Latin culture has a huge influence on the Americans due to the growing prominence of Latin people. An increasing number of parents are opting for names that reflect their ethnicity and hence Basque names are slowly, but steadily moving up the popularity list.
Wondering where on earth is Basque Country? The Basque Country is a region in the western Pyrenees, spanning the border between Spain and France on the Atlantic Coast. The ancestral language of this nation is Basque, which is a combination of both Spanish and French. That’s the reason most of the Basque names have a flowery, Latin quality to them, making them sound both embellished and pretty.
MomJunction brings you a list of Basque baby names that will definitely light up your kid.
25 Unique Basque Boy Names With Meanings:
This Basque variation of Abraham is an interesting choice with several nickname possibilities, Barry, Abe, and Arran for example. And just like other Basque names, your child will be at no risk of running into another Abarran in his class.
Aitor is the name of the legendary ancestor of the Basque people. It probably refers to Aita, the good father.
Ander is the Basque form of Andrew, which means ‘man or manly’. This name is both intriguingly exotic and supremely simple.
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Andone is Basque variation of Anthony and means ‘flower’. The only concern with this name is that it looks like a combination of ‘and’ and ‘done’. But combination names are in right?
Many of our readers might think that it’s an invented name, but in reality, Antton is a Basque spin-off of Anthony. It means the ‘priceless one’.
Argider, pronounced as ‘ar-zhi-der’, is one of the most used Basque baby names. It means ‘beautiful light’.
This name is derived from the elements ‘baso’, which means ‘woods’, and ‘jaun’, which means ‘lord’ and together this name means ‘lord of the woods’. Basajaun was the name of a character in “Old Man of the Woods”, a Basque folklore.
Bernard is old fashioned now. But Benat, its variation, has something special to it. It even sounds like a variation of the name Bennett. And if you want to keep things a bit traditional, give him the nickname Ben.
If you want an inspiring and revolutionary name for your son, pick Bolivar, which means ‘mill at the riverbank’. It has its namesake in Simon Bolivar, the famous South American revolutionary.
In this name, the element ‘en’ means ‘my’ and ‘ko’ is the diminutive suffix. Therefore, the name means ‘my little one’. Eneko is also rendered as Inigo in some Basque regions.
[ Read: Spanish Baby Names With Meanings ]
Most of the famous Basque baby names can be a bit tricky to pull off in an English-speaking region. But this one sounds truly global. Ganiz is said to be the variation of the classic name John and means ‘God is gracious’.
If you like the traditional name George, but hate the fact that it’s too common, you can opt for its Basque variation Gorka, which means ‘farmer’.
Iker is the Basque equivalent of Visitacion and means ‘visitation’. This name has the potential to be a crossover. It’s short, to the point, and energetic. And it’s also one of the fastest rising names in the United States, thanks to Iker Casillas, the soccer star.
This name sounds just like its meaning, ‘cheerful’. It would make an interesting choice with its evocative sound, strong beat and its association with Ilari Aijala, the Finnish footballer.
Here’s a name with a historical punch. Inigo is derived from the name of San Ignacio of Lotyoa, whose first name was Inigo. It’s also the name of the first ruler of Pamplona. Besides, it was also the name of a major character in “The Princess Bride”, played by Mandy Patinkin.
This Basque baby boy name has the advantage of both an interesting meaning and instinctive pronunciation, and means ‘shadow’.
Markel took the top spot in the name list and deservedly so. It means ‘of Mars’.
Mattin is the Basque version of Martin, which is originally a Roman name. It’s hip, trendy, and doesn’t sound like a completely unfamiliar name.
If you want a feistier take on the old and boring name Michael, you can pick Mikel. Mikel isn’t just restricted to Basque Country. This spelling is well known in Scandinavian countries as well. A famous personality with this name is Mikel Arteta, the Spanish footballer.
There are several names meaning redhead, black, dark, or brown, but there are fewer, meaning blonde. So pick this name if you want something distinctive and that has an interesting origin and meaning.
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Samson and Samuel may be classic names, but who would want them when you have the option of Samso. Samso is hip, cool, and sounds fun to say. Sam or Sammy would be great nicknames.
This name honors the last name of Francis Xabier, the famous Basque saint. Originally, Xabier comes from Etxeberri, a place name meaning ‘new house’.
This might surprise many of you, but Xavier is a Basque name and means ‘bright’. It earned fame via Saint Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the Jesuit Order, who was named after a Spanish-Basque village he was born. Geeks can opt for the spelling Xzavier, introduced in X-Men comics.
Zorion may appear as a funky combination of Zoro and Orion, but it’s a true-blue Basque name, meaning ‘happiness’. We love the nickname Zori for this one.
This name has enough Z in it to make it look trendy and hip. But it is, in fact, a traditional Basque popular for its virtuous meaning (just). The only snag is that it is too close to the classic feminine name, Susan.
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25 Unique Basque Girl Names With Meanings:
Ainhoa comes from the name of a town in southern France, where the famous image of the Virgin Mary is placed. It’s unknown everywhere else, except Spain, where it’s one of the top 100 names. Ainhoa Arteta, the Spanish operatic singer, is its most famous namesake.
