If you’re looking for a name that reflects your family’s Hispanic or Latino heritage, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve spent many hours carefully researching names, meanings, and information to help you decide on the right name for your little one.
Before we dive in, we wanted to say that we understand Hispanic identity traces its roots to Spanish-speaking nations, while Latino identity traces back to Latin American countries. While there is much overlap, and many people use the terms interchangeably, they are not identical (1).
For this article, we will use the correct term when a name is specific to only one culture, and when the name can fit with either, we’ll use the words interchangeably.
100 Hispanic & Latina Names for Girls
These are our favorite fabulous, feisty, Hispanic and Latino Girl names.
From the Hebrew name Abigail, meaning “my father’s joy.”
In the Bible, Abigail calls herself “David’s handmaid.” In 15th-century Europe, this led to aristocrats referring to their servants as “My Abigail.” Consequently, the name is often incorrectly defined as meaning “servant.”
Adela is a Germanic name, meaning “noble.”
Pronounced by English speakers as “ah-DEHL-ah,” the Spanish pronunciation of Adela is “a-THEH-la,” giving it an uplifting lyrical feel.
Saint Adela was the daughter of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders. Active in politics, Adela acted as Queen regent and was known for her patronage of poets, writers, and monasteries.
We can imagine Adela as a modern poet.
Adoración is the Spanish word for “adoration.”
The Adoración refers to the time in the Christian Bible when the Magi presented gifts to Jesus.
There are roughly 85 people globally with the given name Adoración, with 73 of them in Spain, 8 in Mexico, and 0 registered in the U.S. Will you be the first person in the U.S. to name their child Adoración?
Adriana is from the Latin Hadrian. It means “from Hadria.”
There are two spellings of Adriana. First, there is Adriana with one n, like Brazilian supermodel, Maybelline cosmetics spokesperson, and former Victoria’s Secrets model Adriana Lima.
Second, there is Adrianna with two n’s like U.S. soccer goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who plays for Kansa City and the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The Spanish form of Agatha, Águeda means “good.”
In Spain, Águeda is viewed as the kind of name a grandmother or great-grandmother might have. This makes it the perfect choice for a cute old-lady-chic girl name.
Alondra is Spanish for “skylark” and “lark.”
Some websites claim Alondra is short for Alejandra, the Spanish feminine form of Alexander, but it is an entirely separate name.
Alondra is a popular Mexican girl name for families with Hispanic heritage. For example, Alondra de la Parra was born in New York but raised on both sides of the border. She now serves as a Cultural Ambassador for Mexico.
Amalia is from the Germanic name Amala, meaning “work.”
Amalia is a fabulous alternative to Amelia. Although Amalia is significantly more prevalent in Mexico than its cousin with an E, there are three times more Amelias than Amalias in the U.S.
In 2017, actress Natalie Portman named her daughter Amalia Portman-Millipied, thus bringing the name to a broader audience.
From the Germanic name Amala, Amelia means “work.”
Popular names become well used for a reason: they are gorgeous. Amelia is no exception.
However, there is a solution if you like this name but are reluctant to choose it because it is so frequently used. Consider naming your child Amelia and using the super sweet nickname Millie or Miley to distinguish your little one from others who share the same name.
Andrea is from the Greek name Andrew which means “masculine, manly.”
Andrea is the first name on our list that is written differently by some Hispanic and Latino families.
That’s because the Spanish form of the name is Andrea, while the Portuguese form used predominantly in Brazil is Andréa. This difference in written forms changes the pronunciation from an-DREH-a in Spanish to AH-DREH-A in Brazilian Portuguese.
Angélica means “angelic” and comes from the Greek word Angelos, meaning “messenger.”
Brazilian TV presenter, actress, and singer Angélica Ksyvickis is more commonly known by the single name, Angélica.
Her career began at the age of four when she was chosen as Brazil’s most beautiful child. Most Brazilians know of her single “Vou de Táxi,” a remake of Vanessa Paradis’ “Joe le Taxi.”
Anunciación is a Spanish name referencing the Annunciation.
Anunciación is not, as some people will tell you, the Spanish word for announcement, but they do share the same roots.
Instead, Anunciación references the Annunciation, an event in the Christian Bible where the angel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary and tells her she will conceive and bear the son of God.
