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The Most Popular Spanish Baby Names For 2021

min read

By Katherine George

Choosing a name for your baby can be really difficult. There’s just so many to pick from! You can choose a traditional name, a unisex name or go with something completely unique and unheard of!

Whether it’s a boy or a girl, if you’re expecting a baby in 2021 and looking for a name with some Spanish influence, you’ve come to the right spot! We’ve compiled a list of Spanish names for both boys and girls that will be popular in 2021.

25. Alejandro (AH-lay-hahn-d-rho)

First up we have Alejandro, a Spanish name that carries the meaning “defending men” is a popular choice for baby boys. Back in 2019 this name just cracked the Top 200 list on Nameberry landing in at #199. While this number might seem high, it’s quite good considering all the names out there!

Alejandro is a fan favorite because it’s a much softer and smoother version of the classic name, Alexander. Regardless, both names have remained popular name choices for several years and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. If you’re expecting a little girl in 2021, the female version of this name is Alejandra.

24. Antonio (AHN-toh-nee-oh)

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare then this name is for you! It’s been used in at least five different plays and has long been a classic choice for parents of boys in Spanish-speaking countries. Children with this name are commonly nicknamed “Tonio.” Antonio is the Spanish and Italian version of Anthony. It means, “priceless one.”

Despite Antonio being a primarily Spanish and Italian name, it’s also popular in the U.S. too. It’s been on the Top 100 list of boys’ names since record keeping started back in 1880!

23. Carlos (KAHR-lohs)

This name is of Spanish origin meaning “free man.” Carlos is a male name and is the Spanish variation of the traditional name, Charles.

In 2019, Carlos’ popularity ranked at #134 — so close to the Top 100! It’s been used by several celebrities including musician Santana, writers Fuentes and Castaneda, as well as numerous athletes. Arguably the biggest celebrity with this name is Charlie Sheen who was born Carlos Irwin Estevez.

22. Diego (dee-AY-go)

You might be surprised to learn this, but Diego is actually the Spanish variation of James. Who’d of thought? The Spanish meaning behind Diego is “supplanter” and according to Nameberry, it may be a derivative of Santiago.

As we already mentioned, it’s an up and coming name that is rising rapidly. It came so close to making the Top 100 in 2019, but instead ranked at #129. We suspect it’ll make its way onto the Top 100 in the next year.

21. Elena (ELL-AI-nuh)

Looking for something somewhat exotic, but not too unusual for your little girl? Elena is a safe bet! This name is of Spanish, Italian, and Greek origin meaning “bright, shining light,” which is basically how we all view our little ones! 

Elena is the pan-European version of Helen. It’s sometimes seen with the spelling Elaina, Ellena, or Alena, however the most common is Elena. It’s definitely a hot commodity in the U.S. right now, as well as other countries like Spain where it’s pronounced “eh-LEH-na.”

20. Emilia (ee-mee-lyah)

Another top contender in terms of popularity is Emilia. This girl’s name is of Spanish, Italian and Hungarian origin meaning “rival.” Don’t be fooled by its intimidating meaning, this name is as cute and sweet as ever! 

It’s the feminine form of the Roman clan name Aemilius. It can be found in Shakespeare’s Othello, as well as Disney’s The Princess Diaries and as the name of Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke. 

This name ranks within the Top 50 girl names in the U.S. and is also topping the charts in Iceland, Finland, Austria, Poland, and Chile.

19. Emiliano (ee-mill-ee-ah-no)

Emiliano is definitely one of those boy names to watch in 2021. This name is of Spanish and Italian origin meaning “work.” It is a variation of the Latinate version of Emil.

While it still has a little ways to go to crack the Top 100 boy names, it’s actually not far off and sits well within the Top 200 at #175. Regardless of this standing, it’s been a favorite choice among Spanish parents. Nameberry suspects this is thanks to Emiliano Zapatar Salazar, who was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution. 

18. Gabriela (GAEb-ree-eh-luh)

This name is definitely a feminine favorite for any little girl! It’s of Spanish and Italian origin meaning “God is my strength.” It’s the female version of the name Gabriel. It’s also a cross-cultural name as it’s used in a variety of cultures across the U.S., including Italian Americans, Latinos, and the Jewish community. However, Gabriela with one “L” is the Spanish spelling. 

Gabriella has been one of the Top girl names in the U.S. since 1984. For a while it was on the Top 1000 list, but in 2000 it made the Top 100 and is currently riding an upward wave in Canada and Australia. The Spanish spelling of this name is also somewhat popular.

