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Spanish/Portuguese names that work in English

(42 Posts)
Jabuticaba Thu 17-Nov-16 16:43:10

The name needs to work in both languages but I really want a classic English middle name.

I really like Marcos Christopher but we already have a Lucas and Marcos and Lucas might be a bit too much on the s's.

I also like Emanuel but I can't think of a classic English name to go with Emanuel. It sounds better as Christopher Emanuel only the "ph" makes it complicated as a first name. DH is not convinced about Emanuel.

For a girl DH wants Ana Luiza or Ana Luisa but I'm not keen. I like Lívia or Lara but as we have a Lucas L names are out. I cannot think of a classic English middle name other than Rose, but Rose is out as the R is pronounced like an H.

Any suggestions?

BabyGanoush Thu 17-Nov-16 16:52:00

Anna Rosa?

Helena works in both languages, as does Theresa/Teresa. Anna Teresa? Helena Rose? And Sofia obviously, but that is maybe too popular! Or how about Anita?

Spanish boys names I love are Mateo, Fabian and Rafael. Mateo Alexander? Fabian George? Rafael Alexander?

Jabuticaba Thu 17-Nov-16 17:03:26

Helena is great but Portuguese H's are silent so she would be Elena. I'm not so keen on Elena. Rosa or Rose is lovely but out for the R at the beginning makes it Hosa, same with Rafael, it becomes Hafael.
Mateo Alexander is a great suggestion but out for family reasons. I like Fabiano and Fabiana but DH hates both names sad

Sofia is a great suggestion, could even be Sophia but it is really really popular at the moment, which is putting me off a bit.

George is a great possibility. Marcos George or Emanuel George are nice. He could even be George for a first name, as the Portuguese pronounciation of Jorge is not too different.

Thank you!

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:05:48

Does it have to work in Portuguese AND Spanish, or one of the two? Because they do have differences!

To be honest, there are TONS of Spanish and Portuguese names that work in English, and vice versa. I would go through the whole list for each country and pick all the ones you like. Then remove the ones with pronunciation issues in the reverse country. I guarantee you will have lots left over.

But just to include my opinion, for a boy I like Santiago, Vasco, Leonardo (pronounced slightly differently but no big deal), Inigo and Nuno. For a girl I like Laís, Sofia, Flavia, and Alexa.

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:06:42

Ivo is cool for a boy too.

Artandco Thu 17-Nov-16 17:17:30



Can't you have Marco instead of Marcos?

Jabuticaba Thu 17-Nov-16 17:21:33

Laís is great but has the L problem of Lara and Lívia. I like L names a lot. Ivo is nice. I like Inigo as well.

It doesn't have to strictly work in Spanish but has to be 100% ok in Portuguese and English. I say Spanish because most names are Spanish with some Portuguese variations. The problem we are having is that this is an unplanned 5th baby with 5 cousins that all live locally, so many of the names we love are already in use. This time round is proving to be much more difficult.

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:22:46

Sounds like either you or OH is from Brazil, am I right?

What about Nayara, Natália, Flávia, Laís or Taís for a girl?

Or Marcelo, Caio, Thiago, Sávio or Danilo for a boy?

Jabuticaba Thu 17-Nov-16 17:23:48

Marco is nice, he will most likely be Marco for short.

shartsi Thu 17-Nov-16 17:25:25


Jabuticaba Thu 17-Nov-16 17:25:37

Yes DH is Brazilian and we are in Brazil. Are Marco or Marcos really not a good idea in England. Am I that out of touch? I love Caio and Thiago, both have been rejected by DH.

Maverickismywingman Thu 17-Nov-16 17:26:01


Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:37:38

Oh yeah I've just noticed your username is Jabuticaba - duh of course you're in Brazil!

Have you been through the English list with OH? A lot of English names are pronounceable (or used already) in Brazil, and will be more unusual there too. For example Noah, Sebastian (close enough to Sebastião to be okay), Dexter, Oliver, Jackson, Arlo, Owen, Benjamin, Christopher, etc.

Or Ella, Chloe, Phoebe, Maya, Emilia, etc.

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:38:47

Nothing wrong with Marco or Marcos in England as far as I'm aware. I think Marcos/Marcus is becoming more popular in the UK actually.

popmimiboo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:45:40

Clara, Amalia and Ines are nice for girls. Raphael, Thiago, Cristiano for boys?

Artandco Thu 17-Nov-16 17:46:49

Marco Quentin
Marco Charles
Marco Christian
Marco Leonard
Marco Florian
Marco Henry

Clara Elizabeth
Clara Pearl
Clara Alice
Clara Penelope

Thatwaslulu Thu 17-Nov-16 17:49:41

Benedito, Otavio, Emilio?

Vittoria, Aurora, Elisabete?

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 17:51:24

Benedito, Aurora and Elisabete would all be pronounced very differently in the two countries. Same with Raphael.

SarcasmMode Thu 17-Nov-16 17:53:49


I like Marcos too. Both not a struggle to pronounce.

Having said that some don't know that Julio starts with a H sound.

For girls how about Ava as a middle name?

Jabuticaba Thu 17-Nov-16 18:03:10

The English middle names don't really need to be pronouncable in Brazil, DH is not so fussy about the middle names. He has a very small list of names he likes, most are old fashioned.

I like Otávio a lot, but it might be a bit too out there for English.

Ines and Clara are beautiful. Clara Elizabeth is a great suggestion. I like Ines but only pronounced the way they do in Portugal with the SH sound on the end. We're in Minas, close to Espirito Santo so I have a feeling the S would be pronounced differently. Are you Brazilian Chinlo? Do you know if it is pronounced the same all over. I have never met a Brazilian Ines.

Finola1step Thu 17-Nov-16 18:06:54


FlowerOfTheValley Thu 17-Nov-16 18:15:43

Francesca Elizabeth.

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 18:15:45

No but I live here and have done for quite a long time. I have never met an Ines either. I believe it is Spanish and the Portuguese version is Inês. So it would be pronounced Ee-nêz in most of the country, but Ee-nesh in Rio.

Chinlo Thu 17-Nov-16 18:16:21

Having said that some don't know that Julio starts with a H sound.

In Portuguese, it doesn't wink

venusinscorpio Thu 17-Nov-16 18:18:38

I speak Brazilian Portuguese and have never heard the name Ines pronounced in Brazil, but I imagine it would be In-ays in most of the country, without the "sh" sound, which is more a Euro Portuguese thing.

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