Bilingual is Better

Baby Names That Work in English and Spanish - SpanglishBaby.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies. All opinions and stories are all own.

One of the first things expecting couples do is write down a list of baby names that could be the perfect fit for the little being that is about to join their lives. For some. it’s as easy as continuing along the tradition of passing down either their own names or that of a cherished family member. For others it’s about being unique and/or finding names that have a special meaning — be it symbolic or religious. After all, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly since names are a huge part of a person’s lifelong identity and sense of self, as well as how they are perceived by others.

When I was expecting my one and only over six years ago, my husband and I had our own set of criteria for her name:

1. We both had to be completely in love with the name (this was, of course, the hardest requirement!)

2. We didn’t want it to be a name from anyone in our immediate family. We realized we were going a bit against the norm with that one, but we felt strongly about her having her own identity.

3. The name wouldn’t be able to result in a nickname that wasn’t desirable or a mockery.

4. The name must sound the same and be easy to pronounce in both English and Spanish.

We actually thought back then that making sure our girl’s name sounded well in the two languages we led our lives in was something very unique to us. Little did we know, many bilingual and multilingual parents find this to be important. And the more you think about it, the more it makes sense – for example, if you address your child at home only in Spanish and his name is Jorge, will he be okay when the outside world calls him George because Jorge is too hard to pronounce for non-Spanish speakers?

I was six months pregnant and we still hadn’t been able to come up with one name we both loved. I had started reading a novel by Chilean author Marcela Serrano and the main character’s name was Camila. I instantly felt a connection to the name, the spelling of it and its meaning: free-born and noble. But most importantly, it sounded beautifully and was easy to pronounce in both Spanish and English.

If you also have a list of requirements for your baby’s name and making sure that it sounds well in both English and Spanish, you’re not alone. I asked our SpanglishBaby readers if this was an important factor for them, and if so what name(s) they chose for their child. We got an overwhelming response and I’ve compiled most of those names in this list below to serve as inspiration for your own bilingual baby name quest. You can also continue to check out Huggies Latino’s Respuestas de Mamá to search the most popular baby names and maybe your baby’s name is already waiting to be revealed!

Girl

Alexandra

Alexia

Aliyana

Ana

Andrea

Bianca

Camila

Catalina

Celeste

Clara

Cristina

Cynthia

Daniela

Delia

Edna

Elsa

Enara

Erika

Eva

Fabiola

Fátima

Gabriela

Giselle

Gloria

Heidi

Isabelle

Isela

Jessica

Julia

Julianna

Karina

Liliana

Lucia

Lynn

Maria

Marilu

Marisa

Marisol

Melia

Mercedes

Mikaela

Mónica

Nadia

Naomi

Nicole

Noelia

Noemi

Olivia

Paloma

Pamela

Paola

Patricia

Penelope

Ria

Samantha

Sofía

Solaris

Valentina

Victoria

Victoria

Viviana

Wendy

Boy

Abraham

Alan

Aldo

Alec

Alexis

Alonso

Andrés

Antonio

Ariel

Benicio

Benjamín

Brandon

Carlos

Christian

Daniel

David

Diego

Dylan

Emilio

Eric

Francisco

Gabriel

Henry

Ian

Ignacio

Ilan

Isaac

Jonathán

Joshua

Julián

Leo

Lucas

Luis

Marco

Mateo

Matías

Nicolás

Richard

Samuel

Sebastián

Sergio

Tomás

Zahir

Do you have more names to add to the list? Please share!

Photo credit> Shelley Ginger on Flickr

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