Baby Names Latinos are Digging in 2011 December 05 2011

When I was about two months pregnant with my daughter, I headed to the bookstore and bought two baby name books which I thumbed through entirely in about five minutes, then set aside. I then opened my laptop, did a google search for cool baby name sites, and never looked back and never open those books again. Nowadays, there are so many great baby sites with baby name lists that I just felt like I needed the latest interpretation of that name before signing on the dotted line (or birth certificate) -- just to make sure I wasn't naming my child after a serial killer or stripper or something like that.

My favorite of these websites was NameBerry.com which breaks the names down by lists like 'Historic Names' and 'Names from the Arts and Pop Culture' and 'Meaning of Names' to 'Clunky But Cool Names for Girls" lists. Best part, it lets you create an account and save them, so that you don't forget (because after so many lists, you WILL forget). 

Names are a very personal matter, and to each his own. I grew up in a time when there were always numerous Jessica's, Jennifer's and Stephanie's in the classroom. And Maria's and Juan's and Jose's. Today, names are a parent's editorial statement.

Babycenter.com just released their list of Most Popular Latino Baby Names of 2011 and Sofia and Santiago topped the list. No surprise there, they're both fantastic names. There are a whole lot of other really great names on the list (at least names that I think sound great, or are intriguing) like Valentina, Julieta, Antonella, Maria Fernanda, Salome, Violeta and Montserrat. And for guys: Jeronimo, Emmanuel, Maximiliano, Bruno, Santino, Iker, and Gael. My response when I told my husband I liked the name Montserrat was Eeeeew. Like I said, cada quien.

WHERE WAS THIS AWESOME LIST WHEN I WAS PREGNANT??? Seriously, there's a whole lotta cool names on this list. The name we gave our daughter isn't Latino, per se, but her middle name is. Her middle name is my middle name, and my mother's and grandmother's first name. We paired this traditional old school Hispanic name, a family name, with something that sounded okay next to it.

Anyway, check out the Babycenter list. You could actually make a game out of this. Pop quiz: 
  • What Latina celebrity named her daughter Valentina? 
  • And the name Iker, de origen vasco, where does that come from?
  • And Ricky Martin's twins' names are both in the top 100 -- what are their names?