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26 Trending Names Latinas Are Naming Their Newborns And What They Mean

Whether you’re gearing up to name your soon-to-be newborn or just planning for the future, there’s a long list of beautiful names straight of Latin America you can consider when it comes down to naming your kid.

Check out the 22 most popular names in Latin America this year.

JUANA

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Meaning: Juana is a popular Spanish form of John. It means God’s gift and is also a feminine form of Juan.

Nicknames for Juana: Jonetta, Joeanne, Jenette, Jaynie, Jayni, Janie, Janicia, Janey, Janee, Joan

People with this name tend to have a strong desire for travel and adventure.

Famous names: Juana Acosta

ALEJANDRO

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Meaning: Defender of mankind. Popular Spanish form of Alexander.

Famous Alejandros: Alejandro González Alejandro Sanz

Famous names: Alejandro Lillo

LINDA

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Meaning: Pretty. It could also refer to the linden, a shade tree also used for medicinal purposes.

Nicknames: Linda

ALICIA

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Meaning: Noble; variant of Alice and Adelaide

Other ways to spell it: Alesia, Alecia

Famous names: Alicia Keys

LUIS

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Meaning: Form of Louis.

Fun fact: it has a biblical theme

Famous names: Luis Guzman

MIGUEL

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Portuguese Origin

Meaning: Who is like the Lord; a variant of Michael

Famous Miguels: Miguel Cabrera the baseball Player and Miguel Jontel Pimentel the R&B Singer.

SANTIAGO

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Meaning: Saint James; Santiago is also the capital as well as the largest city of Chile.

Famous examples: Santiago Cabrera the Chilean actor.

MANUEL

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Meaning: God is with us; popular Spanish diminutive of Emmanuel

Nicknames Manny, Uel, Nuel

GARCIA

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Meaning: The name is a surname but has been used as a first name in recent years. It also means fox. 

RAQUEL

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Meaning: The name is a variant of the Jewish name Rachel which means Ewe.

ESPERANZA

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Meaning: Hope

Places you’ve seen it: The main character of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s book Esperanza Rising.

MATEO

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Meaning: God”s gift

Fun fact: Jane from “Jane The Virgin” named her son Mateo.

JAIME

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Meaning: Supplanter

Jaimes you know: “Jane The Virgin” actor Jaime Camil.

NICOLAS

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French Origin

Meaning: Victorious; conquerer of the people. It’s a variant of the English name Nicholas.

AMOR

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Meaning: Love

People with this name tend to be introverts and love the quiet. They also have a strong desire to look to the world’s greatest truths.

ESMERALDA

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Meaning: Emerald

Fun fact: Greek Origin

DOLORES

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Meaning: Sorrows

Famous Doloreses: Dolores Fuller, Actress Delores Del Rio

MARISOL

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Meaning: It’s a blend of Mary and Sol and means bitter sun

ORLANDO

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Fun FactIt comes from the Shakespearean play “As You Like It Read.”

LOURDES

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Meaning: Reference to the Virgin Mary; taken from a town in France that became famous as a shrine for Catholic pilgrims after a peasant…

MAGDALENA

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Meaning: Woman from Magdala

RAMONA

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Meaning: Wise defender; feminine form of Ramon

ALONDRA

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Meaning: “Lark” in Spanish. May also be a variation of Alexandra.

RIO

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Meaning:  Variant of River; a familiar form of Spanish names ending with -rio. The Rio Grande is one of the longest rivers in North…

LUCERO

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Meaning: Spanish form of Luke light

PALOMA

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Meaning: Dove

ESTELLA

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Meaning: Star

Famous examples: Estella Havisham from Great Expectations.


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20 Famous Latinas Who Use a Stage Name

Fierce Boss Ladies

20 Famous Latinas Who Use a Stage Name

There’s power in the names that our parents give us at birth. They’re a legacy passed down from our anceatros and a reminder of where we come from. However, these reminders of their heritage can be a hurdle for aspiring Latinx celebrities while starting their careers. Due to this, famous Latina actresses and musicians often swamp their given nombres for a stage name.

Usually, celebrities take on a stage name by shortening their given name or changing it completely. Sometimes the reason for this is an active attempt to make their names sound less Latino but it also happens so they’ll have shorter, more marketable names. Whether they aim for a less Spanish sounding name or just for something simpler, these Latinas are definitely memorable.

