. Jimena is a Spanish and Portuguese name that is sometimes connected to the traditional Hebrew boys name of Simon. The female version is thought to mean “listener” and sometimes can be spelled like “Ximena” for something different.
Choosing a Spanish name for your son or daughter is a beautiful way to honor the language and have something timeless and classical. Understanding more about the origin and meaning of these names makes them that much more special, and gives you a greater appreciation about the Spanish language and how it can be used.