We’ve explored popular names in France, and today, it’s Mexico’s turn. I loved name spotting when I visited Mexico last year. There were lots of familiar names (like Maria and Angel) but also some surprises- I met three Lupitas in just one week! The Mexican popularity chart is dominated by traditional Spanish names, often religious, but a few English names sneak in there. Kevin, for example, ranks #33 and Elizabeth is #25.
Top 5 for boys:
Santiago- This ubiquitous Spanish name has a fascinating origin. It’s a smoosh of Santo Yago, santo meaning “saing” and Yago being a variant of James. It’s a common name for both men and cities- there are Santiagos in Chile, Spain, the Philippines, Paraguay, and the United States.
Mateo- This Spanish variant of Matthew has become increasingly popular in the United States and now sits at #85.
Diego- This common name has surprisingly mysterious origins. It could be derived from James via Santiago, or could be totally unrelated and instead derived from the Greek Didacus.
Miguel Angel- Double names are quite popular in Mexico for both sexes; farther down on the list, you’ll find more double names, including Juan Carlos, Marco Antonio, and Jose Luis.
Emiliano- This frilly and extravagant name comes from the same root as Emily. Emiliano suddenly became popular in the US in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Ximena- In 2013, Ximena was the most popular name for girls in Mexico. Spelling variant Jimena also ranked in the top 30. The X is not pronounced like a Z; the sound is more similar to an H, but placed farther back in the throat.
Maria Jose- Religious names are common in Mexico, and this name is a prime example.
Valentina- Like Emiliano, Valentina started rising in popularity in the US in the late 1990’s. It’s a great style match for frilly names like Isabella and Sofia.
Maria Fernanda- Variants of Ferdinand (like Fernanda) are popular throughout Europe, but fairly unusual in English speaking countries.
Valeria- The Italian and Spanish variant offers a fresh update on Valerie.