Portuguese Baby Names So Cool They Make Us Want to Legally Change Ours

Classic with a unique twist

Updated 11/19/19
Portuguese Baby Names
John Balsom/Trunk Archive

Do you have a running list of potential names for your future children? Or maybe you have a list but you're saving it for the day you finally figure out the legal process of changing your own designation. We don't think we're the only ones who regularly jot down adorable, distinctive names in a note on our smartphone. And as of late, our list has been collecting more and more Portuguese baby names.

Since they're slightly less common than other European-inspired monikers in the U.S., Portuguese names seem to satisfy that sweet spot between unique and edgy and classic and timeless. As a romance language, Portuguese often features lyrical, soft sounds that feel retro and accessible yet spunky and original. So whether you're just a name freak like us or you happen to be expecting and want to find some inspiration, check out the 28 Portuguese baby names below.

Inspired by an order of six-winged angels known as "the fiery ones," and later as a saint who made clothes for the poor, Serafina has a poetic, strong, and distinctive ring to it. It's length also makes it nickname-friendly.

Pronunciation: se-ra-FEE-na

Joaquim is a nice blend of the Spanish and Hebrew versions of this name—Joaquin and Joachim, respectively. The "m" ending gives it a soft spin, though it retains that energetic, regal, and authoritative feel. It's slightly unusual, so there probably won't be too many other kids with this name.

Pronunciation: w-aa-KEEM

This Latin take on Clementine, which means mild and merciful, is simply precious. Four syllables and full of vowels, Clementina is as long and lovely is it gets. And if you name your other child Serafina, no one can deny that they're a walking poem.

Pronunciation: Klehm-ehn-TIY-Naa

We love Abel for a short, sweet, and strong name. From the Hebrew name "Havel," which roughly translates to breath, Abel makes us think of everything you'd wish for a child: Having the skill, the opportunity, and the means to accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Pronunciation: a-BEL

Reminiscent of the more common name, Isabella, Sabelia rolls off the tongue, evoking warmth and charm. Legend has it that it was the name of an ancient tribe in Italy, so if you're looking for something that's managed to remain fresh and bold since antiquity, look no further.

Pronunciation: Saa-BEH-Liy-AH

Ademar is the perfect name for a baby of any gender, though it's traditionally masculine. It sounds similar to Adam and also calls the ocean to mind. It's unique, and yet it's easy to say, and it evokes an expansive peaceful feeling. In German, Ademar means "famous for his kindness."

Pronunciation: Ad-em-ar

If you love the names Stella and Estelle but want something a bit more off the beaten path with a Latin spin, consider Estela. It means celestial, which evokes a strength of spirit, goodwill, and beauty so your child will be nothing short of divine.

Pronunciation: ESs-tell-uh

Though it's only one syllable long, Roque is packed with intrigue and edge and is less familiar than Rocky and Rocco. It rhymes with Baroque, not the Scooby Doo line, "rohkay," though you can feel free to get even more creative with it than it already is.

Pronunciation: RO-ke

With a retro name that means voyager and traveler, your little Beatriz is sure to live a life full of adventure and wonder. Though Beatrix is adorable, too, we love the offbeat "ees" ending of this Portuguese variation. Plus, there are so many fun nicknames—we're thinking Bea, Riz, Birdy, or Trees for short.

Pronunciation: be-a-TREES

We love the Portuguese iteration of the French-derived Pascal. Pascoal has a formal, grown-up tone so your baby can grow into it over the years while going by something a bit more playful when they're young, like Pase, or Pasco.

Pronunciation: Pae-Sko-W-L

Honeyed and melodious, Rafaela is a gorgeous name for your child. They can go by their long and lustrous full name, or shorten it to Rafa for something spunkier, or Ella for something soft and short. 

Pronunciation: Raa-Fay-EHL-aa

João is the Portuguese version of John, so while it's super popular in Portuguese-speaking countries, it boasts a perfectly eccentric flair in the U.S.

Pronunciation: J-a-OW

Ines embodies effortless elegance. If you love vintage names in a modern context, this is one of the most stylish options around. Though it definitely has a cool nonchalance to it, Ines can also stand the test of time and isn't just a passing name trend.

Pronunciation: ee-NEZ

We're also a fan of these additional Portuguese names:

  • Santiago
  • Leonor
  • Matilde
  • Tiago
  • Martim
  • Eva
  • Lucas
  • Camila
  • Vasco
  • Yasmin
  • Enzo
  • Paulina
  • Leandro
  • Luiza
  • Dinis

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