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Diego Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Diego including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Diego Overview

  • Meaning: The meaning of its original form is “supplanter” or “substitute.”
  • Gender: Male
  • Origin: Spanish
  • Pronunciation: “Dee-ay-goh”
  • Popularity: Popular
  • Nicknames: Dee, Go-go.
  • Variations: James, Santiago, Iago.
  • Namesakes: Diego Corrales, Diego González.

What Does Diego Mean?

The meaning of its original form is “supplanter” or “substitute.”Diego is a name that has changed a lot as it passed through multiple cultures. Diego is a variation that came from “Saint James.”

The meaning of its original form is “supplanter” or “substitute.”

What is the Origin of the Name Diego?

Diego is a Spanish boy name. However, the name went through a lot to become today’s version.

Diego’s first form in the Hebrew Bible was Yaʿaqov. From there, the name split into variations of James, Jacob, and Iago.

Saint Iago is the Patron Saint of Spain (1). Due to this, the name Santiago evolved over time. The “t” in Santiago is pronounced very similarly to a “d,” and in time, the name Diego was born.

How Popular is the Name Diego?

Diego is a popular name.

Between 2002 and 2011, Diego made the top 100 list of boys’ names in the United States (2).

While parents don’t name their sons Diego quite that frequently today, the name remains popular.

How Do I Pronounce Diego?

You pronounce Diego as “Dee-ay-goh.” While some try to combine the “ie” into one sound, the “e” in the name is its own syllable.

Is Diego a Boy or Girl Name?

Diego is a boy’s name. While you could choose to name your daughter Diego, it is very uncommon to do so.

There aren’t many versions of Diego that parents traditionally use for a girl, but there is one. Diego comes from the same base name as the French female name Jacques. If you want to name your daughter Jacqueline, that name also means “supplanter.”

Variations of Diego

Due to its rich history and popularity, there are many variations on the name Diego. Some of them include:

  • Iago (Welsh, Old Spanish)
  • Jacob (Hebrew)
  • Jacqueline (French)
  • Jacques (French)
  • James (Hebrew)
  • Santiago (Spanish)
  • Séamas (Irish)

Nicknames for Diego

If you name your son Diego, you should consider what nicknames you’ll call him. Some options are:

  • Dee
  • Dee-dee
  • Ego
  • Go-go
  • Yego

Similar Names to Diego

If you like the name Diego and want some that are similar, the following names have a similar sound, meaning, or origin:

Middle Names for Diego

If you’ve picked Diego for a first name, you should pair it with the perfect middle name. Here are some of the options we think work best with Diego:

Sibling Names for Diego

If you already have a son named Diego or want to be sure that the name will go with any future siblings’ names, we have options for that too.

For a brother, consider:

For a sister, consider:

Famous People Named Diego

Diego is a name with tons of history over time. The name is well-respected, and many famous people have the name! Some of the best are:

  • Diego Aventín: is an Argentinian race car driver. Aventín is most famous for racing in the Turismo Carretera (3). His father, Oscar Aventín, was also a racecar driver.
  • Diego Corrales: was an American boxer with the nickname “chico.” Corrales was the world champion lightweight boxer for multiple years in his decade-long career.
  • Diego El Mulato: were three infamous pirates with the same first name who sailed along the Caribbean Islands in the late 1500s through the early 1600s (4). The men who took on the mantle of El Mulato were Diego Grillo, Diego Martín, and Diego Lucifer.
  • Diego González: is a famous Mexican actor and singer. In the United States, most people know him as Diego Boneta. Diego played in Rock of Ages and released the album “Responde.”
  • Diego Luna: is an American professional soccer player. Luna plays for Real Salt Lake.
  • Diego of Mendoza: was a Nahuas king in the 1500s near what is now Mexico City.
  • Diego Portales: was a conservative Chilean politician in the 1800s who influenced the Constitution of 1833. Portales was assassinated, and his death strongly impacted the War of the Confederation.
  • Diego Rivera: was a Mexican artist who painted many frescos in Mexico City, Detroit, and New York. Diego married famous artist Frida Kahlo until she passed away. In addition to his frescos, Riveras use of cubism and surrealism were quite popular.
  • Diego Seguí: is a former baseball player. While Cuban by birth, Seguí spent his professional career in the United States and played for the Saint Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.
  • Diego Silang: was a Filipino revolutionary leader in the 1700s who fought for Independence from Spain (5). The church assassinated Silang, but his wife picked up where he left off and continued his work in his name.
  • Diego Villanueva: is a Brazillian Hip-Hop songwriter. Villanueva’s stage name is Mr. Thug, and he cofounded and sings for Bonde de Stronda.

Diego in Popular Culture

Diego is a name that frequents pop culture as well. Some of the best characters named Diego include:

  • Diego Alcazar: a character in General Hospital. Alcazar was a staple on the show for two years before leaving and returning a year later as “The Text Message Killer.”
  • Diego Hargreeves: a character from Umbrella Academy. Hargreeves was the second child that Reginald adopted. Diego’s storyline shows him trying to save President Kennedy after traveling through time.
  • Diego (Ice Age): a saber-toothed tiger from the Ice Age movie series. Diego begins the series as a vicious hunter but learns about love and family.
  • Diego Márquez: Dora’s cousin on Dora the Explorer. Márquez is an eco-conscious eight-year-old who advocates for animal rights. While Dora uses old-school methods, such as maps, to accomplish her tasks, her cousin uses a high-tech gear to achieve his goals.
  • Diego Torres: a character on 13 Reasons Why. Torres is the leader of the school’s football team. While he has issues with his anger, Torres is also loyal and open-minded.
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