Bi-cultural and bilingual homes are becoming more the norm these days. In our home, we speak both English and Spanish. I am Chilean, my husband is from Wisconsin, and we have agreed to raise our children bilingual.
When deciding on names for both of our children, we agreed that we wanted strong names that could work in both English and Spanish so that neither side of the family was left out. Meaning, we wanted both his and my parents to be able to pronounce them.
Also, for me it was important that my children’s names reflect who they are culturally and for them to have a connection to their Chilean roots. I just couldn’t NOT name my children Spanish names — it wouldn’t feel natural, and I am thankful my husband agreed. Besides, we found names that worked perfectly in both languages! Yep, Little L is Lucía and M is Matías.
I know there are many, MANY families in our situation wanting to give a nod to their Hispanic background — so I put together a list of boys and girls names that work in both English and Spanish. Of course, there are tons more, but here’s a selection of my favorites. Maybe a few have accents, but that doesn’t matter; what counts is that it is easy to pronounce and read.
A lesser used name, but strong in both English and Spanish. Pronounced “Maoo-ra”
Oh Victory! Same spelling and meaning.
Possibly one of THE most popular names that work in both English and Spanish. There is an accent over the á and the pronunciation is less harsh in Spanish than in English.
Accent over the í and pronounced “Eh-lee-as”
I believe it is THE most known name in the Spanish language. María has an accent on the í and the r is soft.
Same spelling, but pronounced “Da-veed” in Spanish.
Lesser known, but a great stand out name for a girl. Similar sounding to Aurora.
More known is the name “Mateo” — but Matías is spelled and pronounced several different ways and in various languages. In Spanish, there is no H, an accent on the í and pronounced “Ma-tee-as.”
A strong Biblical and worldly name — no mistaking it for another.
Pronounced “Mar-teen” in Spanish.
Simple, sassy and instantly recognizable!
A strong name in both languages — it has an accent over the á and is pronounced “hu-lee-an” in Spanish.
Can be short for several names, or can be simply Max. Either way, English or Spanish works great and it’s short too!
If you are looking for a unique name in both languages then Aurora is the way to go. Softer pronunciation in Spanish but spelled the same.
No change here! Name is spelled and pronounced the same in both languages. This one is a personal favorite of mine. Maybe for baby number three?
Slightly different pronunciation and no h, but that’s a very common spelling anyway. Unmistakable name.
A simple and memorable name, Alana translates well in both languages.
Pronounced “ben-ha-meen” in Spanish it has an accent on the í, but it is spelled the same in both language. It’s a favorite among my Hispanic mom friends.
Daniel. That’s just it. Simple, to the point and full of character.
Another traditional name, spelled the same yet pronounced slightly different.
Softer pronunciation in Spanish but ultimately the same. Female version of Martín.
Same. No change. And nearly the same pronunciation.
A classic name in both languages — in Spanish it has an accent on the á and no h and is pronounced “Nee-co-las.”
Everyone knows this one — No h and an accent over the á in Spanish.
This one throws people off. Most commonly recognized as an Italian name, there are various pronunciations including “Loo-sha” (Polish), “Loo-chi-a” (Italian) and “Loo-si-a” Spanish. Which by the way, means light.
Another name that has grown on me, mainly because I’ve met two very cute babies with this one. It has an accent over the é spelled the same.
I’m pretty sure this is one of the most popular girl name in the past few years. Spelled and pronounced nearly the same. Its recognizable and easy to spell.
Pronounced “Hoo-li-ana” and a great alternative to Julie or Julia.
Not the most common name, but in my opinion it’s a gem. Spelled the same and pronounced “Mee-ca-ella”
Same as with Félix, this name has grown on me over the past few years — mainly because I’ve met a few very cute Oscars!
Pronounced “Ca-mee-la” it is spelled with one L in Spanish, mainly because “Camilla” (with two “LL”) means “stretcher” in Spanish — so that wouldn’t work too well!
The female version of Anthony/Antonio is a favorite in the English and Spanish speaking world.
Same spelling, accent over the í and pronounced “Toh-bee-as.”
Traditional and easy to pronounce. Jim and Pam on The Office named their first born Cecilia and called her CeCe.
A classic name that is making a comeback in both languages. Spelled the same, softer pronunciation in Spanish.
No h and and softer pronunciation.