The Spanish name Araceli means “altar of the sky.”
In European Spanish, the pronunciation of Araceli is a-ra-THEH-lee, while the Latin American Spanish pronunciation is a-ra-SEH-lee. In Mexico, Cheli is a popular nickname for this name.
Although you may spend a lot of time correcting people’s pronunciation, this beautiful Hispanic name for girls is totally worth it.
This Portuguese version of the Greek name Ariadne means “most holy.”
Ariana Greenblatt is the young actress who recently made the leap from the Disney Channel to movies such as “Love and Monsters,” “In the Heights,” and “Awake.” Greenblatt’s Puerto Rican heritage is important to her, and her rising fame is likely to make this name a popular Hispanic girl name.
The name Armida was created by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso and has no meaning.
This beautiful Latino girl name is popular in Mexico, El Salvador, Columbia, and Brazil. However, the country with the second-largest number of Armidas is the United States. In spite of this, it is not a common American name, and the last time it was included in the U.S. top 1,000 baby names was in 1940.
Áurea is a Spanish and Portuguese name that comes from the Latin word aureus, meaning “golden.”
Lei Áurea, also known as The Golden Law, was adopted in 1888 and abolished slavery in Brazil.
In our opinion, that makes Lei Áurea an excellent choice for parents who work or volunteer in social justice and want to celebrate their Latino heritage.
Aurora means “dawn” in Latin.
Aurora was the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn. The aurora borealis, or northern lights, and aurora australis, or southern lights, were named after the goddess who was said to travel across the sky announcing the coming of the sun.
The Spanish name Azahara means “orange blossom.”
In addition to being a Spanish name, Azahara was a Moorish city in the Spanish province of Córdoba. This Azahara came from the Arabic root زهر, or Zahara, meaning “to shine.”
To provide another layer of depth to this name, it is also an alternative spelling of the name Azahara which comes from the Arabic زهرة, or Zahrah, which means “flower.”
From the Late Latin Benedictus, Benita means “blessed.”
Relatively popular in the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s, Benita has pretty much fallen off the radar for many families.
However, this might make it an ideal Spanish girl name. It’s unusual enough that there won’t be 15 other kids at the park with the same name, but it’s not so unusual that your child will stand out or be made fun of.
The Spanish and Portuguese form of Camilla, Camila is of unknown meaning.
Camila, in all its forms, is said to have come from the Latin word Camillus. This was like a job title for a youth, usually a boy, who was a helper in religious services. This led to Camila being listed in many places as meaning “helper to the priest,” but this is probably untrue (2).
That doesn’t detract from Camila being a beautiful, refined Hispanic name for girls.
A Spanish and Portuguese name, Callista means “most beautiful.”
Set in the 3rd century, John Henry Newman’s 19th-century novel Callista tells the story of a young pagan woman who finds herself torn between the faith she grew up with, her family, and Christianity.
An evolution of the Late Latin name Sperantia, the Spanish name Esperanza means “to hope.”
Singer, songwriter, composer, and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding first performed at the age of five with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon.
Spalding won the Best New Artist Grammy for her 2010 album, “Chamber Music Society,” Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 2012 release “Radio Music Society,” and Best Arrangement, Instrument, and Vocals, for the track “City of Roses.”
Estefanía is the Spanish feminine form of Stephen, meaning “crown.”
Many European countries celebrate name days. These are like birthdays that celebrate the name rather than the person. In Spain, the name day for Estefanía is January 16th.
Estrella is the Spanish word for star.
Estrella is the spelling used most frequently in families of Hispanic heritage, while Latino families with roots in Portuguese-speaking Brazil usually use the single-L Estrela spelling.
The Late Roman name Felicia means “successful, lucky.”
In the United States, Felicia was most popular in 1986, when it reached #91 in the top 1,000 girl names charts. However, it has steadily declined since then, making its last appearance in 2005, when it was #990, and only 247 babies in the country were given the first name Felicia.
A Spanish and Portuguese name, Fernanda means “brave journey.”
Fernanda Montenegro is considered by many to be the greatest Brazilian actress of all time. She received the Academy Awards’ Best Actress nomination for her role in “Central Station.” She was the first Latin American, and still the only Brazilian, to ever be nominated for the award.
