Bilingual names was one of the most common requests we saw in the submissions for this baby name series! Many of you have bilingual households, multiracial families or family members that speak a different first language than you.
We saw several request for names that “work” in both Spanish and English, whether that meant they were easily pronounced in both languages (for family members who may speak one or the other language), of Spanish origin or simply that they paired well with a Spanish last name.
While I am at the very beginning of my Spanish-speaking journey and certainly have no authority on this topic, my co-host in this series, Lauren grew up in a bilingual (Spanish-English) household. Together, we brainstormed some of our favorite names we’ve seen friends, family and members of the Latinx community use.
Read the submission from Victoria R below, along with our favorite bilingual boy name picks and then head to the comment section weigh in with your suggestions, too!
Victoria R has a daughter named Abril. She is expecting a baby boy and here’s what she had to say:
“We’re from South America and have a spanish last name so the name would have to be in Spanish or go well with a Spanish last name. Last name is long so prefer short first names. Baby will have no middle name.”
Keep reading for our suggestions!
Short Bilingual Boy Names
If you have a long last name, you may want to pair it with a short (one or two syllable) name in contrast. Here are some of our favorite short “bilingual” boy names:
- Luca / Lucca
Bilingual Boy Names with Great Nicknames
Instead of choosing a short name to pair with a long last name, you could choose a longer name you love that has a shorter nickname! And as your child gets older, they can decide if they prefer the longer or shorter version of their name.
Here are a few of our favorite boy names (either with Spanish origins or that can pronounced in both Spanish and English) with great nicknames:
- Benicio (Ben or Benny)
- Camilo (Cam)
- Emilio (Milo)
- Gabriel (Gabe)
- Joaquin (Quin)
- Lorenzo (Renzo or Enzo)
- Roberto (Berto)
- Santiago (Santi)
- Tavio (Tavi)
What are your favorite bilingual boy names?
Do you have any favorite (short) names with Spanish origins or names that are easily pronounced in both Spanish and English? Leave ’em below!!
Congratulations, Victoria! We hope you find a name you love!
If you’re expecting or adopting and would like to apply to be a part of the series, click here to fill out this form about your situation and name preferences!!
Ooh, I love Ezequiel! Another suggestion would be Nicolas (Nico). And I know an Emilio who goes by Lio, which I think is a great nickname too!
I love Lio as a nickname for Emilio!!
There are so many pretty Spanish names! My suggestions for a boy are
I think they would work in English (I’m Swedish.
Hi! Like this idea you guys had. I don’t have kids yet but I’m making my list of names that sound pretty much the same in English and Spanish. I wouldn’t use Hugo because the H has a sound in English, I’ve heard several English people say the name and it sounds like “jugo” which means juice lol, I don’t want to hear my son being called juice hahaha. I love Marco and Luca, there’s no sound change on those. I’m being very picky with my list of names so far 😁
Fair point re: Hugo!!! Luca is one of my all-time favorites, it was one of our top picks when we were naming Arlo!
Haha that’s funny about your thoughts on Hugo – my brother is Hugo, we aren’t a bilingual family but when we had “Spanish names” in school, kids called him OJ which came from jugo de naranja (orange juice). Sooo you’re not wrong that it triggers the nickname 🙂
Enrique (Kike for short)
Santino or Santiago (Santi for short)
I think Luis works well for a boy. It’s short and can be used either language, and even though it’s already a short name it can also be shortened to Lou as a nickname!
As a first gen Latina who hopes to be a mom one day who names her kids names that are bilingual, I thank you for this post!! Xoxo
Diego is my favorite and easy for non Spanish speakers since it’s also the name of a big CA city
Love these names!! Here are a couple in my family!
Mateo with Teo for short
Ariel (pronounced ah-ree-ehl) with Ari for short
Not a short name but I love the name Salvador with Sal for short.
I had a Spanish housemate and her boyfriend was called Raul and his brother who lived in the UK was called Alejandro. He was worried when he came over that people would struggle with it (it was before the lady gaga song came out and he was teaching English as a second language) so he chose to go by Manu instead which I always thought was lovely x
My son, William, had a Latina babysitter who called him Memo—short for Guillermo. We called Memo all the time—the cutest!
For Roberto another nickname could be Beto! We are expecting our first boy, I am Mexican and my husband is 1/4 Mexican and white, we are naming our baby Desi, short for Desmin! Namesake comes from Desi Arnaz!
Aw congrats!! Love Desi as a nickname, and love Beto!!
Thanks so much for everyone’s suggestions! Love most of the names. Baby will be born this week eeeeeek. We decided on FRANCO as his name. Nicknames will probably be Franky and/or Fran.
Omg I love these names !!!! It’s kinda funny that I’m into names cuz I’m 14 and I won’t even thing about kids for another 15 + years ! But boy do I tell you I have the most beautiful gender neutral name ever !! Wait for it …… Beneteau Grae and Bennet for short !!! I got the Inspo from the boat manufacturer and I love it soooo much !! Preferably I would use as a girl name because I think it’s very powerful and girl boss like. But I guess it works great for a boy too.
Ever is my favorite boy name. I’ve had a number of Guatemalan students with that name. I also like Mateo (Teo)
We were exactly in this same boat. My husband is Mexican and I knew I needed something that worked in Spanish and english. We also have a long last name. My son’s name is Julian. His family calls him julían and everyone else calls him Julian. I love that it can go both ways. And my Italian side loves that he can also go by Giuliani.
I had a long list of names before we decided on Julian. Joaquin was my second favorite.
Same with us! We have a Julian already (because it is such a beautiful and strong name in Spanish) and we may be going with Benjamin for the baby coming next April!
I think Rafael works great. And Rafa is a cute nickname.
Salvatore and Tore for short pronounced the way you say it for the full name “tor- eh”
Andres pronounced “on- dress”
Guillermo and Gui for short pronounced “ghee”
Guido pronounced “ghee- do”
Andreis pronounced “on- drees”
Alvaro pronounced “al-va- roh”
Sebastian and sebas for short pronounced “seh- bass” Or bastian
Ale pronounced “ahh- leh”
Ricardo Paul-Andres Garcia says
My middle name is “Paul-Andres” which you said my 2nd middle name, thanks for teaching people how to pronounce Andres which is my 2nd middle name
It’s funny because in my country (Argentina) most of those names are considered “old and dated”, us 80s kids are named like that, except maybe Benicio and Camilo. There are some classic ones like Agustín, Valentín/o,Bautista, Benjamín, Bastian, Andrés, etc. that are always an option. We have lots of italian last names here so most trendy options are italian names….
I would love to hear the names typically used in Argentina that are not considered “old and dated”. Even if they are italian. I am struggling to find a boy name I love and I am open to girl names as well. Thanks!!
Amado Weng says
Your content is amazing. I am loving it.
Ricardo Paul-Andres Garcia says
My cousin’s name is Lorenzo, and my family nickname him “Renzo” which sounds cool.
Paul E Jordan says
Lucas, it’s also conveniently pronounced very closely.
Paul E Jordan says
Many of the above examples have drastically different pronunciation en ingles. So if the goal is to name a child that will feel culturally weightless in either environment (e.i, en la casa de la abuela, and grandmas’ house) I’d go with a name that sound the same in both languages…. Some examples that come to mind are, Lucas, Marco..
You little kid narco I’m so not in the mood so stop I need a name asap