Spanish Girl Names: a comprehensive guide

Names are often the first thing we get to know about a person. For better or for worse, they play a big role in first impressions, as they hold a lot of information about our background and they are, in a way, part of our personality.

That is why it is important to do in-depth research before choosing a name.

Whether it is for a fictional character or a new-born baby, this article will uncover some beautiful and popular Spanish girl names that will hopefully guide you on your way to the right name.

Popular Spanish girl names

There are many types of popular Spanish girl names. Some of them were born to last and have managed to remain popular over the course of even centuries.

Others began to be more popular over the last century and are still going strong, and there is a growing number of old-fashioned names that are making a comeback over recent years.

1 María

María is, perhaps, the most popular Spanish girl name there ever was. Although its origins are uncertain, it is likely to come from the Hebrew name Miryam, which means “light over the sea”.

The name María also happens to exist in many other languages, as it is the case with “Mary” in English. You can never go wrong with this name, since it is almost universal.

2 Carmen

Another very popular Spanish girl name, Carmen has a wide variety of origins. It first came from the word karm, which means vineyard in Arabic, and it later morphed into the Carmel Mountain, a place of worship in Palestine.

This worship reached Spain, where Carmel had one last influence. The change from the letter l to the n turns it into a Latin word that means “chant” or “poem”.

3 Laura

Laura comes from the Latin word “Laurus”, which is the word for the plant “bay leaf” in English. It originated in Ancient Greece, where it was customary to use bay-leaf crowns for the winners. This name is a good starting-point for those who want to succeed in life.

4 Josefa

Josefa is one of those old-fashioned Spanish names that have made a very recent comeback. The regular Spanish person would probably be surprised to know that it is growing in popularity. It is the feminine version of José and it is a biblical name.

5 Isabel

Isabel is a classic among Spanish girl names. It comes from Hebrew and it means “God’s promise”. As a fun fact, it was also the name of a Spanish queen who started her reign when she was only 13.

6 Ana

Like María, Ana (or Anne in English) is also a bit of a universal name since it has translations in many different languages. It is simple but effective, and it means “compassionate” in Hebrew.

7 Marta

Martha in English, this popular Spanish girl name has two meanings to choose from. It comes from Aramaic and it means “mistress” or “lady”.

8 Cristina

This Spanish girl name began to be popular in the Middle Ages and has not stopped ever since. It means “God’s follower”, or “anointed by God”.

9 Lucía

Lucia is a Spanish girl name which originates from the ancient Latin language spoken by the Romans. It is the female form of the classical Latin name Lucius.

Both these names come from the Latin word "lux" which means “light”, and the name Lucia was used for girls who were born with the first beams of sunshine.

10 Martina

Martina is a very modern Spanish girl name that started to gain popularity over the last few years. It is the feminine version of Mars, the Roman god of war.

11 Sofía

This popular Spanish girl name originally comes from the Greek word Sophia, which means wisdom.

12 Valeria

Valeria is a powerful Spanish girl name. It means “brave woman” in Latin, and it used to be the name of a Patrician family during the Roman era. There was even an empress, Valeria Maximila, who went by this name.

13 Sara

Sara has been a popular Spanish girl name over many decades now and it seems to be here to stay. It comes from Hebrew and it means “princess”, and it can be traced back to the bible, where Sara played the role of being Abraham’s wife.

14 Paula

This Spanish girl name could be considered to be quite young, as it is usually popular between people under 30. It comes from the word “Paulus”, which is Latin for small or minor.

15 Julia

Julia exists in English as well, although it is pronounced differently in Spanish. It is the feminine form of the name “Julius”.

It comes from the ancient Greek word hioylos. This is a very interesting word, as it means youth, but refers to the kind of soft curly hair that Greek men got when they first started growing a beard.

16 Carla

Carla is a strong Spanish girl name of Germanic origin. It means “the one who is free” or “strong and brave woman”.

17 Andrea

This popular Spanish girl name is the female version of Andrés, and it comes from “andros” in Greek. It originally means “male”, although we could say it means “female” since it is the feminine version.

The name Andrea is also a typical Basque name, and it is the Basque word for “woman”.

Beautiful Spanish girl names

Some names just have a ring to them. Sometimes it is because of a beautiful meaning, other times because of a striking or soft pronunciation, but most of the time one cannot explain why a name just sounds more beautiful. Here is a list of those beautiful Spanish girl names.

18 Alba

Alba is a beautiful Spanish girl name with a beautiful meaning. It describes the moment when the sky begins to light up in the morning right before the sun rises.

19 Lara

The Spanish girl name Lara comes from Latin. It was originally a mythological being who was in charge of protecting the household and the family.

20 Lola

Lola is a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, it has a beautiful sound. On the other hand, it comes from the name Dolores, which means “pain” in Spanish, or “the one who suffers from pain”. But hey, humans are full of contradictions anyway.