Fidela is a Spanish name, meaning “faithful.”
Fidela Oller Angelats was a Spanish member of the Religious Sisters of Saint Joseph of Girona. Because she died in the Spanish Civil war, Angelats is considered a martyr by the Catholic Church and is memorialized on August 30th each year.
Many Fidelas are given the name because they were born on this date.
Filomena is the Spanish and Portuguese form of Philomina, meaning “friend, strength.”
Filomena is also the preferred version of this name in Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, and many other parts of Europe. Filomena may be the ideal Hispanic girl name for families of mixed European and Latin American heritage.
Flavia is from the Ancient Roman name Flavius, meaning “golden-haired.”
In the classic novel “The Prisoner of Zenda,” Princess Flavia is betrothed to the man about to be crowned king. The princess is unaware when the would-be king is kidnapped and replaced with a look-alike, and she falls in love with the stand-in.
Although she discovers the plot, Flavia parts from the man she has fallen in love with and marries the true king.
The name Flora comes from the Latin word flos, meaning “flower.”
In Roman mythology, Flora was the goddess of flowers and spring. A festival celebrating Flora, the Floralia, was held between April 28th and May 3rd each year. During the celebration, men wore flowers, and women wore vibrant costumes, which they were not usually allowed to wear on a day-to-day basis.
Flora was also celebrated on May 23rd with a rose festival.
Florentina is a Spanish form of Florence, meaning “to flourish.”
Saint Florentina is celebrated each year on March 14th, making this an interesting option if you want a Hispanic name for a girl born on that day.
From the Late Latin Fortunatus, Fortunata means “blessed, happy, fortunate.”
The novel “Fortunata y Jacinta” is a classic of Spanish realism. It tells the tale of Fortunata, a woman of low social status who falls for a wealthy man, Juanito Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz toys with Fortunata both before and after his marriage to Jacinta, a woman of equal social class.
Francisca is the Spanish version of Francis, meaning “the Frenchman.”
A popular girl name in Brazil, Spain, and Mexico, Francisca is a much loved Hispanic and Latino name related to Francine, Frances, and Francesca.
We especially adore the variety of nicknames that go with this name. From Frankie and Franny to Sissy and Sisca, there are endless options for friends and family, and of course, Francisca herself, to choose from.
From the Hebrew name Gabriel, Gabriela means “God is my strongman.”
Gabriela is the preferred spelling in Spain and Latin American countries, while Gabriella is seen more often in English-speaking countries, Italy, and northern Europe.
You will usually hear Spanish and Portuguese speakers pronounce Gabriela as ga-BRYEH-la. In contrast, speakers of English, Italian, German, and other European languages will pronounce the name ga-bree-EHL-ah, gah-bree-EHL-lah, or GAWB-ree-ehl-law.
Gala is the Spanish form of Gallus, meaning “rooster.”
Around the world, there are multiple versions of the name Gala. For example, the Croatian girl name Gala is pronounced GOH-la and means “brown” or “black.” Meanwhile, the Russian girl name Gala is from the Greek name Galenos, meaning “calm.”
Gala also means “milk” in Greek, so Gala has many different meanings, depending on a person’s language and culture.
The Spanish form of Gertrude, Gertrudis means “spear of strength.”
Writer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda was born in Cuba in 1814. Betrothed to a distant relative at 13, she was ostracized when she broke off the engagement at 17.
Avellaneda’s most famous work is the anti-slavery novel “Sab.” Despite her success as a writer, she was excluded from the Royal Spanish Academy because she was a woman.
Gisela is a Spanish name, meaning “hostage, pledge.”
Gisela of Hungary was born into 11th-century European royalty. The church beatified her for her work in spreading Christianity. During the 18th century, attempts to have Gisela declared a saint failed, but because of her high profile in the church, Gisela became popular in Spain.
A Spanish and Portuguese name, Gloria means “glory.”
Mexican fashion icon Gloria Guinness was featured in the International Best-Dressed List on multiple occasions before being elevated to its Hall of Fame in 1964. Guinness also came second in a Best Dressed Person in the World feature in Time magazine, with Jacqueline Kennedy beating her to first.
