Names can have such a significance and impact in our lives. Whether it is for your new-born or a character in your story, choosing the name that feels right can be a hard task, especially when there are so many options available.
If you are interested in something different, cool-sounding and at the same time very ancient, Basque boy names are what you are looking for. They cover a set of different topics, from translations of Latin or Greek names, to completely native Basque names that can refer to geographical locations and elements of nature.
For those who are interested or intrigued by how Basque boy names sound like, this article is the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into this mystery language, and, who knows, maybe find the name you were looking for.
Some names were made to last, as it is the case with the names from this list. The moment they became popular is uncertain, but once they did, they never grew out of fashion and are still very much in use nowadays.
Here is a list with the most popular Basque boy names.1 Markel
Although it was always well-known, the name Markel has been growing more and more popular over the last few years. Ranking first in the charts, it is the Basque version of the name Marcel in English.2 Asier
The name Asier first appeared as a character from a book written in the 17th Century, and it can be translated as “the beginning”, since hasiera is the word for “beginning” in Basque.
Interestingly, the same novel has a female counterpart called Amaia, meaning “the end”, and it also happens to be a very popular Basque female name.3 Aitor
Although it had already been invented, the Basque boy name Aitor was made popular through the same novel where Asier and Amaia come from.
In the French Basque Country, they used the term aitoren semea, or “son of a good father” to refer to noblemen, and it was later made into a name by a French writer.4 Iker
Iker originally comes from Visitación, a Spanish girl name, but it only has a male version in Basque. It is made of the word Ikertu, which means “to investigate” in Basque. People with this name are therefore bound to be curious and adventurous.5 Jon
This name may sound familiar as it is very similar to its English version, also known as John. It is a classic Basque boy name, and it has been popular for many generations now.6 Unai/Unax
Unai and Unax are different versions of the same name, although both are separately popular Basque boy names. These are perfect for those who live or want to live a more rural lifestyle, since Unai means “the one who takes care of cows”.7 Ander
Another very popular Basque boy name, Ander comes from Greek and it is the equivalent of the name Andrew in English.8 Xabier
While many people may remember this name from X-men, it is, in fact, a very common Basque boy name, and it is the name of a beautiful castle in Navarre. It is said that it comes from the word etxe (home) and berri (new), meaning new home, and it is usually used in its short form, Xabi.9 Julen
Julen is another classic Basque boy name, and it is the Basque version of the name “Julian” in English.10 Eneko
Eneko is formed by the word ene, which means “mine”, and the suffix -ko, and it was a common Basque boy name during the Middle Ages.
For those who like royalty, it was the name of the first king of Navarre in the 7th Century, which makes it ten times cooler than naming your kid after the newest royal family member.11 Iñaki
When Spanish people are asked about Basque boy names, Iñaki is usually one of the first to come to their minds.
It is a bit of a stereotypical name given its popularity in series and TV shows, but it is still very much liked and used. It comes from the name Ignacio in Spanish.12 Oier
This popular Basque boy name comes from the Middle Ages and it was first recorded in the 11th Century.13 Mikel
Mikel is a very common name in other languages as well, and it is very similar to Michael, its English equivalent.14 Ekain
Ekain is a Basque boy name whose origin is the Basque vocabulary word for the month of June. This word comes from the words eki (sun) and gain (on top), meaning sun on top.
It is also the name of a famous cave in the Basque Country, home to some very well-preserved paleolithic paintings.15 Gorka
This Basque boy name is slightly less obvious to guess, but it is the Basque version of George in English.16 Aimar
Aimar was a common Basque boy name in the Middle Ages, and it is believed to come from the German name Eimar.17 Luka/Luken
Luka and Luken are different Basque boy names, but they are both variations of the name Luke in English.
The Basque Country has always been a very green place. Surrounded by mountains and the sea, Basque people developed a strong connection to nature that has been passed on through generations.
As a consequence, names often refer to natural phenomena or elements from the Basque landscape.18 Ibai
Ibai is the Basque word for “river”, and it is a very popular Basque boy name.19 Izei
This Basque boy name refers to a type of tree also known as a fir tree in English, and it grows in the Basque pyrenees.20 Oihan
Oihan also has a female equivalent, Oihana, and it means forest in Basque. In ancient times, forests used to be worshipped as deities.21 Ekaitz
This powerful name is present in Basque mythology and it is the word for “storm” in Basque.22 Ekhi
This Basque boy name comes from eki, the ancient Basque word for “sun”.23 Haitz / Harkaitz
Haitz and Harkaitz are both different names with the same origin, and they mean “stone”. Certainly a strong choice.24 Hodei
Hodei is a unisex Basque name, which means that it can be used for both boys and girls. It is the word for “cloud” in Basque, and it is present in Basque mythology as a being that brings the storm and hail.25 Gari
This Basque boy name can be translated as “wheat”, and it has recently become popular due to a Basque singer with the same name.26 Ibar
The Basque Country is a very mountainous place, and as such, there are a lot of valleys, which is why the Basque boy name Ibar (valley in Basque) came to be.27 Haritz
Haritz is a Basque boy name in addition to being the Basque word for “oak tree”. Oaks became sacred during Roman times, a period when they were worshipped as gods.
