If you’re looking for inspiration for a baby girl name, how about one of these Spanish-influenced names?
What are the most popular Spanish girls names? Let’s take a look at what they mean and the stories behind the famous women who share them.
The name Alejandra comes from Alexandra and means, “a person who protects people.”
Alejandra Avalos is a famous Mexican recording artist who has also worked as a model, dancer and television host. Avalos got her break in the music industry in 1988 after signing a deal with Warner Music Group for her debut LP Ser o No Ser. After that she quickly gained notoriety and finished recording the album Amor Fasciname, which became her best-selling record.
After 2000, Avalos turned her attention to acting and starred in a number of series, including the crime drama Siempre te Amare.
Ana is a trendy Spanish name which comes from the Hebrew name “Hannah” meaning “favour” or “grace.”
Famous people with the given name Ana include Ana Cortes, the Chilean painter, Ana Moura a Portuguese singer, and Ana Drev, the alpine skier.
Belinda was a name first coined by the English poet Alexander Pope. The name came to mean “beautiful.”
Belinda Peregrin is a Spanish-born singer and songwriter, now living in Mexico. Twenty-nine years of age, Peregrin is now estimated to be worth more than $60 million, thanks to her success in selling electro- and teen-pop music. In 2016, Peregrin featured in an episode of the new Baywatch series starring Zac Efron and The Rock Dwayne Johnson.
The name Brisa originates from Ancient Greek mythology and means “the beloved of Achilles,” the great warrior.
Famous people with the name Brisa are few and far between. Perhaps the most notable is the singer Brisa Roche who wrote the albums Soothe Me in 2003, The Chase in 2005, and All Right Now in 2010.
Catalina comes from the name Catherine which translates from Greek meaning “pure” or Irish meaning “without tarnish.”
The most historically significant Catalina was probably Catalina de Erauso. De Erauso was from the Basque Country in Spain but moved to Spanish America during the latter portion of her life. Her story of travel, imprisonment and survival has become a favourite in Spain and is still retold to this day.
Estefania is the Spanish name for Stephanie which is related to the male name Stephen, meaning “crowned one.”
Estefania Romina Banini Ruiz is an 18-year-old Argentine footballer who plays for the Spanish club Levante UD. She is currently on loan from Washington Spirit, scoring two goals for them in the 2017 season.
Isabel is a Spanish name that translates as “consecrated by God.”
Isabel is the name of many famous Spanish women throughout history and is currently shared by Isabel Allende, a writer who specialises in the genre of magical realism. Allende is renowned for her novels including The House of Spirits and City of the Beasts, both of which helped her secure the Chilean National Literature Prize in 2010.
Perhaps the most famous Isabel (technically Isabella) in history was Isabella I of Castile. Isabella I was born in April 1451 and become the Queen of Castille, a part of Spain, from 1447 until she died in 1504. Isabella I is significant because she helped to cement the political unification of Spain by marrying Ferdinand II, a unification which survives until this day.
Perhaps Isabella’s most significant contribution to history was her financing of the Columbus voyage to the Americas which led to the exploration and settlement of the New World. Isabella also presided over Spain during its period of profound expansion and economic growth, making it the most powerful country in Europe at the end of the fifteenth century.
Jada has two origins: it is the Hebrew for “wise” and also the Spanish version of “jade,” a precious stone.
Jada Pinkett Smith is an American actress and the wife of Will Smith, star in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Independence Day and Men In Black. Pinkett Smith first appeared on TV screens at the beginning of the 1990s in the sitcom, True Colors and then went on to make her first feature film in 1993, entitled Menace II Society.
However, it wasn’t until her role in the smash hit film The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy in 1996 that her career took off. From that point, she starred in many major Hollywood blockbusters, including the Matrix Reloaded in 2003, the second film in the trilogy.
Juana is the female version of the Spanish name Juan, meaning “God is gracious” from the root Hebrew name “Jane.”
Juana Inés de la Cruz was a polymath who lived in New Spain during the early era of the Spanish colonial period, from 1648 onwards. De la Cruz became famous for her outspoken temperament, and her love of scientific, philosophical and rational thought. An adherent to the Baroque school, de la Cruz had a profound interest in music and poetry.
De la Cruz spoke out against the misogyny of men and promoted what might be called proto-feminist values of equality. Her most important works included Pawns of a House, a story that follows the tragedy of a couple who are in love but cannot be together because of fate.
Juliana is the Spanish name for Julia, which originates from the Latin meaning “youthful.”
Juliana is the given name to the Queen of the Netherlands, who reigned from 1948 until 1980. During the Second World War, Juliana fled to the United Kingdom, along with other high-powered members of the Dutch government, ruling in absentia.
In 1980, Juliana abdicated the throne, passing it onto her eldest daughter. During her later life, she began suffering from dementia and died in 2004.
The name Leyla in Spanish comes from the related name, Leya, meaning “loyal.”
Leyla Aliyeva is the name of the daughter of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
Lola is short for the name Dolores which means “sorrows.” It originates from the sorrow of the Virgin Mary after the crucifixion of Jesus.
Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, also known as Lola Montez, was an Irish dancer and actress who became famous for her performances in the Spanish mode. Born in 1821, Lola Montez performed for King Ludwig of Bavaria who took a liking to her and bestowed her with the title Countess of Landsfeld.
In later life, Lola Montez pursued liberal reforms. However, she was unpopular with the local people, especially the Jesuits, and eventually had to flee to the United States.
Lucia is the Spanish form of the name Lucy which translates as “the bringer of light” from the original Latin.
Lucia Etxebarria is a Spanish writer, born in Valencia in 1966. Etxebarria is famous for her biography of legendary rock singer Kurt Cobain, member of grunge metal band Nirvana. Etxebarria wrote about their life together and their struggles in with mental health in the music industry.
In 2001 Etxebarria won the Primavera Prize for her work De todo lo visible y lo invisible. Etxebarria said that the rise of internet piracy meant that it was no longer profitable for her to keep writing, and so she vowed to stop in 2011.
Malia is a Spanish name derived from Maria, related to the name Mary.
Malia Bouattia, born in 1987, was the leader of the National Union of Students in the UK, becoming the first leader of the Union who was both black and Muslim. Bouattia proved to be a controversial figure in the Union, thanks to her association with anti-Semitism. Several universities distanced themselves from the NUS during her presiding year, including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Essex and York. A year later, she was defeated, failing to gain a second term.
Malia Hosaka is another famous Malia from the world of wrestling. Back in 1999, Hosaka made an appearance in the 1999 edition of the WWF Raw is War as a challenger for the Women’s Championship. Although she put up a brave effort, Hosaka was defeated by Nicole Bass. After that, Hosaka returned to the independent circuit and featured in a series of tag-team matches involving Bambi, Peggy Lee Leather and Amber O’Neal.
One of the most popular Spanish female names, Margarita originates from the Greek name Margaret, meaning “pearl.”
Margarita is the given name for the Mexican politician Margarita Zavala who served from the summer of 2003 until the spring of 2006 in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. Her election was a result of the Mexican proportional representation system, thanks to her nomination to serve by the National Action Party, an organisation she was a member of since 1991.
In 2015, Zavala announced that she would run for the Mexican presidency. During 2016 and 2017, pollsters suggested that she would be favourite to win the presidential race. However, she withdrew her candidacy in 2018. Zavala holds socially conservative values.
The Spanish name Mira is short for a number of names, including Miranda, Marabel and Amira. Mira originates from the Latin root, meaning “wonderful.”
Famous people with the name Mira include Mira Awad, an Israeli-Arab musician, Mira Furlan, a Croatian musician, and Mira Nair, an Indian-American filmmaker based in the US.
The Spanish name Nina simply means “girl.”
Perhaps the most famous Nina is Nina Simone, the American singer, songwriter and pianist. Simone first rose to fame in the 1950s, with her debut album, Little Girl Blue. Her first hit in the US was I Loves You, Porgy. After doing well with Little Girl Blue, Simone signed a contract with record company Colpix who gave her full control over the creation and direction of her music. Although Simone made music for the masses, it was a means to an end – a way for her to get money to pay her love of classical music, her true passion.
During her later years, Simone became an activist for the Black Civil Rights Movement in America, penning a number of songs designed to lift the her community’s spirits in its darkest days. She also railed against what she called the “Eurocentric” vision of beauty and later admitted in her autobiography that the song, I Put A Spell On You, was a call for black women to express their beauty without adhering to societal norms.
The name Paloma is a Spanish name meaning “dove.”
The most famous Paloma today is the singer and songwriter Paloma Faith, loved the world over for her eccentric style and unusual taste in music. Faith, born in 1981, got her break in 2009 when her album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? shot to number one and became double-platinum. Her second album, Fall to Grace, reached number two in the UK.
Faith’s success continued to grow throughout her career, with her third album, A Perfect Contradiction, released in 2014, becoming her most successful so far, giving rise to two top ten singles, Only Love Can Hurt Like This, and Can’t Rely on You.
Faith has since appeared in a number of TV shows and films, including Holby Blue, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Savannah is the same Spanish word used in English today to mean “grassy or treeless plain.”
Savannah Guthrie is an American journalist, and the current co-host of the NBC news show, Today. After joining in 2012, Guthrie has since become a household name in the States, serving both as a White House correspondent, and then as a host of the MSNBC show, The Daily Rundown.
The Spanish name Veronica comes from the Latin root, meaning “image.”
Veronica is a popular name shared by many famous people. Veronica Lake, for instance, was an American actress who appeared in film, on the stage, and television. Lake rose to fame in the 1940s, thanks to her starring roles in the film noirs with Alan Ladd. Although many thought that she was destined for long-term success in Hollywood, her career was brought to an end by her dependence on alcohol during the 1950s.
Lake and Ladd starred in the 1942 film, This Gun For Hire, which cemented the pair as a popular duo. From there, they went on to star in three more films together.