Ladino is gorgeous. There, we’ve said it.
Ladino — also known by its official name, Judeo-Spanish — is a Jewish language that was used by Jews of Spanish origins, mostly in Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. If you’ve never heard Ladino, then stop everything and listen to Jewish mom and Ladino singer Sarah Aroeste (like this song, “Ensuenyo Te Vi”), or you can listen to this Holocaust survivor tell her moving story in the language.
Nowadays, less that 100,000 people speak Ladino on the regular — in fact, it’s made UNESCO’s list of endangered languages. This is precisely why we here at Kveller want to rep this beautiful Jewish tongue!
As your ultimate source for Jewish baby names, we thought it high time to share a list of lovely Ladino names with you. (And, if you’re really into keeping it old school, be sure to also check out our list of Yiddish baby names!)
Please note: Not all of these names are technically Ladino. Some of them have Spanish and Portuguese origins, which means they would have been popular among Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jews in Western Europe and the Americas, and not common among Judeo-Spanish speakers from Egypt, Greece, and Turkey. It’s complicated! But our goal in this post is to celebrate beautiful, non-Ashkenazi names.
Amado — Amado is a boy’s name that means “beloved.”
Bechor — This boy’s name means “firstborn.”
Benvenuto — This name means “welcome.” As in, “Welcome to this world, beautiful baby!”
Belhom — This boy’s name means “beautiful man.”
Buendia — This name means “good day.” It’s the perfect name for a child born on a holiday.
Mois — This boy’s name is a version of the name Moses.
Diamanta — This girl’s name means “diamond.”
Linda — This girl’s name means “beautiful.” Yes! Linda can be a Jewish name.
Perla — This girl’s name means “pearl.”
Zimbul — This girl’s name means “hyacinth.”