22 Most Common Spanish Names and Their Meanings

22 Most Common Spanish Names and Their Meanings

Do you know how many Spanish-speaking countries there are?

There are more than 20 countries that use Spanish as their official language, most of them as their primary, native language as well.

Thanks to the expansion of the Spaniards during the middle centuries and making Spanish colonies all over the world, today, Spanish is the 4th most spoken language on the planet.

Even one whole continent (except two countries) considers Spanish as their official and national language.

Therefore, no wonder why Spanish female and male names can be found all over the world, no matter if that country is part of the Hispanic world or not.

Many Spanish names also became so popular that they got an ‘international badge,’ so today, many people don’t know that names such as Sofia, Sebastian, or Martina are actually Spanish names.

That’s why, in this post, we will show you the 22 most popular Spanish names and meanings, both for girls and boys, so whether you’ve just started learning Spanish with Spanish tutors, have Spanish roots, or simply want to expand your knowledge about different cultures, you are in the right place.

And now, let’s dive in.

The 11 Most Common Spanish Names And Meanings For Boys

First, we’ll start with the 11 most common Spanish male names and their meanings.

Here they are.

Alejandro

Meaning: Protector and defender of humankind

Famous men: Musician Alejandro Escovedo, director Alejandro González Iñárritu

Are you singing Lady Gaga’s hit ‘Alejandro?’ We do, too, but the name became international long before Lady Gaga. It originates from Spain, but nowadays, it can be found in every country and place on the planet.

Antonio

Meaning: praiseworthy, priceless

Famous men: football player Antonio Brown, actor Antonio Banderas

This name is a quite traditional Spanish name and one of the top 100 most popular names for over a century.

Carlos

Meaning: manly

Famous men: actor Carlos Pena, musician Carlos Santana

There are many different variations of this name, such as Carlo, Carlito, Karlos.

It is the equivalent of the English ‘Charles.’

Diego

Meaning: the one who follows, comes after

Famous men: actor Diego Velázquez, actor Diego Gonzale, famous football player Diego Maradona

Here’s one more name that has roots in Spanish tradition and it is one of the favorite male names for over a century. Not only that it is so popular in the Hispanic countries, especially in Puerto Rico and Mexico, but this name got into the top 100 in the USA, as well.

Eduardo

Meaning: Wealthy defender

Famous men: soccer player Eduardo Carvalho

No matter which variation of the name people uses, such as Eduard, Edwardo, or Eddie, it has been one of the 100 most popular male names.

Enrique

Meaning: ruler of the house

Famous men: singer Enrique Iglesias, former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto

Whether it is Ricco, Enrico, or Henry, this name is still among the favorites not only in Hispanic countries but in the USA as well.

Ernesto

Meaning: sincere and determined

Famous men: guerilla lider Ernesto Guevara or Che Guevara, soccer player Ernesto Farías 

Even though it comes from the Spanish world where it is one of the commonly used male names, it is also quite popular in different countries and in different languages as Erno, Earnest, Ernie, Nesto, and many more.

Felipe

Meaning: One who loves and befriends horses

Famous men: the King of Spain Felipe VI, race car driver Felipe Nasr

This name is the Spanish variant of the name ‘Phillip.’

It is a classical name for boys and it is among the most popular ones for more than 100 years.

Javier

Meaning: new house

Famous men: actor Javier Munoz, baseball player Javier Baez

A typical Spanish male name, which is quite popular in Spain, actually has Basque roots as a variation of ‘Xavier.’

Pablo

Meaning: small

Famous men: artist Pablo Picasso, baseball player Pablo Sandoval, soccer player Pablo Zabaleta

The Spanish variant of the name ‘Paul’ actually became worldwide famous and commonly used after Pablo Picasso, an amazing artist, and sculptor of the 20th century.

Pedro

Meaning: solid, dependable like a stone or rock

Famous men: baseball player Pedro Martinez, actor Pedro Pascal

One of the top names in Argentina, Spain but also in the USA, Pedro is derived from the Latin word ‘petra’ in the meaning ‘stone, rock.’

