Before sitting down to write this article, I had absolutely no idea just how many, quite frankly, gorgeous names there are from Argentina.
I knew zilch about the country, and even less about the sorts of names that originate from this nation, so it was an amazing experience to research into the stories behind countless names, and pick out the best and most stunning ones just for readers. It wasn't an easy job though, I can tell say that!
Some of the names here will be quite familiar, ones like Tomas, Sofia and Gabriel, but there are plenty which I'm hoping readers will be encountering for the very first time.
I can't quite put my fingers on what it is exactly that I love so much about names from Argentina, but there's something special about them for sure. Readers will see what I mean as they go. There are some which sound beautifully musical, like Lucia, while others are effortlessly sweet, like Martina.
Whether mom is considering a name from Argentina, or is simply here looking for inspiration, I really hope that one (or more...!) or the names here speaks to everyone reading, and asks for them to adopt it for their little one.
The name Sofia means 'wise,' and wise is how I would describe the majority of the people I have met called Sofia in my life. They've also been studious, caring and, interestingly, very environmentally conscious. As well as being a popular choice in Argentina, you'll hear this name being used all over Europe too regularly hitting the number 1 spot.
I would always choose the spelling of Sofia over Sophia. It looks so much more exotic, don't you think? In Portuguese it's pronounced soo-FEE-a. Though you could always opt for the German pronunciation zo-FEE-a or even the Greek pronunciation saw-FEE-a.
Well. I've been pronouncing this name wrong MY ENTIRE LIFE. Pronounced san-TYA-gho, it's derived from the Spanish word santo which means 'saint.' It's combined with Yago, which is an old Spanish form of James, the patron saint of Spain. So it has quite the heavy history!
I do love this name (even more now that I'm pronouncing it right). The length of it is something rare and especially special nowadays, as it seems like names are becoming ever shorter. Diminutives include the Spanish Diago, the Portuguese Tiago and Thiago. In 2009 it ranked at the number 1 spot in Argentina.
This Spanish and Portuguese form of Camilla is simple but stunning. It's a name that isn't demanding in any sense. It isn't difficult to say, spell or remember. The meaning behind Camila is 'beautiful.' Now, just imagine your little girl saying "what does my name mean, mommy?" And replying to her, "it means beautiful."
Pronounced ka-MEE-la in Spanish, it's prettier than the English pronunciation of cam-ill-a, which I think is a bit lacking. Say it aloud using the Spanish pronunciation and then the English and you'll see what I mean. (Or perhaps you'll disagree entirely!) I love the nickname Cami.
If you have a special connection to Argentina, or perhaps just love the country or the title itself, you could always opt for the name Argentina! Now, before you go thinking 'isn't that a bit off the wall?' people with this name do exist. Two such people include Argentina Menis, a retired Olympic discus thrower and the late Argentine actress Argetina Brunetti.
Now, while this is admittedly a rare choice, it is a beautiful one. It's derived from the Latin word argentum which means silver. And in turn that comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀργήντος which means 'white, shining.'
Valentina has to be one of my favourite names on this list. It's unique, albeit easy to understand. It's melodious and has a beautiful sound. It's strong and simultaneously sweet, two qualities rare to find together.
I agree with commenter flaviacardozodejesus writing on BehindTheName.com who said "It fits so well into many personalities. I can imagine a strong and warlike Valentina, but I can also imagine a dreamy and romantic Valentina."
A famous bearer was Valentina Tereshkova, who, in 1963 became the first woman to visit space. She completed 48 orbits of the Earth in her three days in space.
I don't know about you, but I prefer this spelling of Tomas to the Thomas spelling many of us are more familiar with. In the US in 2016 the name Tomas was given to 343 boys born in the US.
As well as being a common name in Argentina, you'll find Tomas is used all over Europe, including in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Slovenia where there are many gorgeous pet names including Tomin, Toman, Tomes and Tomasek (I love them all!). This is one of those names that will never go out of style, and works beautifully regardless of age.
Martina is the feminine form of the name Martinus. Saint Martina was a 3rd-century martyr who is one of the patron saints of Rome - so it has quite the impressive background! It's easy to say and spell and there are plenty of options for nicknames, including Marta (my favourite!), Art and Marti.
While it's widely used in Argentina, it's also used in Bulgaria, Sweden, Serbia and Poland. I'm smitten with the Polish spelling Martyna. It isn't overused in the US and in 2015 was given to only 130 girls. I've read that it means 'small sea' or 'little ocean.'