The most famous oak tree is located in Gernika, a town which may sound familiar because of Picasso’s famous painting and the tragic historical events that took place during the Spanish civil war.
This “haritz” tradition is, in fact, still alive nowadays, as the president of the Basque Country usually pledges their allegiance next to Gernika’s oak tree.28 Gorosti
Like Haritz, Gorosti is another tree name which was made into a Basque boy name. Gorosti is a holm oak in English.
This beautiful Basque boy name means “respect” or “deference” in the most noble sense of the word. As an example, this word is commonly used to end formal letters in Basque.30 Eder
Eder means “beautiful” in Basque, and it so happens that the word “beautiful” makes for a beautiful Basque boy name.31 Luka/Luken
Luka and Luken are two separate names, but they are both the Basque version of the English name “Luke”.32 Amets
Amets is the Basque word for “dream”, suitable for those who have always dreamed of having a baby.33 Gaizka
Gaizka is the Basque translation of “Salvador”, a Spanish name. It also happens to be very close to the word gaizki, which means “bad” in Basque, so this name has a bit of a badass ring to it.34 Inar
This beautiful Basque boy name also has a beautiful meaning. It can be translated as “sparkle” or “beam of light”.35 Anartz
Anartz is a Basque boy name that was found in old archives, and it does not bear a clear meaning.36 Danel
This name may sound very familiar, as it is the Basque version of “Daniel” in English.37 Adur
Adur is a mythological Basque boy name. It means “luck”, and it is the name for the power that witches and wizards have, which humans can also possess to dominate mythological beings.38 Lander
This beautiful Basque boy name first appeared during the Middle Ages. It has two meanings, one of which is beggar, although it is probably better to go by the other meaning and say it is the word for pilgrim.39 Enaitz
Enaitz is a Basque boy name that was taken from the name of a mountain peak in the Basque Country.40 Beñat
This name is the Basque version of Bernard in English, and it is quite popular in the Basque Country.41 Endika
Another translated name, in this case Endika is the equivalent of Henry in English.42 Hegoi
Hegoi is the Basque name for the wind that comes from the south. It is taken from the word hego which means “south” in Basque.43 Aingeru
This beautiful Basque boy's name can be translated as “angel” in Basque.44 Josu
Josu is a very Christian name, although it is not necessarily regarded as such. It is the translation of the name “Jesús” in Spanish.45 Oinatz
Oinatz is a beautiful Basque boy name with a beautiful meaning, which is “footprint”.
Some names are just not as popular or widely used, and there are some hidden gems that even Basque people would find funny or unusual.46 Ximaur
This is a bit of a bootleg name, as it can’t be found in a simple google search and it was forbidden to use as a name. It means “manure” in Basque, and rumour has it that someone knew a person called like this.47 Sugar
Sugar sounds very powerful in Basque because it means “flame”. However, for the rest of the world, one cannot help but notice that it looks exactly the same as the English sugar, even though the pronunciation is different.48 Irrintzi
An irrintzi in the Basque Country is a special shout that means joy, and it is usually done in special occasions, such as parties or celebrations. What few people know is that it can also be a Basque boy name.49 Osaba
This name is also unusual and very confusing, as it means “uncle” in Basque. Take a moment to imagine calling your son “uncle”.50 Seme
This unusual Basque name makes more sense than the name Osaba, as it is the word for “son” in Basque. It is still a bit confusing when put in a sentence: “my son’s name is son”.51 Herri
Herri means “village” in Basque, and it is rare for a Basque boy's name.52 Gogor
Another name that even Basque people would not imagine as being a name, is Gogor, which means “tough” in Basque.53 Zigor
This strong and quite rare Basque boy name is the word for “punishment”.Conclusion
Names are a big part of culture, and it is no different to Basque people, who are very keen on maintaining their special heritage.
Basque names have been growing in popularity in the last few years, as people are looking to branch out and look for names that are more unique than the ones they are used to.
This article provides a chance to find the special name you wanted for your very special new-born.
This article also has a companion article which covers Basque girl names.