Bilingual Boy Names

young boys flying on a plane

If you and your partner are of different nationalities and you’re expecting a baby soon, congratulations! However coming up with a name that sounds good in both languages can be difficult. I know this situation all too well. My wife is Russian and I’m from the UK, and one of the biggest issues we faced was that in Russian they use a lot of diminutives. For example, we chose Daniel for my son (Danny or Dan for English nicknames). However, for the Russian equivalent, Danil, you can say Danya, Danechka, Danka, Danilochka, Danyusha, and there are others!

So if you’re planning on raising a bilingual child, you often need to factor in some of these cultural differences when you’re thinking of a name. Above all though, the three main things to consider are making sure it sounds good in both languages, it’s easy to pronounce and it’s easy to spell. In this blog post you’ll discover a list of boys’ names to consider for bilingual children.

List of bilingual boy names

Below you’ll discover some names for French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese children, all of which sound ok in English (in my opinion). On this list you may see the same name more than once as it can be a popular choice in different countries.

French and English

An important consideration when coming up with a boy’s name is that some choices can sound more feminine in another language. This is definitely true when you compare some French and English variants. For example, if you opt for Michel, this sounds like Michelle in English. In this case you might want to choose Michael instead and the French in-laws can always call him Michel if you like.

  • Adam (Adam) – son of the red earth
  • Alain (Alan) – harmony
  • Alexandre (Alexander) – warrior, defender of mankind
  • André (Andrew) – warrior
  • Antoine (Anthony) – highly praise worthy
  • Christophe (Christopher) – follower of Christ
  • David (David) – beloved
  • Frédéric (Frederick) – peaceful ruler
  • Georges (George) – farmer
  • Guillaume (William) – protector
  • Henri (Henry) – home ruler
  • Hugo (Hugo) – mind
  • Léon (Leon) – lion
  • Louis (Lewis) – famous warrior
  • Luc (Luke) – light
  • Lucas (Lucas) – bringer of light
  • Marc (Mark) – hammer, warlike, follower of Mars
  • Olivier (Oliver) – olive tree
  • Pierre (Peter) – rock, stone
  • Théo (Theo) – gift of God
  • Thomas (Thomas) – twin              
  • Tristan (Tristan) – sorrowful

Spanish and English

toddler in hat and gloves
  • Antonio (Anthony) – priceless
  • David (David) – beloved
  • Filipe (Philip) – friend of horses
  • Hugo (Hugo) – mind
  • Leo (Leo) – lion
  • Luca (Luke) – light
  • Luis (Lewis) – famous warrior
  • Marco (Mark) – hammer, warlike, follower of Mars
  • Nicolas (Nicholas) – victory of the people
  • Oscar (Oscar) – spear of the gods, friend of deer
  • Samuel (Samuel) – name of God
  • Tomas (Thomas) – twin

German and English

  • Alexander (Alexander) – warrior, defender of mankind
  • Anton (Anthony) – highly praise worthy
  • Christoph (Christopher) – follower of Christ
  • Erik (Eric) – eternal ruler
  • Josef (Joseph) – god will give
  • Otto (Otto) – wealthy
  • Felix (Felix) – happy, lucky
  • Leo (Leo) – lion
  • Leon (Leon) – lion
  • Max (Max) – greatest

Italian and English

two boys lying down
  • Alessandro (Alexander) – warrior, defender of mankind
  • Antonio (Anthony) – priceless
  • Arturo (Arthur) – bear
  • Carlo (Charles) – free man            
  • Luca (Luke) – light
  • Marco (Mark) – hammer, warlike, follower of Mars
  • Mateo (Matthew) – gift of God
  • Nico (Nicholas) – victory of the people
  • Paolo (Paul) – small
  • Riccardo (Richard) – powerful leader
  • Tommaso (Thomas) – twin

Portuguese and English

  • Alexander (Alexander) – warrior, defender of mankind
  • Benjamim (Benjamin) – son of my right hand
  • Cristiano (Christopher) – follower of Christ
  • Lucca (Luke) – light
  • Miguel (Michael) – gift from God
  • Tomás (Thomas) – twin

Related Post: Bilingual Girl Names

Tips on choosing a name for a bilingual boy

  1. The most important aspect of consider is how it sounds in both languages. Sometimes certain sounds in English aren’t used in other languages so it can sound strange when other nationalities try to pronounce them. Having said that you may choose a name which has a different variant/diminutive in another language so your in-laws can say that. My Russian wife and in-laws never call my son Daniel, only Danya or Danechka. I wonder what he will want to be called when he’s older!
  2. Make sure the name is fairly easy to spell as well. If it’s not this can be problematic, especially when you’re on the phone trying to help the operator write your name letter by letter.
  3. Look out for any name which has a bad meaning in another language. For example, in Norwegian, the name ‘Mark’ means worm!