Alasne is a tradition name in Euskara language, the language spoken by the majority of people in the Basque Country. This name means ‘miracle’.
This Basque version of Amaia is growing in popularity in the United States, primarily because of its similarity with Maya. Mariska Hargitay, the famous American actress, named her daughter Amaya Josephine. And it’s the name of one of the cast members of “Real World: Hawaii” too!
Ane was a top ranking name of last year in Basque countries, according to the information provided by Eustat.
Arantxa, which originated as a nickname for Arantzazu, refers to the town, which houses the sanctuary of Virgin Mary. This name also references to ‘thorn bush’ in the Basque language. This slightly obscure name was made famous by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the tennis player.
[ Read: Hispanic Baby Names For girls ]
Rose and Rosa are passe. It’s time for Arrosa to lead the front. This Basque baby girl name is accessible, easy to pronounce, and has a flair and bounce to it. You can also use this name to honor someone in your family named Rose.
Elixane was once a rare name, even amongst the Basque speakers. Elixane Lechemia, the French tennis player, put this name on the top of the charts. Elixane, with its trendy ‘El’, beginning and its similarity with Elizabeth, has a high chance of being a hit in English-speaking countries. This variation of Elizabeth means ‘pledged to God’.
The name Erdutza is used in a similar way in the Basque country as the Spanish name Nieves is used in Spain. Both the names refer to the Virgin Mary. Meaning ‘snow’, Erdutza could make an ideal name for winter born girls.
Iara maybe a male name in Basque, but it will sound best on a girl in the United States. If you think Iara is a tad too simple, you can add a letter at its beginning to make it Liara, Siara or Kiara. The meaning of Iara is ‘cheerful’.
This name is for parents who want a name that’s unique and different. Meaning ‘fern field’, this sweet sounding name is highly popular in Spain and fetched the third spot last year.
Itziar, the name of the Basque village that contains that shrine of Virgin Mary is a viable baby girl name. Its possible meaning is ‘old stone’. But this lilting name can pose pronunciation problems in non-Spanish countries.
If you want something exotic for your daughter, pick Izaro, which is the name of a small island in the Bay of Biscay, off the Spanish Coast.
Floral names are back in vogue. But with so many Roses and Lillys running around, you might want something that’s more unique. Jakinda, the Basque word for ‘hyacinth’, could be the one for you. It sounds easy to call out, despite all the consonants in it. For the nickname, you can pick Jaki or Jacky.
If you want a playful variation of Jessica, Joska could be considered. Joska is the Basque variation of Josepha and means ‘Jehovah increases’. It’s cute, brief, and full of life. You also get an option of nicknaming your daughter Jo.
This Latin name after the goddess Juno is as popular in Basque as it is in English speaking countries. In fact, it was the second most popular Basque name for girls last year. Amanda Peet used June as her daughter’s middle name, and Balthazar Getty used it as a given name.
[ Read: European Baby Names ]
Here’s another place inspired Basque name for you. It’s taken from the name of the monastery in Spain (Monastery of San Salvador of Leyre). Leire was one of the ten most popular names in Basque country in the year 2011 and is still going strong. The correct pronunciation of Leire is ‘LAY-ree.
Lourdes was the name of the town where a young peasant girl claimed to have had a vision of Virgin Mary. But this Basque name, meaning ‘craggy slope’ came into the spotlight when Madonna picked it for her little girl. Too bad that just a few devout Roman Catholics have followed her lead.
Maialen is the Basque version of Magdalene and referenced to May Magdalene. There is something classy and exotic about this name, which will appeal to many readers.
This melodic Arabic name is originally the name of a Spanish city of Najera. In the 12th century, an apparition of Virgin Mary was reported to be seen in the nearby cave. You can use its alternate spelling Nayara as well.
This Basque form of Dolores, meaning ‘sorrow’, has a decidedly upbeat and modern sound to it. And since it’s unknown in English-speaking countries, Nekane sounds fresh from the oven. We think it’ll make a nice update for Nicole.
[ Read: Baby Names That Mean Miracle ]
Nerea is a variation of the name Nere and ‘mine’. Both the names are distinctive and usable, but we like it more for its ‘an’ ending. And it’s one of the top 20 names in Spain too!
This Basque name, meaning ‘magpie’, has been used by several queens of medieval Iberian Kingdoms. Despite its royal roots, this moniker sounds totally accessible.
This is one of our favorites from the list. Uxue is the Basque for Spanish town Ujue, where there’s a church dedicated to Virgin Mary. This name means ‘dove’.
If you are looking for nature-inspired Basque names for your daughter, you can pick Ximenia. It is named after a Spanish monk named Ximenes and means ‘a tropical plant bearing wild limes’.
This lovely Basque girl name is a variation of Shoshana and means ‘lily’.
We hope you chose the right name for your little one from our list of basque baby names and meanings. If you think we missed out your favorite, let us know in the comment section below!
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