Here are 20 Latinas who use stagenames:

1. Jenni Rivera

Instagram / @jennirivera


This legendary singer and songwriter is known around the world as Jenni Rivera but that’s not her given name. The Latina’s full names is Dolores Janney Rivera. When she started her career, the late Rivera dropped “Dolores” and used a diminutive form of her middle name instead. This shorter moniker is easier for fans to remember and without a doubt looked better on a concert marquee.

2. Demi Lovato

Instagram / @ddlovato


Pop starlet Demi Lovato has a unique name reminiscent of actress Demi Moore, but the Latina wasn’t named after the 80s icon. Her full name is actually Demetria Devonne Lovato with “Demi” being her nickname. As memorable as “Demi” is, we have to admit that Demetria Devonne is a very melodious name naturally meant for a musician.

3. Michelle Rodriguez

Instagram / @mrodofficial


Michelle Rodriguez is known for taking on roles that show off her tough girl image. However, the name she’s best known for isn’t technically her real one. She was born Mayte Michelle Rodriguez but dropped the “Mayte” for her stage name. Still, no matter what she chooses to go by, the Fast and the Furious star is decidedly the fiercest boss lady around.

4. Gloria Estefan

Instagram / @gloriaestafan


Gloria Estefan is one of the most legendary Latinas in the world so it makes sense that she’d be christened with a name just as incredible. The Cubana was named Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García. Yes, it’s a mouthful but Estefan was named with the traditional Spanish naming custom. In this custom, the child takes both their paternal and maternal surnames. When Estefan married her husband, Emilio, she dropped the additional names and simply took his to create her stage name.

5. Raquel Welch

Instagram / @therealraquelwelch


Raquel Welch is iconic for portraying strong female characters and being one of the 20th Century’s biggest sex symbols. Those who aren’t very familiar with the actress might be surprised to discover that she’s also a Latina. Her Bolivian father gave her the name of Jo Raquel Tejada. The “Raquel” came from her father’s mother and the “Jo” is from her mother, Josephine. After taking her high school sweetheart’s name when they married, Welch dropped the “Jo” from her moniker and started her acting career.

6. America Ferrera

Instagram / @AmericaFerrera


America Ferrera’s journey to her stage name is very different from most on this list because it’s actually her given name. The difference is that Ferrera didn’t actually start going by her real name until she started acting. She was named after her mother but the actress hated it so she went by her middle name, Georgine. It wasn’t until she started pursuing her career that she saw how memorable and marketable her given name is.

7. Celia Cruz

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Called “La Guarachera de Cuba,” Celia Cruz is the most popular and well-know Latina artist of the 20th Century. However, the simple alliteration of her stage name hides her monumental given name. She was born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso. She, too, was named in the Spanish custom — her mother’s family name was “Alfonso” and her father’s was “Cruz.” She already went by Celia when she began her music career in the 1940’s.

8. Soledad O’Brien

Instagram / @americasbestracing


Born to immigrant parents, Soledad O’Brien has always been proudly vocal about her heritage. Embracing their Cuban and Irish backgrounds, her parents named her María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien. When she started her journalism career, the Afro-Latina shortened her name but kept pieces of it to honor the two halves of her background.

9. Thalia

Instagram / @Thalia


Singer, songwriter, and actress Thalia is one of the most influential and popular Mexican artists in the world. Though she only goes by one name now, she was born Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda. She was also named in the Spanish tradition with her mother and father both contributing their surnames to hers. When Thalia began in the music business, she decided to go solely by her memorable middle name.

10. Rita Hayworth

Instagram / @theritahaywortharchive


Rita Hayworth was the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940’s. She was also a Latina. Hayworth actually dyed her naturally dark hair to the red she’s known for so she could be considered for more diverse roles. She also took on a less Spanish sounding stage name for the same reason. Hayworth was originally named Margarita Carmen Cansino but used her mother’s maiden name with her nickname “Rita” to form her now famous brand.

11. Shakira

Instagram / @shakira


The Columbian singer, songwriter, and dancer, Shakira, is another big time celebrity who only needs one name to make her mark. Like many other Latinx people, she was given both her mother’s and father’s family names as part of her own. Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, the name reflects both her father’s Arabic roots and her mother’s Spanish ones.

