The Best List of Awesome Latina Names
In our present time, the idea of Latina names often pertains to Latin Americans or South Americans. The continent was coined Latin America due to the century’s influence left by Spain and Portugal’s colonization. Latino and Latina are the nouns used to identify people coming from Latin America. Most of them inherited most of the cultures from either Spain or Portugal including some of their traditions, way of speaking, and religion. In this article, you will get to know a brief history of the Latina names. You will also learn about the Latina naming conventions, Latina differences against Hispanics, list of awesome Latino and Latina name suggestions for your babies.
Quick History of the Latinos and Latinas in Latin America
In the late 15th century, Spain and Portugal rose to power and started expedition campaigns to compete for influence and power. They sent voyagers on the western side of the Atlantic and reached the remote islands of the Caribbean regions. At first, their voyagers were sent to create maps and verify locations. Eventually, these explorations lead to an invasion, conquering the unwary inhabitants of the islands, and calling the newly discovered western region the “New World”.
Spain conquered most of the lands of North America, destroying most Native American settlements and enslaving women and children. The settlements were then turned into colonies, forcing the natives to pay tribute and resources in the name of the Kingdom of Spain. Their colonization eventually spread towards South America, conquering most of the western lands while the eastern areas are occupied by the Portuguese. The colonization of Spain and Portugal lasted more than 300 years, heavily influencing the customs and culture of its inhabitants.
In the early 19th century, the supremacy of Spain and Portugal started to collapse. Most of their colonies started to rebel one by one and forced themselves into liberation. In around 1826, almost all of the regions occupied by the Spanish in South America were lost. At the end of the Spanish-American war, all Spanish colonies in the western side of North America were lost to the United States of America.
Despite the liberation of the former colonies in America, they remained Spanish-speaking or Portuguese-speaking, thus the term “Latin America” associating both languages from Old Latin. Men from Latin countries are called “Latinos”, while women are called “Latinas”.
Difference Between Latina and Hispanic
Both Latinas and Hispanics have Spanish origins, but they differ from each other according to their context. The term Hispanic refers to a person born in a country whose main language is the Spanish language. A Latina refers to a person who came from Latin America or was a descendant of any Latin American country but does not necessarily speak Spanish. To summarize, Latino or Latina is a generic term for a person coming from any Latin American country regardless if they are Spanish-speaking. Hispanics are people that came from Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain.
It is also good to know that a person can be both Latina/o and Hispanic. For example, a Mexican is both Latina and Hispanic since Mexico is a Latin country and Spanish is their language. However, not all Latinas are Hispanics, and vice versa. Brazil, for example, is a Latin Country, which makes Brazilians Latina. Their primary language is Portuguese, therefore they are not Hispanics. Spaniards are Hispanic since they came from Spain, a Spanish-speaking country, yet they are not Latinos since Spain is not a Latin American country.
Hispanic Countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela
Latin Countries by Region:
North and Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela
Caribbean Region: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti
We can also illustrate the differences between Hispanic and Latinas using the below diagram:
Latina Rules in Naming Convention
Latina naming conventions directly follow the Hispanic or Spanish naming custom. Their names can be single names or double names (also known as compound names). Double names are treated as a single name and are always mentioned together when being called. Latina surnames also follow the Hispanic last name convention. They also have two surnames inherited from their father and their mother. The first surname is inherited from the paternal surname of the father (surname of the grandfather), while the second surname is inherited from the paternal surname of the mother (surname of the grandfather on the mother’s side). In this way, the surnames of the grandfathers from both parents are passed on to the grandchildren.
The Top 6 Popular Latino Names for Boys
There are far too many Latino names that exist today, especially since some names were derived and converted from another language into a Spanish version. Below are some of the most commonly used Latin names for boys.
- Jose – The name Jose is the Spanish equivalent of the name “Joseph”. It is one of the most widely used Latino names especially in Central America and Mexico. In the 2021 census of the Social Security Administration, Jose ranked as the 89th most popular name in the United States, excluding Latin American countries.
- Juan – Juan is the Spanish equivalent of the name “John”. Juan is the 21st most-used Latino name for boys in 2019 alone. This may be more if we include those coming from Latin American countries.
- Lucas – Lucas ranked 8th as the most widely used baby name in the United States in 2022. It is the Spanish equivalent of the name Luke which means “light-giving” or “enlightenment”.