Graciela is a Spanish name, meaning “grace.”
Graciela was a regular on the U.S. top 30 girl name lists from 1944 until 2007. Peaking in 1998, when 428 girls were given the name, Graciela is not uncommon but has never been overly popular. Which, in our opinion, makes this an ideal Hispanic girl name.
Griselda is a Spanish name that means “grey battle.”
In European folklore, Griselda was a woman told by her husband to give up their children and then to leave him so he could marry another. Her husband then asked her to return and help prepare the wedding feast for him and his new wife.
However, it was all a test. Their children were fine, and her husband was not marrying another woman.
A Spanish name, Guadalupe, may mean “valley of the wolf.”
Guadalupe is the name of a Spanish city and the site of a famous convent. This place-name is thought to have evolved from the Arabic word wadi, meaning “river” or “valley,” and the Latin word lupus, meaning “wolf.”
A Mexican man reported a vision of “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” and Guadalupe then became a popular Mexican girl name.
The Spanish name Haydée may mean “modest.”
Pronounced ie-DEH, the name Haydée was created by Lord Byron for his novel “Don Juan,” although Byron spelled it Haidée. It is thought that Byron meant for the name to invoke the Greek αἰδοῖος, or aidoios, which means “modest,” or “reverent.”
After the publication of the book, Haydée was slowly adopted as a girl name.
Herminia is a Spanish name of unknown meaning.
This feminine name is the Spanish version of the Ancient Roman boy name Herminius. Herminius is of unknown meaning, but it’s thought that it may be connected to Hermes, the Greek god who was the messenger for the other gods.
Hermes is thought to mean “pile of stones, marker, cairn,” so it’s reasonable to believe that Herminia has the same meaning.
The Spanish name Hilaria means “cheerful.”
Mexico has the most significant number of Hilarias in the world with, at last count, 38,607 people with this name. The highest density can be found in Bolivia, where 1 in 1,415 people are called Hilaria.
Meanwhile, there are 2,823 Hilarias in the U.S., which is 1 per every 128,423 people.
The Spanish name Hortensia may be from the Latin hortus, meaning “garden.”
It is thought that Hortensia could have made the leap from a Roman family name to a Spanish girl name because of the plant Hydrangea macrophylla, commonly known as hortensia.
Potted hortensias are traditionally given as gifts over Easter. That tradition may have induced devout Spanish Catholics to name a child after this beautiful flowering shrub.
Icíar is a Spanish girl name, possibly meaning “old stone.”
Icíar is a version of Itziar, a Basque village whose name was adopted as a girl name. The Basque region covers part of what we now call northern Spain and southern France and has its own language, unconnected to surrounding European languages.
The village of Itziar is home to a shrine to the Virgin Mary, important to Roman Catholics.
Ignacia is the feminine Spanish version of Ignatius, of which the meaning is unknown.
It is a common misconception that Ignatius, and subsequently Ignatia, means “fire” or “flaming.” This misinformation came about because, at some point, the spelling was changed to echo the Latin word ignus, meaning “fire.”
Imelda is the Spanish form of Irmhild, meaning “universal battle.”
In 1327, at the age of five, Imelda Lambertini asked to receive the Holy Eucharist but was denied as the traditional age was 14. At the age of nine, she went to live in a convent, and at 11, she was praying when a miraculous light was seen above her head.
The priest subsequently allowed Imelda to receive the Eucharist, after which she immediately died.
The Spanish form of Agnes, Inés means “chaste.”
Inés María Mendoza Rivera de Muñoz Marín was the First Lady and second wife of Puerto Rico Governor Luis Muñoz Marín.
Also, a teacher, writer, and socialite, Mendoza defied the U.S. authorities who wanted to replace Spanish as the language for teaching in schools with English. Her rebellion gained widespread support, and the proposal was dropped.
A Spanish form of the Norse name Ingrid, Íngrid means “Ing is beautiful.”
Ing was an obscure Germanic fertility god, an earlier incarnation of the Old Norse god Freyr. The name Ing is thought to have meant “ancestor.”
This combination of background, history, and meanings makes Íngrid a beautiful multi-layered name that could be a good choice for those who have undergone fertility treatment or have roots in Northern Europe.
Isabela is a Spanish name, meaning “my God is an oath.”