21 Natalia

For those who love Christmas, Natalia is the perfect Spanish girl name. This word is strongly associated with Christmas Day, as it comes from Latin and it means “birth”. In fact, natal is the word for Christmas in Portuguese.

22 Alma

Apart from its beautiful sound, this Spanish girl's name also has a beautiful meaning. Originating from the word “albus” in Latin, it can be translated as “white” or “bright”. Alma also means “soul” in Spanish.

23 Elena

Elena, or Helen in English, is a well-known and well-loved Spanish girl name. Although originally Greek, it became popular through a Roman empress, who later became a saint and is known for finding a piece of Jesus Christ’s cross.

The name Helen does not seem to be as popular as it used to in the English-speaking world, so why not give it a fresh new look in its beautiful Spanish form.

24 Nuria

Settled in the middle of the stunning Catalan Pyrenees, Nuria is the name of a valley which is home to a virgin of the same name. For nature lovers, it is the perfect opportunity to name a new-born after a beautiful landscape.

25 Rocío

This beautiful Spanish girl's name comes with a beautiful meaning. Rocío is Spanish for “dew”, and it originates from the Virgin of Rocío in the South of Spain.

As a side fact, the Virgin of Rocío is known for its pilgrimage, which attracts up to a million people each year. It is a very colorful but also slightly controversial festivity due to the use of thousands of horses as a means of transport.

26 Clara

The Spanish girl name Clara happens to be beautiful both in sound and meaning, as it is Spanish for “clear” or “bright”. It originally stems from the Latin word clarus, which has the same meaning.

27 Silvia

Silvia is a Spanish girl name that comes from the word “silva” in Latin. It means wood or forest, and it can also figuratively mean “abundance”.

28 Beatriz

This Spanish girl's name is also known in its cute short form, Bea. It comes from the Latin name Beatrix, which is most likely to come from the Latin word viator (traveler in English).

29 Claudia

The name Claudia has an interesting meaning. It derives from the word claudus in Latin, which means “limping” or “lame”. It was the name of one of the most prominent patrician houses in ancient Rome.

30 Angela

Angela is like the female version of an angel in English. It comes from Greek and can be defined as “God’s messenger”.

31 Pilar

Pilar is the name of a famous virgin in Saragossa. The beauty of this Spanish girl name lies in its power, as it means “pillar” or “backbone” in English.

32 Teresa

This beautiful Spanish girl name has Greek roots, although it is uncertain whether it comes from the Greek word for harvest, therizo, or the word theros, meaning summer. Either way it is perfect for those who are born on a beautiful sunny day.

Rare Spanish girl names

Some names in this list may sound unfamiliar even to Spanish people, and others will seem a little bit strange. However, sometimes what we are looking for is not out there in plain sight. Here are some potential hidden gems waiting to be uncovered.

33 Ayelen

Ayelen is an indigenous Spanish girl's name. It comes from the Mapuche people, who live in Chile and Argentina, and it means “joy” in their language.

34 Gadea

This rare Spanish girl name comes from the Greek word agathos, and it means “kind” or “good”. The name Agatha in English also comes from the same word.

35 Delia

Delos is a beautiful island located in Greece. Matching its beauty, the Spanish girl name Delia means “native to Delos”, and is known to be the epithet of Artemis, the Greek moon goddess. This name is suitable for all the romantics out there.

36 Mara

How the name Mara came to be in Spain is uncertain, as it has several possible origins. It could be interpreted as a form of the name María, but it is also a biblical name. It means “bitter” or “grief” in Hebrew, which is slightly bittersweet considering it is a beautiful name.

37 Regla

This is a name that Spanish people will find very uncommon and interesting, and not without reason.

The Virgin of Regla is located in Spain, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. It can mean “rule” although, here is the strange part, it can also mean period, as in women’s menstruation. It is undoubtedly strange to call your daughter “period”.

38 Jara

Jara is the name of a Mediterranean flower also known as “rockrose” in English. While this name also exists in Arabic and Hindu cultures, it is uncommon for Spanish-speakers.

39 Coral

Coral is the ideal Spanish girl name for people who love the sea. As you could have guessed because of its similarity in English, it means “coral reef”. It is also the name of a virgin in southern Spain.

40 Úrsula

Úrsula was a bit of a rare Spanish girl name until the actress from Money Heist, Úrsula Corberó, made it popular. It comes from the Latin word ursus, which means bear.

41 Gala

The name Gala is uncommon in Spain although not unheard of. It most likely comes from the Gallic tribes, which inhabited France from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.

42 Alondra

This rare Spanish girl name is also the name of a common type of bird in Spain, known as the skylark in English.

43 Africa, Asia, América

Although rare, being named after these continents is not unheard of in Spain. In fact, if you think about it they do make for quite nice sounding names.

Conclusion

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. As such, Spanish names stand in a comfortable balance between something more original but still familiar enough to be recognizable in other countries.

If you are looking for that balance, this article provides a wide variety of names that will hopefully help you on your quest for the right name.

Editor’s note: There is also a guide to Basque Girl Names written by the same author.