- Alejandro – Alejandro ranked 193rd place in the USA’s most popular baby names in 2022 via Social Security. It is the Spanish equivalent of the name Alexander which means “a warrior” or “defender”.
- Luis – The name Luis is mostly used in Hispanic Latin American countries such as Mexico and Cuba. It is also the 60th most popular name choice of parents for boys in 2022.
- Pedro – The Spanish term for Peter, Pedro is also among the widely used Latino and Hispanic names in Latin America. It is estimated that around 1.2 Million people are named Pedro in Brazil alone.
The Top 6 Popular Latina Girl Names
Latina names for girls are likely more numerous than boy names. There are a variety of very popular Latina girl names compared to boy names, which gives parents more options if they have a baby girl. Below are some of the most used Latina names for girls today.
- Sofia – The name Sofia ranked number 13 in the 2022 survey of the Social Security Administration of the USA. There are approximately 139 thousand babies named after Sofia as recorded in 2019. Sofia is a variant of the original Greek name Sophia, which means “wisdom”.
- Isabella – Isabella ranked 6th in the 2022 census of the Social Security Administration of the USA for popular Latina names for baby girls. There are approximately 340 thousand registered names under the name Isabella in the United States, excluding Latin American countries.
- Maria – Maria is considered the most widely used name in Latin America. There are approximately 11 million baby girls named Maria between the 1930s and 2010 and were expected to increase up to the present year. Maria is known as the Mother of Jesus Christ and is very popular among Catholic countries including the Philippines.
- Gabriela – This name is the female version of the name Gabriel. It is also one of the most popular baby girl names in the United States and Latin American countries. There are approximately 370 thousand registered names in Brazil and 78 thousand in the United States.
- Carmila – Carmila is derived from the Hebrew name Carmel which means “garden” or “orchard”. It is a well-known name often used by Spanish royalties in the early 16th century. Despite this, the usage of the name became spread, with different variants such as Carmela, Carmilla, and Carmen.
- Elena – Elena is the Spanish version of the name Helen. This name is derived from the Greek word Helene which means “torch” or “light”. It is also theorized that it may have come to the word Selene which means “moon”. Elena earned the 49th spot as the most commonly used Latina name in the United States.
Top 6 Popular Latina Last Names
The most common Hispanic Last Name is Garcia, followed by Rodriguez and Hernandez. This statistic came from the Name Census and they compiled the 4000 most commonly used Hispanic names. This applies also to Latina last names. According to the United States Census Bureau, the most frequently occurring surname from 2000 to 2010 is:
These Latino surnames are considered one of the fastest-growing surnames in the United States in a decade, together with Asian surnames since the year 2000.
Top 6 Popular Pretty Latina Names
- Valeria – The feminine version of the name Valerius which means “strong”.
- Mariana – Formed from the combination of the names Maria and Ana. Marianita is a petite or cute version of this name.
- Daniela – The female version of the name Daniel, which translates as “God is my judge”.
- Amalia – One of the commonly used girl names in the late 1980s. This name means industrious or hard-working.
- Arceli – translates as “Altar of the Sky”. It is also a variant of the Hispanic name Araceli.
- Catalina – A variant of the name Catherine.
Top 6 Sexy Latina Names
- Alessandra – Alessandra is the feminine version of the name Alejandro which was derived from the name Alexander. The name sounds flirty to begin with, making it a perfect sexy Latina name.
- Carina – Translates as “beloved” in the Old Latin language. This name gives a provocative impression when pronounced, making it an ideal name for a very attractive lady.
- Mercedes – This name reminds us of the luxurious car Mercedes Benz. Just like the hot cars, this name is also a perfect choice for an enticing and sexy woman you surely want to date.
- Elvira – This name sounds like a female antagonist in a melodrama series. The name sounds romantic yet selfish, a perfect name for a flirtatious character in stories or novels.
- Felicia – The name is derived from the old Latin, which means “lucky”. This name gives us an impression of a silent yet dominant woman, making it sexier when given to a grumpy and hot lady.
- Margarita – This name reminds us of an outgoing woman full of charm and beauty, vibrating openly even in a crowd of people.
Popular Latina Dog Names
You can also pick a nice Latina dog name for your fur buddy. Most owners tend to rename their pet dogs or cats with Hispanic names, often from famous Mexican novels and Spanish novels.