Occitan is an official language of Catalonia, an autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain. Isabela is a medieval Occitan variation of Elizabeth, which is where we get the meaning.
This connects the name Isabela to Elizabeth, Lisa, Elsa, Elsie, Bethan, Belle, and Babette, and it could be fun to name each daughter one of these variations.
A Spanish name, Isidora means “gift of Isis.”
At the age of 20, Spanish musician and composer Isidora Zegers Montenegro moved to Chile with her family. Zegers founded the Philharmonic Society of Santiago and was honorary president of the National Academy of Music.
Zeger’s first husband died in the Chilean Civil War, and with her second husband, she had one son, Chilean politician and lawyer Jorge Huneeus Zegers.
Jacinta is the Spanish form of Hyacinth.
Jacinta became a prevalent name in Spain and Portugal after Jacinta Marto, along with her brother and cousin, saw apparitions of the Angel of Peace and the Virgin Mary in their village of Fatima.
Fatima became a significant place of pilgrimage for the Christian faith, and Jacinta became the youngest Catholic Saint who did not die as a martyr.
The Spanish name Javiera means “the new house.”
Javiera evolved from a Basque place name, Etxeberria, which later became a surname for people of the village(s). As people moved from the Basque region and the pronunciation and written form of the name changed, Xavier and then Javiera were created.
The surname was adopted as a forename in honor of Saint Xavier.
Josefina, the Spanish feminine form of Joseph, means “he will add.”
Josefina Fierro de Bright was a Mexican American civil rights leader who left UCLA Medical School to raise the profile of Mexicans and Mexican Americans and fight against their discrimination.
Fierro founded the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, raising money for defendants who could not afford lawyers for themselves. She was in L.A. to witness the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.
Juanita evolved from John, which means “Yahweh is Gracious.”
Juanita was in the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S. from when the list began in 1800 and remained there until 2002. The most popular year for this name in the U.S. was 1924, when 5,404 babies were named Juanita.
At last count, there were 220,010 Juanitas in the U.S, with the majority of them being over 50 years of age.
Juliana is a Spanish name of disputed meaning.
Juliana is the feminine form of Julian, which traces its roots to the Roman family name Julius.
Julius may come from the Greek ἴουλος, or ioulos, which means “downey-bearded,” or it could be related to the Roman god Jupiter whose name means “father of the sky,” or “father of the gods.”
The name Lady comes from the Old English word hlæfdige, meaning “bread kneader.”
Until the 1980s, Lady was rarely seen as a forename, although it did see occasional usage. After the engagement of Lady Diana Spencer to Charles, Prince of Wales, Lady became a relatively popular name in Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela.
From a Greek place name, the Spanish name Leocadia means “clear, bright, white.”
“La Leocadia” is one of a series of paintings by Francisco Goya, known as the Black Paintings. The picture is thought to depict Leocadia Weiss, Goya’s housekeeper, companion, and likely his lover.
Leocadia was known to have a fiery personality, and it is speculated that her third child was Goya’s daughter rather than her husband’s.
Leonor, the Spanish form of Eleanor, is of unknown meaning.
Born in Argentina at the beginning of the 20th century, Leonor Fini was a painter, illustrator, designer, and author known for her non-conformist lifestyle and depictions of powerful women.
A famous photo of Fini by Henri Cartier-Bresson shows her from the neck down, floating naked in a pool of water.
From the Late Latin name Laetitia, Leticia means “happiness, joy.”
In European Spanish, Leticia is pronounced leh-TEE-thya, while in Latin American Spanish, it is leh-TEE-sya.
With its cute variants of Tisha, Lettuce, Letty, and Lecia, Leticia was once a popular English language name. However, because a common nickname was Titty, it fell out of favor when the same word became associated with the female breast.
The Spanish name Leire comes from the name of a monastery.
Leire is a Spanish girl name specific to the Basque region. It comes from the Monastery of San Salvador of Leyre in Navarre, one of Spain’s most important historical religious sites.
Often found in the top ten names of the Basque region, Leire is not commonly used as a name in English-speaking countries.
The Spanish name Loreto means “laurel grove.”
The town of Loreto became famous in the 13th century after it was said that angels carried the home of the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to the town. After this, devout Catholics began using Loreto as a name.
