What’s in a name?

The National Statistics Agency – INE – has published the most popular names for babies for last year.

In their latest report, they have listed the most popular names for newborn boys and girls born in 2021. For boys, Hugo, Mateo and Martin top the list, whilst the most popular girls names include Lucia, Sofia and Martina.

Trends in names are changing, with the most popular boys names from the twentieth century – Jose and Antonio no longer making the top 15, whilst the only girls name to remain popular over the decades remains as Maria.

The list has also seen more ‘bohemian’ names such as Gaia, become more popular. This is in stark contrast to what was allowed during Franco’s rule. Back then, no Spaniard could be given a first name that was not in an approved list of Catholic names, which accounts for the countless Marias, Joses, Immaculadas, and Concepcions.

Catalan and Basque names in particular were absolute no nos!

One of the first measures of the democratic government that came to power after Franco’s death in 1975 was to abolish the approved list of first names. So this means that Dolores and Amparo are now fading out of fashion.

And a child called Immaculada Concepcion must have had a nightmare in thr playground!

Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash


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