Santiago

Meaning: named after Saint James

Famous men: Olympic athlete Santiago Lorenzo, actor Santiago Cabrera

Even though for the past several years the popularity of this name has dropped, it is the classic Spanish male name, which was very popular for more than a century, especially in Latin America.

Luckily, from 2018, it again has risen in Mexico and Portugal.

The name ‘Santiago’ is also the name of the main character, a fisherman in the novel ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway.

The 11 Most Common Spanish Names And Meanings For Girls

Alejandra

Meaning: Protector and defender of humankind.

Famous women: Olympic athlete Alejandra Garcia, Singer Alejandra Guzmán

This one is the most popular female Spanish name which slowly became international as well. Since 1993, it has become very popular in the Hispanic world.

Cecilia

Meaning: blind

Famous women: Boxer Cecilia Braekhus, actress Cecilia Freire

Besides being one of the favorite names in the past several decades, Cecilia is also the patron saint of music.

Concepcion

Meaning: the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary

Famous women: Bullfighter Concepción (Conchita) Cintrón

The other variations of this name are ‘Concita’ or ‘Concha,’ so in the streets, you will often hear these names. It was popular after World War II a lot when it slowly faded away. In the last decade, the name slowly rose among the favorite ones.

Consuela

Meaning: One who gives comfort and provides consolation.

Famous women: Fashion editor Consuelo Crespi, comedian Consuelo Duval

Even though nowadays you won’t hear girls named Consuelo, this name remains as one of the Spanish classics.

Elena

Meaning: Beautiful bright shining light

Famous women: actress Elena Kampouris

For the past twenty years, the name ‘Elena’ became popular again. Before that, for over a century it was forgotten.

Esperanza

Meaning: Hope

Famous women: musician Esperanza Spalding, Artist Esperanza Martinez

For more than 100 years, the name ‘Esperanza’ was one of the most popular ones in Spanish- speaking countries.

Gloria

Meaning: glory, glorious, full of praise

Famous women: designer Gloria Vanderbilt, singer Gloria Estefan

Gloria is one of the favorite names in Latin America, especially Venezuela. This name was introduced to the English-speaking countries through the novel ‘Gloria’ by E. D. E. N. Southworth.

Guadalupe

Meaning: the patron saint Guadalupe, the Guadalupe River

Famous women: Olympic athlete Guadalupe Canseco

In the 16th century, the patron saint Lady of Guadalupe came in one of the visions of a Mexican man and since then, she has been a patron saint of the Latino Americans.

Leticia

Meaning: joy, happiness

Famous women: TV actress Leticia Castro, Skateboarder Leticia Bufoni

Even though it is most popular in the Hispanic world, the name can also be found among the Portuguese and Italians. In the past several decades, this name became one of the favorites beyond Spanish-speaking countries.

Marisol

Meaning: the solitude of the sun, the sea, and the Virgin Mary

Famous women: artist Marisol Escobar, actress Marisol Nichols

This name is shortened from ‘Maria de Soledad’, a Virgin Mary’s title.

Even though it is popular in all Spanish-speaking countries, in Mexico it is most commonly used.

Paloma

Meaning: beautiful dove, peaceful

Famous women: singer Paloma Faith, designer Paloma Picasso

Besides the meaning ‘dove,’ the name ‘Paloma’ can also be understood as the Holy Spirit symbolized in a dove.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to mention only 22 popular Spanish names and their meanings is a hard task because there are at least twice as many nice and popular names.

But these most commonly used and loved male and female Spanish names and their meanings can give you a general overview of the Spanish culture and the way Spanish names appeared.

If you're interested in improving your Spanish skills, you should try some of these cool options:

Check out Babbel for fun, interactive lessons that fit into your day easily. If you want something more in-depth, there's a great Spanish course on Coursera that covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics. And if you prefer learning with a personal touch, Lingoda offers classes with native speakers that can really help you practice speaking.

 

What are the most common names for boys in Spanish?

Alejandro, Antonio, Carlos, Diego, Enrique, Ernesto, Felipe, Javier, Pablo, Pedro

What are the most common names for girls in Spanish?

Alejandra, Cecilia, Concepcion, Consuela, Elena, Esperanza

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