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Spanish Baby Names
For Cherished Children



Since living in Spain, I have often thought how lovely are some Spanish baby names. Even names that are just the Spanish equivalent of fairly ordinary English names sound so much more romantic and exotic when given the Spanish pronunciation.

Also, some Spanish names have meanings that are just as beautiful as the way they sound. So, if you are expecting a happy event, you may be interested in choosing one of these lovely Spanish baby names.

Perhaps you possess a passion for Spain and have fond memories of happy holidays spent here.

Perhaps you have Spanish ancestors and would like this legacy to be passed on to that special little person who will become one of the most cherished individuals in your life.

Or, maybe you just fancy something that is a little different for your child-to-come and Spanish names appeal.

Whatever the reason, you are sure to find several super Spanish baby names to choose from.

I would just add one word of caution when picking Spanish baby names though. Some names - for example, the boys names Jes s and Angel - are very popular and acceptable in Spain. However, I think that in certain non-Spanish speaking countries - England for example - a little boy with such a name could go through a lot of teasing whilst at school if he had such a name.

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CHRISTIAN NAMES AND SURNAMES

The Spanish usually have one Christian name and two surnames, although that Christian name is often a double-barrelled one, for example the popular girl s name Mar a Jos and the equally popular boy s name Juan Carlos.

However, unlike many countries, they possess two surnames. This is because, when a girl marries, she does not give up her surname but keeps it and just adds her husband s surname. The two surnames are then passed on to the children.

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SAINT S DAYS OR NAME DAYS

As Spain is a Roman Catholic country, a lot of importance has always been placed on a person s Saint s Day or Name Day - in the past, they tended to be even more important than birthdays.

They are celebrated on particular days of the year, mainly because the Church holds a festival for a particular saint of that name.

Gifts and cards used to be given to a person on this day, although this practice is gradually decreasing and the birthday becoming the more important celebration.

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ORIGINS OF SPANISH NAMES

1. Biblical

As with other Christian countries, many Spanish baby names in use to-day originate from the Bible.

In Spain, an important source has always been the names of famous saints or martyrs, the Church strongly encouraging the giving of saintly names to children.

Some of these saints appear in the New Testament, where the names are generally either Hebrew - for example Juan or Mar a - or Greek - such as Lucas or Pedro.

There are also many Spanish equivalents of names from the Old Testament, such as the male Ad n (Adam) and Dav d (David) and the female Eva (Eve) and Rut (Ruth). These are predominantly of Hebrew origin.

Being a Roman Catholic country, there is also a class of feminine names which are given in honor of the Virgin Mary.

Some, such as Dolores and Mercedes are taken from titles of Mary, whilst others such as Concepci n and Anunciaci n refer to events in her life.

2. From Countries Occupying Spain

During its long history Spain has, from time-to-time, been occupied by other countries. At one time, a great deal of the country came under Arab and Moslem rule whilst, later on, German tribes were present.

The influence of these countries and their peoples still remains - for example ... in Spanish names.

Carlos, Lu s and Matilda are Spanish equivalents of names adopted from the Germanic tribes. The female name Almudena (as in the Cathedral of Almudena, Madrid, where the Spanish Prince Felipe recently married his true love - Leticia) is derived from the Arabic al-madinat, meaning the city. The Virgin of Almudena, ie Mary, is the Patron Saint of Madrid.

3. Mythology and Literature

As with many other countries, mythology and literature have left their mark and contributed some names, for example Beatriz and Melissa.

4. Tourism and Foreign Residents

The great influx of foreigners to Spain in more recent years has also left its mark on Spanish baby names with present-day Spaniards adopting some of the more modern names used in other countries, in particular of course, names of cinema or pop stars.

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Now that you know where Spanish names come from, I expect you would like to go through a list to see if one particularly appeals to you.

Obviously, there are many, many names used in Spain and I have not listed them all but, below, you will find a good selection of the more popular girls and boys names along with their meanings.

Should you choose one, I hope that both the name and the owner of the name give you great pleasure and great joy.


For a list of Spanish Baby Names for GIRLS, please click here.

For a list of Spanish Baby Names for BOYS, please click here.

Lyrics of Happy Birthday To You in Spanish

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