12. Anita Page

Instagram / @classichollywoodarchive


It may come as a surprise, but silver-era star Anita Page was a Latina. Often called the “blond, blue-eyed Latin” and “the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood,” she was born Anita Evelyn Pomares. When she joined MGM Studios, she was given the name Ann Page but another actress already had claim to that name. Instead, MGM let her combine her first name with their chosen surname to get a new moniker for the pretty star.

13. Kate del Castillo

Instagram / @katedelcastillo


One of the biggest stars in telenovela, Kate del Castillo is a household name, but, her real moniker is considerably longer. Born Kate del Castillo Negrete Trillo, the actress was given both her mother’s surname and that of her famous father, Eric del Castillo. Additionally, it seems stage names run in this family. A fellow telenovela star and legend of Mexican cinema, her dad was born J. Eduardo Eric del Castillo-Negrete Galván and shortened his name for his career.

14. Salma Hayek

Instagram / @salmahayek


Salma Hayek is one of the most well-respected and popular Latinas in Hollywood. Though she made a name for herself in such movies like Frida, that nombre just happens to be a stage name. The actress/producer was born Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez. When she began her acting career, Hayek dropped “Jiménez” — her mother’s last name — and simply went with her father’s name.

15. Sofia Vegara

Instagram / @sofiavagara


Sofia Vergara is the highest paid actress on TV and, as such, has made her name well known all over the world. However, the name Vergara uses is a shortened version of her given name. She was named Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara and that double Vergara isn’t a typo. Both her mother and father had the surname “Vergara” so she was given both as part of her offical name. Understandably, she cut it down for her stage name.

16. Zoe Saldana

Instagram / @zoesaldana


You might know her as Gamora from Gaurdians of the Galaxy but Zoe Saladana’s parents gave her another unique moniker. Her birth name is actually Zoe Yadira Saladaña Nazario. Like many Latinas, she inherited names from both her parents. “Saladaña” is her Dominican father’s surname while “Nazario” is from her Puerto Rican mother.

17. Roselyn Sánchez

Instagram / @roselyn_sanchez


Puerto Rican actress, model, and singer Roselyn Sanchez is best known for her roles on Without a Trace and Devious Maids. Though Sanchez spends most of her career answering to the names of fictional characters, her stage name is also a bit fictious. She was originally named Roselyn Milagros Sánchez Rodríguez by her parents. To make it more memorable, Sanchez dropped both the “Milagros” and “Rodriguez” from her name.

18. Rita Moreno

Instagram / @theritamoreno


With an EGOT and the Presidential Medal of Freedom under her belt, the name Rita Moreno stands for Latina excellence. However, it’s not the legendary actress’ real name. Moreno was actually born Rosa Dolores Alverío. The Puerto Rican actress adopted the surname Moreno from her mother’s second husband. As a girl, she was often called “Rosita” which naturally evolved to “Rita”. Moreno’s nickname also has a connection with another famous Rita. When she came to the US as a girl, she traveled with dancer Paco Cansino, the uncle of Rita Hayworth.

19. Eva Mendes

Instagram / @evamendes


Actress and business woman Eva Mendes is well known for being a enchanting and sexy film star. As such, it’s only natural that she has a stage name. Mendes was originally born Eva de la Caridad Méndez. Not only did she drop the extra name, along her way to stardom the actress also changed the spelling of “Méndez.”

20. Katy Jurado

Instagram / vintage_stardust


During the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Katy Jurado played sultry femme fatales. She was such an iconic beauty that Juan Gabriel wrote the song Que Re’chula es Katy in her honor. However, Katy was never her real name. In fact, she was born María Christina Estela Marcela Jurado García. For her stage name, Jurado kept her father’s surname and took on the nickname Katy.

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I Chose To Keep My Last Name When I Got Married Because I Wanted To Hold Onto The Latinidad My Own Name Gives Me

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I Chose To Keep My Last Name When I Got Married Because I Wanted To Hold Onto The Latinidad My Own Name Gives Me

When people first look at me, they don’t think I’m Mexican, let alone Latina.

