Inventive baby names in Cuba


Here are some of the inventive baby names that have been bestowed in Cuba over the last few decades, according to the article “Julio or Juliabe? Inventing Baby Names Popular in Cuba,” published at Fox News Latino yesterday.

  • Adianez (Zenaida backwards)
  • Ailed (Delia backwards)
  • Boris
  • Aledmys
  • Danyer (from the English word “danger“)
  • Dayesi
  • Disami
  • Geyne (combination of Geronimo and Nelly)
  • Hanoi (from the name of the capital of Vietnam)
  • Juliabe
  • Katia
  • Leydi (from the English word “lady”)
  • Maivi (from the English word “maybe”)
  • Mayren (combination of Mayra and Rene)
  • Migdisray (combination of Migdalia and Raymundo)
  • Odlanier (Reinaldo backwards)
  • Olnavy (from “Old Navy”)
  • Orazal (Lazaro backwards)
  • Robelkis (combination of Roberto and Belkis)
  • Tatiana
  • Usnavi (from “U.S. Navy”)
  • Widayesi
  • Yadel
  • Yakarta (based on Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia)
  • Yamisel
  • Yander
  • Yaneymi (combination of Yanet and Mijail)
  • Yanisey
  • Yasnaya (possibly based on Yasnaya Polyana, the name of several locations in Russia)
  • Yirmara
  • Yoanni
  • Yoelkis
  • Yohendry
  • Yolaide
  • Yordanka
  • Yosbel
  • Yotuel (from the Spanish words yo, tu, el, meaning “I, you, he”)
  • Yovel
  • Yulieski
  • Yumara
  • Yumilsis
  • Yunier
  • Yuri
  • Yuset

Why all the “y” names? It has to do with the Soviet Union’s influence in Cuba, which made Russian-sounding names (often ones that start with “y”) fashionable on the island for a number of years. Cubans born during the ’70s and ’80s have been referred to as Generación Y, in fact.

Finally, Aurora Camacho, a member of the Cuban Institute for Literature and Linguistics, notes that more traditional names like Maria and Pedro are still being used in Cuba, but “certainly with less frequency.”

Image by Alexander Kunze from Unsplash

One thought on “Inventive baby names in Cuba

  1. I’ve noticed that Latin Americans are as guilty of inventing names as Americans, or using surnames as first names (this is very prevalent among Brazilians). I wonder if this phenomenon has something to do with just being in the “New World” in general.

    I wouldn’t consider Boris and Tatiana as invented names. Cuba did receive a few Russian immigrants, some came pre-Castro, looking for a better life; some were fellow Communists looking for businesss venture during the Soviet Era, this might explain the usage of Boris & Tatiana. Though, I was explaining to a Russian woman the other day that the usage of Tatiana exploded outside the Russian community when the perfume came out in the 80s.

    I know a Venezuelan girl named Hanoi, (pronounced ah-NOY). All her sisters are named for places. Her parents had no special affinity to the city. She said they spinned the globe and that is where her father’s finger landed.

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