Gender use depends on location. For example, 96% of Loretos in Spain are female, while 47% of Mexican Loretos are male.
Lourdes is thought to come from the Latin word lorus, meaning “leash.”
The name Lourdes is from Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, “Our Lady of Lourdes,” a title of the Virgin Mary. This title was given to the Virgin Mary after a French girl from the town of Lourdes experienced Marian apparitions in a cave near the town.
Lourdes was named after a Moorish leader who converted to Christianity and took Lorus as his baptismal name.
The Spanish girl name Magdalena means “from Magdala.”
Magdala was a village on the Sea of Galilee, and in the Christian Bible, Mary Magdalene was given her surname because that is where she was born. Magdalene became a popular girl name in the middle ages, and Magdalena is the form popular in Spain.
In Hebrew, Magdala means “tower,”
The Spanish name Marcela probably means “male.”
Marcela is the feminine form of Marcellus, which comes from the Roman name Marcus. This, in turn, is thought to be from the name of the Roman god Mars. Mars was the god of war, and his name probably comes from the Latin word mas, meaning “male.”
Consequently, Marcela may be an excellent Hispanic girl name for military families.
The Spanish name Marisol is a blend of María and Sol.
Marisol is often incorrectly said to be the combined form of the Spanish words mar y sol, meaning “sea and sun.” Instead, it is a modern evolution of the traditional name María.
Marisol combines two names. María is a form of Mary, which could mean “sea of bitterness,” “wished-for child,” “rebelliousness,” or, most likely, “beloved.” Sol is Spanish for “sun.”
Maritza is a diminutive of Maria, making it also a diminutive of Mary.
At one stage, questions were raised about whether the name Maritza came from the Thrace region of Europe and was a respelling of the Slavic name Marica or whether it was a corruption of Maritsa, a river in the Balkans.
However, it is more likely that Maritza is simply a Latin American evolution of Mary and is independent of either of the two other names.
This Spanish form of Matilda means “strength in battle.”
Matilde has different pronunciations, depending on your geographic location.
In Spanish, Matilde is ma-TEEL-deh, and in European Portuguese, it is mu-TEEL-di. However, in Brazilian Portuguese ma-CHEEW-jee, which gives it a significantly different feel.
Matilde has a range of cute, fun nicknames such as Tilde, Tilly, and Matty, or you could go for the less common Portuguese and Catalan form, Mafalda.
Mayra is a Hispanic girl name that possibly means “myrrh.”
Mayra is the Hispanic form of Myra, an English girl name created in the 17th century by poet Fulke Greville. It is thought he based Myra on the Latin word myrra, which means “myrrh,” but he could have simply rearranged the letters of Mary.
Myra is also a small town in Turkey but is unrelated to the name.
The Spanish name Mercedes means “mercies.”
The name Mercedes is from María de las Mercedes, “Our Lady of Mercy,” a Roman Catholic title of the Virgin Mary.
As a Spanish girl name, Mercedes is seen as a traditional choice in some countries. However, the association with the car brand, which was named after the daughter of the car maker’s originator, is off-putting for some people.
Milagros is Spanish for “miracles.”
A Spanish girl name with Roman Catholic roots, Milagros is from the title Nuestra Señora de Los Milagros, or “Our Lady of Miracles.”
Milagros is overwhelmingly used as a girl name but does see occasional use as a boy name, most often in Argentina, Columbia, and Mexico. It has also appeared in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Nayeli is a Zapotec name, meaning “I love you” or “open.”
It is unclear whether Nayeli came from the Zapotec words nadxiie lii, which means “I love you,” or nayele, which means “open.” Either way, this pretty name landed on the U.S. radar, entering the top 1,000 for the first time in 1993.
Nereida is from the Greek name Nereides, meaning “sea nymphs.”
Although some people assume that Nereida is someone’s attempt to mix up Narissa with a fancy spelling, it is, in reality, the other way around. Nereida is thought to be the name on which William Shakespeare based Narissa, a character in his play “The Merchant of Venice.”
Nieves is a Spanish word that translates to English as “snows.”
Nuestra Señora de las Nieves is a Roman Catholic title of the Virgin Mary, which means “Our Lady of the Snows.”
