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REVEALED: The Most Popular Baby Names In Spain Expat Tips

If you plan on having a baby in Spain, you will of course need to pick a name for your new bundle of joy.

Picking a baby’s name during your pregnancy is one of the most exciting things to do before its arrival.

However, living in a new non-English speaking country such as Spain can make the decision that little bit more difficult.

Do you opt for one of the most popular Spanish names, stick with your own ancestry and traditions or go for a mixture of the two?

Should you choose an English or Spanish name?

One thing you will definitely need to do is to pick a name that can easily be pronounced by both English and Spanish speakers.

The last thing you want is for your little one to start school only to find that their teacher and classmates struggle to pronounce his or her name. Not a good start!

If you do plump for a more traditional English name, don’t be surprised if your new Spanish friends and their classmates decide to rename your child.

For example, if your child was named ‘George’, you may find that he soon becomes known as ‘Jorge’ pronounced ‘Hor-hey’. Robert would become ‘Roberto’, James would become ‘Jaime’ or ‘Hay-meh’, John would be converted to ‘Juan’ and little Edward may be known as ‘Eduardo’ by his friends. Our own little one went from Joseph to ‘Jose’ or ‘Ho-say’.

You may have less trouble with girls' names though, as the most popular girls names in the UK for 2020, just happen to be more Spanish/Mediterranean sounding.

For example, Olivia, Amelia, Isla, Ava, Mia, Isabella, Lily and Sophia which are all currently in the top 10, are naturally very easy for Spaniards to pronounce.

Religious influence and family customs

Being a Roman Catholic country, religion is extremely important to most Spaniard’s so unsurprisingly, many of the traditional names have a biblical influence.

For example ‘Manuel’ comes from the Hebrew ‘Immanuel’, meaning ‘God is with us’. Or then we have ‘Maria’ which comes from ‘Mary’ the mother of Jesus Christ, and ‘Isabel’ which comes from the Hebrew ‘Elizabeth’ meaning ‘Pledged to God’.

Between 1936-1975, Spain was under the rule of dictator General Francisco Franco. During this time, under legislation, Spaniards were legally only permitted to use Christian names when naming their babies.

Then there the family traditions when it comes to Spanish baby names.

One very strong tradition is to name a baby after another family member. Spanish babies will often be named after a grandparent or great grandparent. It’s not uncommon to have many iterations of the same name in just one extended family.

Ok, so let's take a look at the most popular Spanish baby names today.

The data below has been taken from the official data which was published by Spain’s national statistics institute the INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadística) and contains the statistics for 2019.

The data includes the most popular names for boys and girls in Spain along with the number of registrations and the equivalent English version.

10 Most Popular Boy Names In Spain

Spanish NameRegistrationsEnglish Version
 Hugo  3,536  Hugh
 Martin  3,256  Martin
 Lucas  3,185  Luke
 Mateo  3,160  Matthew
 Leo  2,960  Leo
 Daniel  2,958  Daniel
 Alejandro  2,937  Alexander
 Pablo  2,868  Paul
 Manuel  2,460  Emmanuel
 Alvaro  2,279  Oliver

10 Most Popular Baby Girl Names In Spain 2019

Spanish NameRegistrationsEnglish Version
 Lucía  3,621  Lucy
 Sofía  3,505  Sophia
 Martina  3,172  Martha
 María  3,165  Mary
 Julia  2,600  Julia
 Paula  2,498  Paula
 Emma  2,362  Emma
 Daniela  2,315  Danielle
 Valeria  2,248  Valerie
 Alba  2,097  Dawn

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