17. Isabella (i-ze-BEH-lah)

If this was a popularity contest, Isabella would certainly be a top contender! This girl’s name has been a superstar in terms of popularity. It was the Number 1 girls name in the U.S. between 2009 and 2010 and while it’s dropped slightly, it’s still one of the Top 10 girl names sitting at #5. This is all quite impressive considering it wasn’t even in the Top 1000’s in the 1980’s. 

Isabella is of Hebrew, Spanish, and Italian origin meaning “pledged to God.” One of the reasons it’s such a common choice among many different communities is due to its cross-culture appeal. It’s both modern and traditional, while also being quite feminine.

16. Isla (eye-la)

Looking for a name that is super unique and special, just like your baby girl? Isla (pronounced eye-la) is the perfect choice! 

Of Scottish and Spanish origin, this name means “island.” Despite the unusual spelling and pronunciation of this name, it’s actually quite popular. It’s been a top girl name in the U.S. for a couple years, and even overseas in England, Wales, and of course, Scotland. As of 2019, it ranks as the 57th most popular girls name.

15. Jade (j-AI-duh)

You’d never guess it, but this name actually has Spanish origins meaning “stone of the side.” This name is quickly becoming trendy which is why we suspect it’ll be one of the top Spanish names in 2021! It’s so close to cracking the Top 100 girl names at #104. 

It’s the perfect choice for parents looking for something familiar, but also a little unusual and unique. These are hard to come by when it comes to names starting with the letter “J.”

Nameberry suspects its rise in popularity is due to Mick and Bianca Jagger who chose this name for their daughter in 1971. Chef Giada de Laurentiis also chose it as the English translation of her name. 

14. Javier (hah-vee-AIR)

Another extremely popular Spanish name for boys in the US. Javier is the Spanish variation of Xavier which carries the meaning “new house or bright” in Basque or Arabic.

In addition to being a common choice in Spanish-speaking countries, Javier is well recognized in America, as well. This may be due to the recent success of the Spanish-born Oscar-nominated director, Javier Bardem.

13. Jose (koh-say)

Jose is of Spanish and Portuguese origin meaning “Jehovah increases.” It’s the Spanish variation of Joseph, a classic American name of Hebrew origin. Similar to its variation, Jose is widely popular among Spanish-speaking parents. This name is so popular it actually cracked the Top 100 back in 2019 landing in at #92 overall.

Due to its rich history and long standing popularity, this name has a legion of famous bearers from both the past and present. Some examples are the famous baseball player Jose Canseco, opera’s Jose Carreras, the actor Jose Ferrer, and the musician Jose Feliciano.

12. Juan (kooh-ahn)

Juan is a Spanish variation of the name John. Similar to John, Jose is a male name and its meaning translates to “the Lord is gracious.”

Since this name is so traditional, its popularity ranks pretty well at #138 back in 2019. You can find this name in pretty much every ethnicity such as Don Juan and San Juan. Nameberry points out this name is quite common in professional sports as it’s the name of several high-achieving athletes.

11. Liliana (li-lee-ah-nuh) or (lily-ahna)

As pretty as a flower! Liliana is the sweetest name for any little girl, especially one that is dainty and feminine because this name, which is of Spanish (and Italian) origin means “lily, a flower.” 

According to Nameberry it’s a favorite choice among parents in Hispanic communities and evidently others as well as it nearly cracked the Top 100 girl names in 2019 at #109. The late Sopranos star James Gandolfini chose this name for his daughter, Liliana Ruth. 

10. Lola (LOH-la)

Lola is such a beautiful, feminine name. It’s of Spanish origin meaning “lady of sorrows.” It’s also the Spanish diminutive of Dolores. Lola is truly an international favorite as it’s not only been a popular Spanish name for girls in Europe, but also gained traction around the world. People are drawn to this name because it’s sweet and innocent, but can also be worn comfortably by a grown adult. It’s currently one of the hottest girl names starting with the letter “L.”

This name has been trendy for quite some time and a hot commodity in pop culture. It’s been used by celebrities such as Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Lisa Bonet, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson and Annie Lennox. In the past, Lola was commonly associated with femmes fatale like the nineteenth century dancer Lola montez, the Marlene Dietrich character Lola Lola in The Blue Angel and Jean Harlow’s in Bombshell. And let’s not forget the famous song Lola by The Kinks!

9. Lorenzo (loh-REHN-zoh)

Lorenzo is a strong and solid boy’s name. It’s also a good choice for any parents looking for a traditional Spanish name (which also has Italian origins). It’s the Italian variation of Laurence meaning “from Laurentium.”

Despite it’s Spanish and Italian origin, this name has eased into American culture and sits within the Top 150 names for boys! Children named Lorenzo are often nicknamed Enzo or Renzo. 