We think Nieves is a beautiful Hispanic name for babies born in the winter, especially if they are born while there is snow on the ground.
Odalis is a Latin American Spanish name of unknown meaning.
Odalis could be an elaborate form of the Ancient Germanic name Odilia which comes fromodal, meaning “fatherland,” or aud, meaning “wealth, fortune.”
Alternatively, the name could come from the Spanish word Odalisca, which is often used in modern Spanish to refer to belly dancers but was originally a term for a concubine or member of a harem.
Oriana likely comes from the Latin aurum, meaning “gold.”
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen’s book “The Fairy Oriana” is a central pillar of children’s literature for children in her native Portugal. The book shares the tale of Oriana, who is tasked with caring for the forest, but things don’t go as they should.
We like the idea of children finding their names in popular books.
Evolving from a diminutive of Francisca, Paquita means “Frenchman.”
Paquita is a common nickname and term of endearment for Francisca’s in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, but it is less commonly used as a name itself.
So if you’re looking for a bright, young, fun Hispanic girl name that is not overused but isn’t totally out there, consider Paquita.
The Spanish name Pilar means “pillar.”
When taken out of context, this seems like an extremely odd choice for a girl name. However, it was adopted in honor of a Catholic title of the Virgin Mary, “María del Pilar,” which means “Mary of the Pillar.”
The Spanish and Portuguese name Rafaela means “God heals.”
Rafaela is most popular in Brazil, Mexico, and Spain, but it is not as widely used as it was 30 or 40 years ago. Consequently, this beautiful Latina name is ripe for a resurgence, so snap it up before there are too many Rafaelas in the schoolyard.
A Mapuche name, Rayen means “flower.”
In what we now call Chile and Argentina, the traditional lands of the Mapuche people, Rayen is always used as a girl name. In other parts of the world, Rayen is used as an alternate spelling for Rayan, a unisex Arabic name that means “plentiful, heaven’s flower.”
Reyes the Spanish word for “kings.”
Reyes is particularly popular in and around the Spanish city of Seville because that is the location of a statue named La Virgen de los Reyes or “The Virgin of the Kings.”
On August 4th each year, the statue is dressed, adorned with flowers, and taken on a procession through the streets.
The Spanish word Rosario translates as “rosary.”
In Spanish, Rosario is a feminine name, but in Italian, it is a masculine name.
As a result of large-scale Italian immigration, there were many male Rosarios in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century. However, during the 1930s and 1940s, Italian Rosarios decreased, and Spanish Rosarios increased, and after 1942 it became a predominately feminine name.
Rosita is the Spanish affectionate form of Rosa.
The name Rosa is either a Latin version of the name Rose or a form of the Germanic name Roza which means “fame.”
If Rosa, and subsequently Rosita, did evolve from Rose, then the roots are still Germanic, and the meaning is “famous type.” The name only became associated with the flower of the same spelling when it was revived as a Victorian girl name.
The Ancient Roman name Sabina means “a Sabine.”
The Sabines were a people group living in central Italy before the Romans. After multiple wars, the Romans took their land and kidnapped many of the women. When the Sabine men came to rescue them, the women threw themselves between the groups of warring men and brought about peace.
The Spanish name Sancha means “holy, saintly.”
Sancha of León was the queen of León and was married to Ferdinand I, who was the first to crown himself Emperor of Spain. The king commissioned the Crucifix of Ferdinand and Sancha, the earliest known Spanish crucifix showing the body of Christ.
However, in some places, Sancha has become modern slang for a mistress or “side-lady.”
Selena is a Latinized form of the Greek name Selene which means “moon.”
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, performing as Selena, was voted the greatest female Latin artist of all time by Billboard magazine in 2020. Her 1993 album “Live!” won the Grammy for best Mexican/American album, and she’s considered instrumental in bringing Latin music to the mainstream market.
In 1995, Selena was murdered. A movie of her life story, starring Jennifer Lopez, was Lopez’s breakout role.
The Spanish girl name Socorro means “relief, help, succor.”
While Socorro is considered a Spanish girl name, like other Marian names that evolved from the title of the Virgin Mary, it is also used occasionally for boys.