Derived from the name Luke, Lucas is one of those names that works wherever you are in the world. Pronounced LOO-kas, it makes me think of a little boy who is deeply curious and loves to learn and embrace the world around him. Some great combinations to make this name that bit more unique include Lucas Parker, Lucas Xavian and Lucas Xavier.
Some people say that Lucas is 'too cutesy' or 'too delicate' for a boy. Some have even gone so far as to say it's just not a good name. But I have to disagree. It's a handsome, strong name that ages wonderfully.
Now, this is one name that I never would have imagined myself falling for! I don't know what it is about this Ancient Roman title, but it's got me by the heart strings and it isn't letting go.
The feminine form of Augustinus, it's a name I've never heard being used in real life in my part of the world. (But that makes it all the more special, in my opinion!) And it's even rarely used in Argentina itself. The last time it made it into the top 1000 names was way back in 1903. I love the nickname August.
I can pretty much guarantee that when all of us see this name, we think of Joaquin Phoenix. I remember when I first came across Joaquin. I had no idea how to pronounce if for years and was surprised when I found out that it's pronounced khwa-KEEN. Though I've also read that it can be pronounced YO-AA-KEEN.
Interestingly enough, when Joaquin Phoenix was little, he used to go by the name Leaf, even though is birth name was Joaquin. It's because he wanted to have a nature/hippy name like his siblings. He went back to using Joaquin as a teenager.
Micaela is the Spanish, Italian, Catalan and Portuguese feminine form of Michael, and is a variant of the name Michaela and Michelle. If you have twins, Michael and Micaela could be a really sweet option! Admittedly this was another name that I had trouble with pronouncing, but once I got the hang of it, I quickly grew really attached.
You'll find it pronounced Mee-kah-eh-lah in Spanish, and also mee-kah-EH-la.. Say it out aloud with both pronunciations and see which one of the two you prefer! One nickname I've become infatuated with is Micci. You could also use Mica or Ella.
Franco is possibly ones of the cutest names on the list and the nickname Franky is irresistible. I think Franco has a sweetness about it and can really see it working on a little boy and an adult man. As well as being used as a first name, it's also a common surname in Latin America.
When I imagine someone called Franco, I think of a person who's witty and love to make other people laugh. Pronounced FRANG-ko, it was given to 353 boys born in the US in 2016. From my research, I learned that it means 'free man.'
Lucia is just beautiful, isn't it? And the history of this name is something especially deep and meaningful, for Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse who had her eyes gouged out and who's known as the patron saint of the blind. The name Lucia has been used in England since the 12th-century, usually with the spelling Lucy.
There are many different ways of pronouncing Lucia including Loo-see-a, Lu-SEE-a and Loo-sha, but it's up to you what you choose at the end of the day. A wonderful nickname option is Sia. Some others include Lu, Luc, Lulu, Si and Lucylu.
Ah, this is such a great name! A really brilliant alternative to the slightly boring (sorry, no offense intended!) overused name Matthew, of which Mateo is the Spanish alternative. Pronounced ma-TE-o, it's been ranked highly in Argentina for years, and back in 2015 it stood as the 2nd most popular name for boys.
Some cute nicknames that you could opt for include Mate and Mata. This is a name which I can't say without a smile on my face. I don't know why but it just brightens everything up. It just has this feeling of happiness and goodness about it.
I hadn't encountered this name before writing this article, and I was so intrigued about it! Pronounced mee-LA-gros it means 'miracles' in Spanish and is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de los Milagros, which translates to 'Our Lady of Miracles.'
I've also read of the pronunciation mee-lah-gros. A commenter on BehindTheName.com opted for the pronunciation Meela-gro. One sweet nickname that I've encountered is Mili another is Mila. Milagros ranked 9th place in Argentina back in 2009 and 5th place in Peru in 2012. In 2015 it was given to 186 girls born in the US.
Wonderful Argentinean names just keep coming, here's another one! Thiago is just so handsome and thought provoking and timeless, I love it. Variants include Diogo (which I don't like as much) and Tiago. There's also Yago, Iago and Jago. While it's commonly used in Latin America, it would most certainly turn heads -and for the right reasons - elsewhere in the world. The name had its peak in 2012 and was used 62 times per million babies. A renowned bearer is Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento, a Spanish footballer with an illustrious career. Some nicknames include Tago, Chago, Chano and Vego.
