Dantea's Baby Names

{February 23, 2012}   California County Names



Name                         Origin                          Meaning

(San) Benito              Spanish                         Benito is the Spanish diminutive of Benedicto. The county was named for Saint Benedicto, who was the patron saint of Europe and Students. I think Benito is cute and sturdy with the nice nickname of Ben, but not really my style.

(San) Bernardino    Spanish                         This county was named for Saint Bernardino of Siena who was an Italian priest, Franciscan monk, and Catholic saint. He’s the patron saint of advertising, communications, compulsive gambling, and respiratory problems. That’s a weird list. Bernard would be a cute shortening or just the whole name. Bernadino seems a little much to me.

(San) Diego                Spanish                         “Supplanter” The county was named for Saint Didacus of Alcala. Saint Didacus was a lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor. Saint Didacus is the saint to whom the Franciscan mission that developed into San Diego, Californiawas dedicated. I like Diego. It’s ethnic, so beware that it might not sound too good if you don’t have a last name that goes with it, but I think Diego sounds feisty.

Glenn                           Scottish                         “A narrow valley” It’s seen as mostly a girl’s name nowadays, but I would love to see Glenn go back to the boy side. This county is located to the north of the state and was named for Dr. Hugh J. Glenn, a California businessman and politician.

(San) Joaquin           Spanish                         “God will judge” Pronounced wah-keen. The county was named for Saint Joachim who was the husband of Saint Anne and the mother of Mary mother of Jesus in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions. The person who really made this name popular was Joaquin Phoenix, the actor. I think it’s got a cool sound, but a ton of people will probably try to pornounce it Joe-ah-quinn. I’ve known people who did.

(San) Luis                   Spanish                         “Renowned Warrior” The county was named for Saint Louis of Toulouse, The Bishop, who was a cadet of the royal French house of Anjou who was made a Catholic Bishop. Luis is a fairly popular Hispanic name in America. It’s easy and familiar while adding an exotic twist to Louis. I like it.

(San) Mateo              Spanish                          “gift of God” This county was named for Saint Matthew who was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and one of the 4 Evangelists. I find Mateo cool like Diego. It’s easy to say but familiar and has a much better sound that the traditional Matthew.


Name                         Origin                          Meaning

Glenn                           Scottish                         “A narrow valley” It was originally a boy’s name but Actress Glenn Close gave it over to the girls. This county is located to the north of the state and was named for Dr. Hugh J. Glenn, a California businessman and politician.

Madera                       Spanish                          “Wood” This county was named to represent the forested landscape. I think it has a lovely sound actually. If you’re looking for a way to get to the nickname Maddy without using Madison, this could be a viable option.

Marin                          Place                               It’s disputed, but my sources tell me that it might be a corrupted abbreviation of Bahía de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marina, the Spanish name for area headlands along San Francisco Bay. It’s got a nice sound. It could be said ma-RIN or MAR-in. It’s on the rise though.

Mariposa                   Spanish                          “Butterfly” It’s a rare and romantic choice for a little girl. The sound is gorgeous and it comes with the nicknames Mary, Posy, Marie…Lovely. What little girl wouldn’t want to be named Butterfly?

(Santa) Barbara      Spanish                          “Foreign woman” This county is named for Saint Barbara who was a Christian martyr. She’s best known as the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her legends association with lightning. Barbara has a weird feeling in my mouth when I say it aloud, but it’s a nice enough name. Barb is an edgy sort of nickname. Maybe it can be revived?

(Santa) Clara            Spanish                          “Bright, Clear” This county is named for Saint Clare of Assisi who founded the Order of Poor Ladies for women in the Franciscan tradition and wrote the Rule of Life, the first monastic rule to have been written by a woman. Clara hasn’t been very popular until recently it started rising with Claire. I prefer Clara of the 2. It has a prettier sound.

Sierra                          Spanish                          “mountain or saw” The county was named to represent the Mountains in the area. It’s got a good sound, invoking cowboys and a western landscape. That’s not for me, but for you, go for it!

Trinity                        Latin                               “Triad” The county was named for the Trinity River which was named for the town of Trinidad. It’s a pretty name with a lot of spiritual meaning, but it’s not the most creative religious name.



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