8. Lucia (loo-SEE-a) or (loo-CHEE-a) or (LOO-sha)

A beautiful baby girl can light up any room which is why she deserves the name Lucia! This name is of Spanish and Italian origin meaning “light.” It’s the feminie version of Lucius, as well as the Latin spelling of Lucy. This name was traditionally given to babies born as daylight was breaking, says Nameberry. 

Spanish parents will likely recognize this name as it ranked as the Number 1 girl name in Spain for years. Today, it continues to be popular in the U.S. As of 2019, Lucia easily makes the Top 200 girl names sitting at #159. 

7. Mateo (ma-TAY-o)

Every baby is a gift which makes Mateo the perfect name for a little boy! It’s of Spanish, Italian, and Latin origin meaning “gift of God.” Mateo is the Spanish form of Matthew which is derived from the Hebrew name Mattiyahu. This is where it gets its meaning from because “mattan” means “gift” and “yan” references the Hebrew God. As you can tell, you can have some fun with the spelling of this name. It can also be spelled Matteo — this is the Italian version. As well as Matheo, which is commonly used in France.

Nameberry suspects this Spanish name to be a hot commodity in 2021 based on their own data. It’s becoming more and more popular in mainstream American nomenclature for people who love the name Matthew, but are looking for something a little more unique. Mateo cracked the Top 100 for the first time in 2015 and has now become one of the most popular Spanish names for boys in several countries, including the U.S.

6. Matias (mah-tee-ahs)

Similar to most biblical names, Matias is a safe bet for any parent looking for the perfect name for their little baby boy. It’s the Spanish variation of the Hebrew Biblical Matthias or Matthew.

What makes Matias “Spanish” is that it uses only one single T, like Mateo. The double T (i.e. Mattias and Matteo) is more commonly used among Italian parents.

5. Maya (MY-ah)

This female name is culturally rich as it can be found in Greek mythology, Central American and Spanish culture, as well as Hebrew and Latin origins. The meaning behind Maya is “water.”

In Greek mythology, Maya was a legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus, but to the Romans, Maya (or Maia) was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, also known as May. 

This exotic name is the perfect inbetween for a baby girl. Not too feminine, but nothing obscure. This may be why it has been climbing the charts in popularity and currently ranks within the Top 100 girl names in the U.S.

4. Miguel (mee-GEHL)

Miguel is a Spanish and Portuguese variation of the traditional (and highly popular) name, Michael. It’s of Spanish origin and the Hebrew meaning of this name is “who is like God?”

This name came very close to cracking the Top 100 in 2019, but fell short landing at #177. If you’re interested in who else has used this name, Mike Tyson chose it for his son as a unique way of naming his son after himself. It’s also the first name of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist and the poet who wrote Don Quixote, says Nameberry.

3. Santiago (sahn-tee-AH-goh)

Another popular boy’s name of Spanish origin is Santiago meaning “Saint James.” The recent uptick in interest with this name may be due to the fact that it falls into the trend of being a “place-name” thanks to the fact that it’s also the name of a city in Chile.

This name is currently very popular as it sits comfortably in the Top 100 at #69. It’s also been featured in many works of fiction as the main character’s name in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Nameberry points out that there was also a Santiago in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.

2. Savannah (sah-VA-nah)

When we think of Savannah, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a flat, tropical grassland. And you’re not wrong! That is the meaning behind this Spanish word. However, it’s also a popular Spanish name for baby girls. It’s so popular that in 2019 it almost made the Top 50 list on Nameberry as #54. That’s quite impressive.

Even though this name is Spanish in origin, it also carries a Southern weight to it thanks to the mossy Georgia city called Savannah. It was once a very obscure name but ever since the release of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this name shot to stardom. It was once used as a substitute for more traditional names (and overused names) like Samantha, but now this name stands on its own. It’s been a popular name since record keeping started back in the 1880s and has been in the Top 100 since 1993!

1. Ximena (hee-mai-nuh)

This is no doubt an unusual name that might trip up quite a few people when it comes to pronunciation. However, that hasn’t stopped this name from being a popular choice among parents looking for a Spanish name. 

Ximena is the feminine variation of Ximeno, Spanish for “son.” In 2019, it ranked at #128 for all girl names on Nameberry which is extremely impressive considering just how unique it is. This name is a hot commodity for baby girls within Latino communities and most Spanish-speaking countries. 

Senior Managing Editor

Katherine is the Senior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat and Childhood. She is constantly striving to live a more active and healthy life, from eating healthy, exercising, and just spending more time outdoors. She enjoys cooking (with wine), walking her dog, reading, and recently joined a yoga studio!