LivingEvery time we put shorter names: these are the...

Every time we put shorter names: these are the most successful for girls and boys (and their meaning)

No more compound names like María Dolores or María Isabel, or long names to pronounce like Concepción or Francisco. What is succeeding in recent years, and increasingly, are the short names that parents choose for their babies.

As the years go by, parents prefer shorter names for our children. Short variants are preferred to traditional names such as Lola instead of Dolores, Lara instead of Laura, Nico instead of Nicolás or Álex instead of Alejandro.

Every time we put shorter names

It is a trend that has been gaining popularity in recent decades, and more especially in the last ten years. As an example, just take a look at the most popular names for newborns in Spain.

Among the 100 names most chosen by parents in the last year for girls, 31 of them have only three or four letters, while if we go back decades, in the 90s the names of newborns exceeded, on average, eight letters. Currently, the top 10 longest names for girls that we find are Martina, Valeria and Daniela, all seven letters long.

As we see in an extensive data analysis carried out by El, in 2010, 11.8% of girls had four-letter names, while in 2021, it rose to 16.6%. Those of three letters rise from 3.5 to 5.5%.

As for children, the percentage is somewhat higher. Of the 100 most popular in the last year, 34 of them are names of three or four letters. And if we go further back, in 2010, only 2.3% of children had names of three letters and 15.3% of four letters; in 2021 they have risen to 4.7% (double) the former and 18.4% the latter.

Three out of ten newborn boys and girls in Spain have short names of three or four letters.

Leo and Mía, the shortest that are most successful

Names of just three and four letters are the favorites due to their sonority, and a good example of this is Leo and Mía, the most popular three-letter names for newborn boys and girls.

Leo is the most popular boy’s name of the last five years. It derives from Latin and is a variant of Leon, it symbolizes the fierceness of this animal and also power and justice. Mia, meanwhile, climbs positions as the shortest name for girls.

And they are not the only ones, most of the most popular names in Spain for babies are short names with a nice meaning.

Trendy short names for girls (and their meaning)

Three and four letter names for newborn girls in Spain, in order of popularity:

  • Alma : it is of Latin origin, it means “Kind”, “Gentile”, “All spirituality”. Pasión Vega or Alejandro Sanz chose this name for their girls.
  • Sara : name of Hebrew origin whose meaning is “Princess”, “lady”, “sovereign”.
  • Vega : of Christian religious origin, due to the Marian invocation of the Virgen de la Vega, venerated in many towns in Spain.
  • Mía : of Hebrew origin, diminutive of María.
  • Lara: has two possible etymologies. One indicates that it is a Russian diminutive of the name Larisa. The other indicates that it comes from Roman mythology and was the name of one of the water nymphs.
  • Alba: of Latin origin, and means “Aurora”, “Dawn”, “white and shining”, “she who was born with the first light of dawn”.
  • Noa : it is a unisex name but it is carried by more girls than boys. It is of Hebrew origin, and means “delight”.
  • Lola : if decades ago Dolores was one of the most popular names, today her hypocoristic name is. It refers to the pain of the virgin when her son was crucified.
  • Chloe : It is of Greek origin, and means “grass” or “green shoots”.
  • Laia: diminutive of Eulalia, which comes from “eu-lalos” and means “well-spoken”, “eloquent”.
  • Vera: Your popularity has increased more than one hundred percent in the last five years. From the Latin “verus”, meaning “true”. Also related to its Russian origin, whose meaning is “faith”.
  • Ana: name of Hebrew origin that means “compassionate”, “merciful”.
  • Agnes: of Greek origin and means sacred, chaste and pure.
  • Lía : name of Hebrew origin meaning “bearer of good news”.
  • Zoe : of Greek origin, it means “to give life”.
  • Gala : name of Latin origin that refers to those born in Gaul.
  • Moon: of Latin origin. Name of the satellite planet of the Earth that inspires mystery and admiration.
  • Eve: of Hebrew origin. It means “the one who gives life”.
  • Ona: name of Irish origin that means “elegant”. There is also another meaning that can be “the lady who teaches us or guides us”.
  • Sea: comes from the Latin mare and means “sea”.
  • Iria: Galician name meaning ‘fertile land’.
  • Mara : from the Hebrew marah , meaning “she who is grieved.” It can also mean “romantic woman”.
  • Elsa: of Hebrew origin, it means “consecrated to God”.
  • Iris – In Greek mythology, she was the goddess of the rainbow. It is a pretty rainbow baby name.
  • Aina : Of Finnish origin, it means “always”.
  • Jana : is the hypocoristic of Joana, and the Catalan form of Juana, a name of Hebrew origin that means “full of grace” or “the one who is faithful to God”.
  • Naia : is a modern name that could be derived from the Greek root “to flow”, as well as Nais or “naiad”, Greek nymphs of streams and freshwater springs.
  • Aria : of Greek origin, its meaning is “very holy”.
  • Lina: of Arabic origin, it means “tender”.
  • Elia: of Greek origin, means “the one that shines like the sun”.
  • Maia : in Latin “maius”, it means “biggest” or “great”, in ancient Greek it means “mother”, “nurse” or “caretaker”.
  • Aroa : of Germanic origin, means “good person, of good will”
  • Uma: of Hebrew origin, it means “nation”.
  • Nour : name of Arabic origin meaning “light”.
  • Lua: of Portuguese origin, means “moon”.
  • Luz: means “the one that brings the light”.
  • Maya: means “illusion” in Sanskrit. In the Buddhist tradition, this is the name of the Buddha’s mother.
  • Mila – of Slavic origin, short form of Ludmila and Miloslava. Also diminutive of Camilla, Kamilla and Milena.
  • Amal : Arabic name meaning “hope.”

