Like so many other cultures around the world, parents in Spain, Latin America, and the Spanish-speaking diaspora tend to go one of two ways when naming their children: They either give them super common names that about 30 other people in their families also have, or they go super-creative to find a name so unique no one in the country, let alone the same family, will have. We are not about to discourage you from naming your baby boys Juan and José or Panyagua (true story), but if you’re in search of a middle ground, we have the list for you.
As we suggest in the headline, most of these baby names will absolutely please your abuela to no end, if that’s your goal. There is no shortage of interesting and unique names for you to choose from if you’re looking to honor your heritage — be it straight-up European Spanish or some mezcla of Spanish, African, and indigenous raíces. Even just the Spanish names can be from Castellano, Catalan, Galician, or Basque languages — not to mention all the Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, and Greek origins and influences on those languages and cultures. That is why some of these names bear a resemblance to names from other countries, only with a certain flair of their own and sometimes completely different spelling. When compiling this little list, we made sure to include a couple of our favorites with Taino, Aztec, Mayan, and other indigenous peoples who had quite the way with names.
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A few in this list, like Hugo or Victor are classic cross-cultural names that we think should be making a comeback right about now. Others, like Berton and Orlin are easy to pronounce and yet rarely used in the U.S., so you can be well ahead of the curve with your baby’s name.
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