Baby name needed: Girl name for Diogo and Cruz’s sister

A reader named Debra would like some help naming baby número três:

We are just not finding THE name. I’m American, husband is Portuguese and we live in the states. We have two boys; Diogo and Cruz. I am due any day with #3 a GIRL. We definitely want a Portuguese name.

Our criteria…the name needs to be relatively easy for Americans to pronounce. Don’t want a name in the top 100 in the states. I prefer names that aren’t automatically shortened to nn – Debra to Debbie, Kimberly to Kim. I don’t usually care for names that end with the “e” sound, ex. Zoe. The name should be beautiful and sophisticated, more than cute.

I really like Sofia and Isabel, but they are just too popular in the U.S. right now. Other names we like are Beatriz (too hard to properly pronounce in US?), and Mara.

Please help us. I’d love to have a name before she is born! I’m 38 weeks today!

I think Mara would be a great choice, based on the criteria. Here are some other names that might also work:

  • Ana
  • Aurora
  • Carla
  • Clara
  • Flávia
  • Gloria
  • Lídia
  • Luísa
  • Magda
  • Marina
  • Marta
  • Monica
  • Paula
  • Rosa
  • Sílvia (a good alternative to Sofia?)
  • Teresa

Do you like any of the above for the baby sister of Diogo and Cruz? What other (preferably Portuguese) names would you suggest to Debra?

19 thoughts on “Baby name needed: Girl name for Diogo and Cruz’s sister

  1. Silvia! It’s beautiful, and won’t be shortened. Americans will know how to pronounce it but it’s obviously a Portuguese name to go with your boys!
    Love it.
    Mara and Beatriz are also really nice and personally I think that pronounciation won’t be too much of an issue with Beatriz (though people might call her Beatrice or use the nickname Bea.) Mara’s pronounciation is quite straight forward :)

  2. Not sure if it’s actually a Portuguese (or Brazilian) name, and there are probably a lot of differences with the two countries, but my cousin is an American married to a Brazilian and living in Rio, and her daughter’s name is Camila. She’s said it’s easy to say in both English and Portuguese, which was her criteria also.

  3. @Kristin – Yup, Camila is a Portuguese name. And a great suggestion, I think. Problem is that it’s ranked 79th right now, so it’s well within the top 100. (I was going to include it in the post, but had to throw it out for that reason!)

  4. LOVE Mara… something to think about, though, if popularity is an issue: young actress Rooney Mara just appeared in a hit movie, ‘The Social Network’, and is starring in what promises to be a major movie trilogy, based off the popularity of the books: ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.

    Just sayin’, Mara may not appear on popularity lists now, but could be on the rise very shortly among girls that will be of an age with yours… :)

  5. On Nancy’s list, I love Flavia and Luisa. Others: Vera, Maura, Fatima, Claudia, Renata, and Petra.

  6. Branca (means white, like Blanche)
    Eduarda (but Twilight disgraced this one)
    Flor (means Flower)
    Frederica (very used in royal families across Europe)
    Lua (means Moon, like Luna)

  7. I’m in a similar situation; I find the following names to work well across languages: Adriana, Emilia, Felicia, Jacinta, Rosana, and Teresa.

  8. Rooney Mara’s sister Kate Mara [Brokeback Mountain, We Are Marshall, 127 Hours] is becoming more well-known also.

  9. Thank you for your comments, you’ve given us a lot of consider. And, thank you for pointing that out about Mara. The meaning of Mara (bitter, sour, demon) also gets to me. I would love to hear your opinion about the name Beatriz; pronounced bee-a-TREEZH in Portuguese, a common nickname is Bia (BEE-a). I typically don’t care for nicknames, but I actually like Bia. I find I keep coming back to this name, even though it doesn’t fit all my criteria.

  10. In my opinion, Beatriz is the most beautiful portuguese name. It’s the only one with the -triz ending, which makes it unique. It’s a classic name, that sounds lovely in a little girl, in a teenager and in an adult woman.
    If you were living in Portugal, i would not recommend it, because i’m pretty sure it’s the number one name for baby girls. But you’re not, so…

  11. I love Beatriz, but have heard it as actual baby’s names on several name blogs and thrown around in even more message boards as of late, so I’m expecting it will begin to rise in popularity (considering all spelling variations together, obv). It’s still very pretty, though, and I love the nickname Bea!

    One other thing to keep in mind is that Americans don’t use diacritic marks, so, for example, Luísa would just be Luisa. Doesn’t make a world of difference with some names, but completely changes the pronounciation of others (ex: Maribél goes from “mah ree BEL” to “MARY bell”).

  12. I LOVE Beatriz! Even if it doesn’t fit everything, I think it’s so pretty, and works perfectly with your boys.

    I also would suggest Ines/Inez, but I’m not sure where you live in the US. In the west or the Rocky Mountains, where I live, it would be fine. I’m not so sure about the East Coast, or the Midwest. I think Luisa would be nice with your boys too, but I don’t know if that’s a strictly Spanish name, or if it’s used in Portuguese too.

  13. I think Bia is just lovely. Simple, musical, and very uncommon here, while sounding somehow classic, not strange to the American ear…


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