Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world (right behind Chinese), making its global influence undeniable — especially when it comes to baby names. There are literally hundreds of great Hispanic baby names to choose from, and they each carry with them a distinct and beautiful meaning. Hispanic girl names in particular sound romantic and melodious when they roll off the tongue, just like the beautiful language they derive from. So if you’re scanning through the baby name lists looking for a winner, you kind of can’t go wrong.
From bold names like Inez to glamorous ones like Eva, we’ve rounded up plenty of options to give you inspiration for your little bebé.
Meaning: Of the nobility
Alisa (pronounced ah-LEE-sah) is a unique alternative to more common “A” names like Alice and Alyssa. It also has Hebrew origins (in which it means “great happiness”), though is still unique enough that there likely won’t be five other kids with the same name on your daughter’s kindergarten roster.
Who can resist the name Amanda once you learn its sweet meaning? While it may have been extremely common back in the ’80s and ’90s (raise your hand if you knew at least three Amanda’s in elementary school), it’s dipped a bit in the last decade or so. Still, it’s been a solid name and a lovely choice to name a girl ever since the 17th-century, believe it or not, when poets and playwrights are said to have brought the name into popular usage.
That’s right — not Beatrice, but Beatriz. Isn’t there just something about that last ‘z’ that makes Beatriz a million times more badass? The name, which means “blessed”, is common among Spanish-speaking communities and spiked in popularity during the mid-’90s. But hey, as we all know, everything ’90s is making a comeback these days — so why not baby names, too?
Speaking of cool names … Catalina is a pretty laid-back and cool alternative to Catherine, of which it’s a variant. And although it’s currently at an all-time popularity high, not to worry — it’s not nearly as common as the Olivias and Sophias of the world. Your little Catalina still has a good shot at being the only one in her class.
Spanish (and French) pet name
When you think of the name Coco, one person likely springs to mind first: fashion legend Coco Chanel (who, fun fact, was actually born as Gabrielle). The name originally began as a French nickname for Nicolette, but expanded to Spain as well — and now, it’s a solid celeb favorite, with stars like Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Sting, and Kim Gordon, who all named their daughters Coco. And it’s no wonder why; it’s a fun and playful option for anyone seeking something a little different.
Meaning: Life or living one
Just one letter away from the oh-so-popular Ava, Eva somehow missed the train to baby name superstardom. (At least here in the States.) But that’s not to say it’s not popular. This Spanish variation of Eve, meaning “life,” has skyrocketed in the U.S. and is firmly ensconced in the top 100. (We probably have Eva Mendes and Eva Longoria to thank for that one.)
This glamorous Spanish name will always bring to mind Evita Peron, first lady of Argentina and the inspiration for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s musical Evita. And just like the legendary Peron, this moniker is graceful and fierce — just like your future daughter will be.
Meaning: Pure; virginal
Inez is the Spanish and Portuguese form of Agnes, sometimes spelled Ines; and it’s truly continued to stand the test of time. Two key suffragettes, Inez Milholland and Inez Hayes Irwin, bore the name, as did Rachel McAdam’s character in Midnight in Paris. It’s also the name of Ryan Reynolds’ and Blake Lively’s second daughter. It’s a sweet name with some serious staying power — and the “Z” gives it an edge of mystery.
Meaning: My God is bountiful; God of plenty; Devoted to God
Isabella is definitely the new(ish) It Girl of baby names. Isabella’s rise has been fairly recent and meteoric. A classic Italian and Spanish name, many European queens have worn it well; it also has literary cred, from Shakespeare to the Twilight series. Nickname possibilities include Izzy and Bella. Cute!
Meaning: Jewel, a green gemstone
Jade is a popular girl’s name in both the United States and France. Originally a boy’s name, it’s set to make a unisex comeback as a short form of the now-ubiquitous Jaden. The birthstone for the month of March, the green gem is reputed to bring forth wisdom, protection, and courage.
Derived from the Latin word laetitia meaning “happiness,” Leticia is a perfect name for a little bundle of — you guessed it —joy. It fell out of vogue after the ’70s, perhaps because of its old-fashioned sound, but we think it’s a lovely name with an alluring and worldly appeal.
Meaning: Woman of sorrows
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets—and apparently Lola wanted a jump in popularity. While the “lady of sorrows” meaning isn’t the most positive, parents (both famous and non-famous) are gravitating towards this exotic-sounding name that began as a nickname for the Spanish Dolores. The name hit its peak in 1919, eventually fell off the charts completely, and has come back in vogue in recent years giving it true vintage status.
Meaning: Bitter; wished-for-child; rebellion
Malia is currently one of the fastest-rising girls’ name thanks in part to composed First Daughter Malia Obama. As the Hawaiian version of the classic Mary and a variant of Maria, Malia offers a more modern-sounding alternative with international flair.
Meaning: Mars; war; warring
Literature buffs might associate this name with the beautiful, intelligent, and self-sufficient Marcela in the classic novel Don Quixote. Like the shepherdess, your baby girl will be independent, smart, and won’t take any gruff from the boys on the playground, and they’ll all end up in love with her because of that.
Meaning: Work; activity
There’s no denying Maya is a gorgeous name. From its Hindi roots (Maya is another name for the goddess Devi), to its relation to the Roman goddess of spring, Maya is quickly becoming the new cool kid on the name lists. And what’s not to love? It sounds mystical, slightly exotic, and just all-around beautiful.
Meaning: Sweet berry; little blueberry
Mora, which is present in a few languages around the world, is originally derived from the Latin word for “dark-skinned”—thought to be referring to women of Moorish descent. If you’re a Shakespeare fan, think of Othello, whose title character was called the Moor of Venice. It’s an uncommon name, and would be great for a future world traveler.
“Pleasant” Noemi is the Spanish version of the uber-popular Naomi. Unlike its counterpart, Noemi still sounds fresh and modern, and is still unique enough to not be too trendy. Its pronunciation may be a mystery to some, but it’s typically pronounced no-EH-mee, with an emphasis on the final syllable.
As the feminine form of the name Oliver, the popularity of Olivia very well may have originated from Shakespeare himself as the name of his heroine in Twelfth Night. While only modestly popular for most of the twentieth century, Olivia has really leapt to the top of the charts as one of the top go-to names for girls in recent years and will join all of the Isabellas, Sophias, and Emmas of the world as ones who will always have to use their last name to distinguish who is who in class. Too popular for you? Try Olive, or the more obscure Italian name Oliva.
Meaning: To harvest
Teresa is one of those names that comes in and out of fashion every few decades, but truly stands the test of time. While not as popular as it once was in the 1950s and 60s, it’s still considered a tried-and-true classic. The most famous Teresa of all, of course, was Mother Teresa, who founded an order of nuns called the Missionaries of Charity, who vow to help the world’s poorest populations. Now if that’s not a worthy role model, we don’t know who is.
Meaning: Little princess
It’s not exactly common practice for moms to pass on their own names to their daughters, but since Sarita means “little Sarah” in the Spanish-speaking countries where it’s popular, this could actually be a cute option. The name is also popular in India and Nepal, where it’s similar to Sarika.