Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Top Baby Names in Chile

Hola, lectores!

Let's take a trip to the Southern Hemisphere (if you're not there already) for this week's chapter in Global Names! The top names of 2015 for Chile were released last month, and there's quite a few gorgeous options we rarely hear in the US!


I'll be looking at the top 25 names for boys and girls in Chile, choosing five each of my personal favorites that I think could work in the US. I'll also include their English equivalents (if relevant). Vamonos!

Female Names

Florencia - Florence
Currently at #4 in Chile, Florencia is a beautiful, feminine name that isn't ranking on any English-language lists. I think it's a pretty aural mix between retro, adorable Florence and trendy, melodic names like Victoria or Sophia. Florencia means "flourishing", and of course has a lovely floral connotation. It also lends itself to some great nickname options: Flo, Lori, or Sia, for example!

Maite 
A short-form combination of Maria and Teresa, Maite (pronounced "my-TAY" or "MY-teh") is a fabulous, unexpected choice for English speakers. It seems familiar enough with Maddie or Maya, but unique in feeling. I like that Maite is not too frilly or mature, and that it works as an honorific for it's long-form inspirations. According to some sites, it also means "beloved" in Basque. 

Antonella - Antonia
This Italian version of Antonia ranks high in Chile but hardly anywhere else. I think Antonella is a great alternative to Annabella, Isabella, or really any other trendy name that ends in -ella. It could also be a nod to a beloved Anthony! The name has unknown origins, but its mystery doesn't stop it from being an excellent cross-cultural choice. 

Agustina - Augustine
Along with Agatha and Agnes, Agustina is another beautiful long option to get to the cute nickname Aggie. There were 15 little Agustina's born in the US in 2014, so choosing this name would be an uncommon pick! The name comes from Augustus, meaning "esteemed", so there's another plus. Agustina is currently at #9 in Chile. 

Trinidad - Trinity
This name didn't show up on my International Names post, but it definitely should have! Christian favorite and Matrix pick Trinity is currently at #110, so finding alternatives is ideal. The island of Trinidad is just off the coast from Venezuela, giving the name a lovely, geographic connotation. It's also auditorily close to a personal name crush of mine - Soledad

Male Names

Agustín - August
Number 1 in Chile, and number 879 in the US, Agustín is a handsome alternative to English-language favorite August. It's also one letter off from fashionable Austin (they both come from the same origin, too). Like the feminine version reviewed above, Agustín has fantastic nickname potential and an elegant meaning.

Alonso - Alphonse
While zippy Alonzo is firmly in the US top 1000, softer Spanish Alonso is a bit further down at #708. But its cool o-ending and extensive series of historical namesakes make it a great find. Meaning "noble and ready", both the Spanish and English variations of the name are exciting picks for any strong little one!

Gaspar - Casper
One of the three Wise Men in the New Testament, Gaspar (and English Casper) is far more wearable than Melchior or Balthasar. Fun fact: it means "treasurer", so it could be a cute pick for any parents with money-related jobs. The initial syllable might turn away some, but it's pronounced "Gahs-PAR". Another popular variant is Jasper!

Renato
Having only heard the feminine version Renata, I was excited to see the masculine equivalent - Renato! It means "reborn", very strong and intriguing - it's definitely a perfect choice for an Easter baby! In addition to Chile, Renato is well-used in Italy and Brazil, so it would be a lovely cross-cultural option.

Ignacio - Ignatius 
Having only recently left the US Top 1000, I think Ignacio could jump right back on the list. St. Ignacio of Loyola is the patron saint of soldiers, and the name could honor any military family members. Ignacio also has a bunch of adorable nicknames: Iggy, Nacho, and Nasi among those I'm familiar with.

Which are your favorites? Tell me in the comments!

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