Roughly 140,370 children in Mexico have the name Socorro, with five percent of them being boys. Meanwhile, of the approximately 33,000 people in the U.S. with the name Socorro, 14% are male.
This Spanish form of the Greek name Sophia means “wisdom.”
When the U.S. Social Security Administration compiles data, they often combine the alternate spellings of similar names and count them together.
However, they count the Greek and Spanish forms as entirely separate names. In 2020, Sofía was #317 in the U.S. Girl Names Top 1,000, and 6,926 newborn girls were given the name Sofía compared to 12,976 named Sophia.
In Spanish and Portuguese, Sol means “sun.”
Sol has associations with the sun in multiple languages and cultures.
In Roman mythology, Sol was a minor sun god who fell out of favor by the first century. Sol Invictus was a Syrian sun god, brought to Rome and adopted by the Romans, and Sól was the Norse personification of the sun.
Soledad is a Spanish name, meaning “solitude, loneliness.”
The correct pronunciation of Soledad is “so-leh-DHADH” without any emphasis on the final D. However, the majority of native English speakers will first pronounce this as “SOUL- daD,” so be prepared for lots of correcting.
The Spanish name Triana is of unknown meaning.
This form of Triana first saw use in Seville, where it is the name of a neighborhood. Girls from this neighborhood would be nicknamed Triana, and eventually, it became a given name.
The downside to this cute and pretty name is that lots of people will assume that it is short for something else, such as Katrina.
From the Roman name Valens, Valentina means “vigorous, healthy, strong.”
Valentina is currently growing in popularity in the U.S. It broke the top 100 girl names for the first time in 2017, and in 2020, it was #73, down slightly from its 2019 peak of #65.
Valentina has found popularity around the world, and it is currently #10 in Austria, #9 in Argentina and Brazil, #7 in Mexico, and #1 in Puerto Rico.
Valeria is from the Latin valere, meaning “to be strong.”
Pronounced “VAL-er-ia,” the name Valeria is most popular in Argentina, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil. However, it is used predominantly as a boy name in Brazil.
In 2020, Netflix released a comedy series titled “Valeria,” so it’s likely more people will be falling in love with this gorgeous Hispanic girl name.
Vilma is a form of Wilma, which has a complex meaning.
Wilma and Vilma are short for the Germanic name Wilhelmina, a feminine form of Wilhelm. Wilhelm, or William, combines two Germanic word elements wil, meaning “desire, will” and helm,meaning “protection, helmet.”
You see Vilma listed as meaning “will helmet,” which doesn’t make sense. More accurately, it could mean “desire protection” or “a desire to protect.”
Yamila is from the Arabic name Jamil, meaning “beautiful.”
Although its roots are in the Arabic name Jamil, Yamila is a distinctly Latin American twist on this name. It is rarely seen in use outside of South America, Central America, and the United States. When used elsewhere, it is usually in a family of Latin American heritage.
This makes Yamila one of the rare, truly Latino girl names.
The name Yaritza comes from a Tupi name, meaning “lady of the water.”
Yaritza was created when someone began calling their daughter Yara, Yaritza, and it was picked up as a stand-alone name. Meanwhile, Yar is an alternative spelling of the Tupi name Iara, from which we get the meaning.
In Brazilian folklore, Lara was a beautiful water spirit who lured men into the riverways.
Yesenia is a form of Jessenia, a variety of South American palm trees.
Yesenia was an uncommon Hispanic girl name until the 1971 Mexican movie “Yesenia” hit the screens. After that, Yesenia landed on the U.S. top 1,000 girl name charts and stayed there until 2012.
There are roughly 29,000 Yesenias in the U.S., so although it is not unknown, it is certainly not common.
Zaria probably means “brilliant, bright.”
Zaria is a Spanish form of Zaïre, a name used by Voltaire for his 1732 play of the same name. It’s thought Voltaire first saw the name in a 1672 Jean Racine play and that Racine created the name, basing it on the Arabic name Zahra, which is where we get the meaning.
A Medieval Spanish or Basque name, Ximena means “son.”
Singer-songwriter and actress Ximena Sariñana released her first album, “Mediocre,” in 2008 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
Sariñana’s subsequent international success in music and film may be one of the reasons why Ximena is currently the #1 Mexican girl name.