Trendy short names for boys (and their meaning)

The most popular three or four letter names in Spain for newborn babies, by popularity:

  • Hugo: of Germanic origin, it means “intelligent”, “lucid”, “insightful”.
  • Leo : derives from Latin and is a variant of Leon, it symbolizes the fierceness of this animal and also power and justice.
  • Enzo – is an Italian given name, meaning “the lord of his home or his country”.
  • Álex : variant of Alexander, means “protector or winner of men”.
  • Izan : It is the graphic adaptation to the English pronunciation of the Biblical name, Ethan. This comes from the Hebrew “Êthän”, which means “perpetual, constant, permanent”. A Euskera or Basque etymology has also been attributed (Izan means “to be”).
  • Luca : Italian form of Lucas, name of Latin origin whose meaning is “he who stands out for his brilliance.”
  • Liam : comes from the Irish and means “firm protection”.
  • Gael : of Breton origin, and means “generosity, generous sir”.
  • Marc: Catalan variant of Marcos, meaning “manly, masculine.”
  • Juan: name of Hebrew origin that means “God is merciful”.
  • Joseph – comes from the Hebrew word “Ioseph”, which means “God will add”.
  • Eric/Erik : derives from the name Eiríkr, which comes from the first generation Old Norse. Its meaning is “sole ruler”.
  • Iker : is a name of Basque origin and, in Basque, means “one who brings good news”.
  • Pau : Like Pol, it comes from the Latin Paulus and means “small and humble man”.
  • Luis : name of variant Germanic origin of Ludwig, whose meaning is “he who is illustrious in battle”.
  • Ian : is of Scottish origin, and means “compassion of Yahweh”.
  • Noah : It is the second most popular name in the United States for newborn babies, increasingly used in Latin America and in Spain.
  • Amir: of Arabic origin, it means “minister of the king”.
  • Unai : of Basque origin meaning “cowherder” or “cowboy.”
  • Iván: of Latin origin, means “compassion of God”.
  • Nil : is the Catalan form of Nilo , name of Greek origin ‘Neilos’ and which derived in Latin to ‘Nilus’ in reference to the name of the great African river
  • Pol: Catalan variant of Pablo.
  • Saul : name of Hebrew origin meaning “the one chosen by God”.
  • Jan : Catalan form of Juan.
  • Raúl: of Germanic origin, means “powerful counselor”.
  • Joel : name of Hebrew origin meaning “God is his lord.”
  • Axel – Name of Scandinavian, Danish, or German origin, and means “universal fighter.”
  • Alan – Of Scottish Gaelic origin and meaning “handsome”.
  • Biel : It is a name of Hebrew origin, and means “servant of God”, “man of God” or “strength of the Lord”.
  • Max : diminutive of Máximo or Maximiliano. From its Latin origin derives its meaning “the greatest”.
  • Jon : Basque variant of Juan meaning “god is merciful.”
  • Nico: Nicolás hypocorístico that has acquired its own entity as a name. It is of Greek origin and means “the victory of the people”
  • Teo – One of the super short three-letter names favored by new parents. It is the short form of Teodoro, which means “gift of God”.
  • Kai : Name of Hawaiian origin, very popular in China, meaning “sea” or “ocean”.
  • Roc – different meanings are assigned to it. It is believed that it comes from the Scandinavian “Hrokr”, which means tall man; or from the Germanic “Hruk”, crow (sacred animal of Norse mythology). It could also come from Provencal and mean “red”, or “rock”, from Latin.
  • Arán : according to its Hebrew origin, its meaning is “mountain of strength”, although it comes from the toponym Vall d´’Aran, a historic Pyrenean valley. It is a unisex name and is widely used in the Basque Country and Catalonia.
  • Adam : of Hebrew origin, it is the English version of Adam.

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