It probably won't come as a surprise to find this name originates from the Greek word for dolphin. If you and your family have an infatuation with the sea, it could be a perfect choice! I have to admit I do prefer the French spelling Delphine and the Late Roman spelling Delphina.
You'll more than likely find those choice cropping up in lists titled 'Old Fashioned,' 'Vintage,' and 'Eclectic Names For Girls.' Delfina had its peak in popularity in the US back in 1924. If it isn't doing it for you, maybe one of these names will: Catalina, Ava, Ximena.
This is one of those timeless classic names that just works so well no matter where you are in the world! Apparently it means 'victory of the people' in Greek. There are several ways you can pronounce this name including NIK-ə-ləs and NIK-ləs. I've said both over time, but have a definite preference for the later.
One wonderful association is that of Saint Nicolas who's the patron saint of children and formed the basis for Santa Claus. It's a name widely used in the Christian world, and has been common in England since the 12th-century. Variants include Nikolas and Nickolas.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I'm so in love with this name I can't even tell you. It's the Spanish form of Katherine and is pronounced ka-ta-LEE-na. I've read dozens of accounts from women who're called Catalina saying that people come up to them all the time and tell them that their name is beautiful, and I'm really not surprised.
Not only is it a gorgeous name, but it has some of the best nicknames! They include Katy, Cat, Talyn (adore this!) and Kitty (adore this one too!) In 2015 Catalina reached its highest point on the name chart at number 5.
I'm really attracted to the simplicity of this name. It looks so clean and fresh and handsome. Pronounced KHWAN it's the Spanish version of the name Johannes. Interestingly, this name also has links to The Isles of Man, an island located between England and Ireland. There it's pronounced JOO-ahn, a pronunciation I actually prefer, and would opt for if I were to give this name to my son. Juan is a name that's popular in dozens of countries, including France, Spain, Chile and Catalonia. In the US in 2017 it was ranked as the 137th most popular name for boys.
I've always imagined that the name Paula would be a wonderful name to give to a little girl when there has been an important person called Paul in the family. While it's widely used in Argentina, you'll also hear it being used in Germany, England, Spain, Romania, Hungary Sweden and Denmark.
In Spanish it's pronounced POW-la though growing up in England I've always pronounced it Paul-A. I've also read of it being pronounced pa-o-luh in Spanish. In the US in 2016 it was given to 346 girls. If you're not sure about Paula, other options include Paulina, Paulette and Pauletta.
This name can really do no wrong. All of the Gabriel's I have met in my life - and I've met quite a few - have been sensitive, charming and thoughtful. You'll find this name being all over the world from Argentina to France, from Norway to Poland.
In Spanish it's pronounced ga-BREYEL (I love this pronunciation), though I've been brought up in England to pronounce it GAY-bree-el. Gabriel means 'God is my strong man,' and while it has been used occasionally in England since the 12th-century, it wasn't common in the English-speaking world until the end of the 20th-century.
I never used to care much for the name Celeste, but it's gradually becoming a favourite of mine. I love many of the nicknames that accompany it too, ones such as Cele, Celes, Cece, Tete and Celestita (which means 'little Celeste.')
I was reminded by someone about Queen Celeste in the Barbar books, and now this name is bringing back all sorts of wonderful and happy memories! Celeste is, I think one of the most sophisticated sounding names that we have here on the list, and there's something almost crystalline about it. The meaning of the name Celeste is 'heavenly.'
I can't look at this name without getting Lady GaGa's song Alejandro in my head! But I love saying the name - it's so melodious - so it really doesn't bother me. Apparently the song was written as a way for GaGa to say goodbye to all of her past boyfriends.
Pronounced a-le-KHAN-dro in Spanish, it's the Spanish form of Alexander. In 2009 it ranked at 54th place in Argentina, 8th place in Columbia and 180th place in the US. The meaning behind the name is 'protector of mankind.' Now that's something your little boy will be proud to hear!
For our final listing, we have a name which I've grown to love over the years. Pronounced fran-SES-ka in Catalan and fran-CHES-ka in Italian, it's a name which draws all the right sort of attention. Francesca was a common spelling of the name Francis for Portuguese and Galicians and was common among Galician and Portuguese women in the 16th century.
The nicknames Frankie, Cesi and Cesca are irresistible. Some people have the wrong idea that this name is reserved for the 'privileged,' but I would disagree with everything I've got. It's a name that works for all walks of life.
Sources: BehindTheName.com, Nameberry.com