Because I am white-passing, I make it a point to let everyone know that I am, in fact, not white. When people first meet me, our conversations usually go like this: “Can I ask what you are?” and “You must be half, right?” “Oh, you’re Latina! I had no idea.” Even if people are unsure of “what I am,” I let them know real quick by the way I say my last name.

So imagine my dilemma when I was getting married to a white man. I know that sounds bad, but hear me out. I started worrying about whether or not I would change my last name. Instead of freaking out over which flowers my bouquet would have or what food we’d serve, I was stressed about changing my last name.

“Would I get rid of my last name completely or would I hyphenate it,” I thought. Even as I dabbled with the idea of hyphenating my last name with his, it didn’t sit right with me. Thankfully, it didn’t sit right with my partner either.

If I took my husband’s last name, not only would people assume that I’m 100% white, because as I mentioned before, that’s already something I have to deal with, but now people wouldn’t question it. They would hear my name and question nothing. I’d rather people inquire about my identity than not at all.

For me, everything that I knew about my identity and what I was most proud of would disappear as soon as I introduced myself. The thought of not being able to say my last name after marriage was nerve-racking. I couldn’t sleep thinking about it. How would I introduce myself? Would I awkwardly plug that fun fact into my conversation? These were the questions raced through my head at night.

While I was stressing out about my possible name change, my partner is the one who actually suggested I keep my last name. He reminded me that we could do whatever we wanted. We didn’t have to follow an outdated tradition because it was our marriage, after all.

Credit: @alyssawritesxo / Instagram / @delanieandco

If you haven’t noticed by now, my last name means everything to me. In the same way that people strongly identify with their hair, that’s how I feel when it comes to my last name. It’s who I am and it’s what makes me, me. I’m proud of it.

My last name isn’t that common either, so I’ve always loved how unique it is. My grandfather from my dad’s side always said his last name with pride, and I like to think that he instilled that in me. He grew up in a time when Latinos weren’t allowed to speak Spanish, but the one way he rebelled was by the way he pronounced his name. Because of that, I’ve never pronounced my last name “white-sounding.” By that, I mean that I actually pronounce my name in Spanish, the way my grandfather taught me to say it.

It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to, I’ll never change the way I prounounce it. I could be at the DMV, introducing myself to new coworkers, or confirming my attendance at a bougie event, I don’t care, I’m introducing myself in Spanish. Me vale.

You will never catch me saying my last name in an English way in order for non-Latinos to understand it. If anything, I make it a point to say it con fuerte. I emphasize each letter, drag out each syllable, and say it loudly for the people in the back. Another thing I do is that I always roll the “r” in my last name, and sometimes, I even let it linger. I want it to sink in, so people know that I’m Latina. To some, my skin color might tell a different story, but my last name does not.

 Credit: @alyssawritesxo / Instagram

Once I realized that I was in control of keeping my last name and that my husband was on board with my decision, I felt at peace. I didn’t have to worry about losing my identity or the one thing that matters to me the most.

Just because I was getting married didn’t mean I had to change who I was. I didn’t have to lose my last name because of some old tradition or because of what seems like the normal thing to do.

Keeping my last name was the best decision I’ve ever had to make, like ever. This was the one time when I really listened to my intuition, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been happy—and that’s not how I would want my marriage to start. On that note, I know that I’m lucky to have a husband who was completely okay with my choice. Although, even if he wasn’t fully on board with me keeping my last name, it wouldn’t have been his decision to make.

Credit: @alyssawritesxo /  Instagram / @delanieandco

Losing a huge part of myself would hurt too much, and deep in my heart, I would not feel like myself. I would get rid of the single most important thing that makes me who I am.

Tossing away my last name would completely strip me of my identity, and it would make me feel like I erased my Mexican ancestry. Like I said before, no one would think twice about my ethnicity, and I’d rather have people confused as to what I might be than to assume I’m nothing at all.

For me, my last name is what ties me to my roots. It’s also a reminder that I’m privileged. I can say my last name in Spanish. Unlike me, my grandfather didn’t always have that luxury. He said our last name with defiance. Because of that history, I’m able to say my name with honor.

Credit: Alyssa Morin

My last name is what reminds me—and everyone else—of my heritage.


Read: She Struggled To Pay For College Because She Was Undocumented, So This Latina Created An App To Make The Process Easier For The Next Generation

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