Gender: Masculine
Origin: Tupi
Meaning: “hawk; vulture.”

The name is from an old Tupi word for hawk or vulture. Currently, Cauã is the 17th most popular male name in Brazil, (2010).

It is also the name of the Great Black Hawk of Brazil, the national bird.

The name is borne by Brazilian actor, Cauã Reymond (b.1980).



Joel Sartore via National Geographic

Joel Sartore via National Geographic

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Mapuche
Meaning: “jaguar.”

The name comes directly from the Mapuche word for jaguar and is currently the 26th most popular male name in Argentina, (2009).

It was the name of a medium tank developed in Argentina during WWII, the equivalent of the American M4 Sherman.

The name appears in Stephanie Meyer’s last book of the Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn as the name of a half-vampire half-human character.


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Mapuche
Meaning: “speedy Southern Caracara.”

The name is a hispanifization of the Mapuche name Lef-Traru, a double name composed of the Mapudungan words, lef (speedy; fast) and traru (the word for the Southern Caracara, a type of bird indigenous to Chile).

The name was borne by a famous Mapuche military leader who led an uprising against the Spanish in Chile (1535-1557).

In Chile, Lautaro is seen as the first Chilean military hero and he is often viewed as a symbol of patriotism. However, the name is extremely popular in Argentina and not in Chile.

Lautaro is currently 4th most popular male name in Argentina, (2009). Its popularity in Argentina may be more due to the associations of the Logia Lautaro, an 19th century Revolutionary Latin American society that was formed by patriots against the Spanish royalists.

Either way, whether in Argentina or Chile the name represents strong patriotic sentiments whether the bearers be of European or Indigenous ancestry.

It is also the name of a volcano in Chile.

It is currently borne by Argentine footballer, Lautaro Acosta (b.1988)


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Tupi
Meaning: “lady of the water.”

The name is found in Tupi legend as the name of a type of mermaid creature. The Iara are believed to live in bodies of freshwater. When they know a man is near they sing in order to trap them. Once in her power, there is nothing that can stop a man from falling in love with the her. Usually they marry her and go live with the Iara in her underwater kingdom, until they die, and since the Iara is immortal, she goes back to the world to find another man to take as her husband.

According to one Tupi legend, Iara was a warrior woman and was considered the best warrior in her tribe. Her brothers became jealous of her and plotted to kill her in her sleep, but Iara learned of their plans before they could kill her so she ended up killing them. As punishment, her father sent her off to a lake where she was transformed into a mermaid, now known as a Iara, and became immortal.

Iara has become a fairly common female name in both Brazil and Argentina. She is currently the 36th most popular female name in Argentina, (2009).


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Mapuche
Meaning: “flower”

The name comes directly from the Mapuche word for flower and is currently the 46th most popular female name in Chile, (2010).

The name was popularized by Chilean opera singer Rayén Quitral (1916-1979). Born María Georgina Quitral, she was a native Mapuche who later took the name Rayén in honour of her indigenous roots.


The name has a few different etymologies, in Turkish it means “moon halo” and in Mapuche it means “clear.” In both cases they are pronounced (I-LEEN).

It also may very well be a Hispanified or a Germanified spelling of the Irish female name, Eileen.

Currently, Aylín is the 94th most popular female name in Chile, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 478 (the Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 572 (the United States, 2010)


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Mapuche
Meaning: “Stone flower.”

The name is composed of the Mapuche words lica (stone) and rayen (flower).

It is borne in legend by a beautiful maiden who had to sacrifice herself in order to stop the wrath of the evil spirit of the Volcano Osorno from destroying her people. It is from the ashes and snow of her sacrifice that Lake Llanquihue in Chile was created.

Currently, Licarayen is the 1414th most popular female name in Chile, (2010).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Quecha
Meaning: “dawn; bright.”

The name comes directly from the Quecha word for dawn or bright.

It appears at the very bottom of the Chilean top 1000 most popular female names, (2010).



Fernanda and Ferdinand

Origin: German
Meaning: “brave journey”

Ferdinand is composed of the Germanic elements, farði (journey) and nanð (brave; courageous).

The name was first introduced into Iberian Peninsula by the Visigoths and from there it entered into the Spanish royal lines. Interestingly enough, it did not become common in Germanic countries until the 16th-century, when the Habsburg gained control over Spain. The name was very popular among Spanish royalty and later with the Hapsburgs.

Ferdinand is the progenitor of the common Spanish surnames Fernandez and Hernandez.

Its feminine form of Fernanda is currently the 10th most popular female name in Chile, the 15th most popular in Mexico and the 341st most popular in the United States, (2010). While its contracted Hungarian form of Nándor is currently the 67th most popular male name in Hungary, (2010).

Other feminine forms include:

  • Fernande (French)
  • Ferdinanda (German)
  • Ferdinande (German)
  • Ferdinandine (German)
  • Fernandia (German)
  • Ferdinanda (Italian)
  • Fernanda (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Winanda (Polish)
  • Hernanda (Spanish)

Masculine forms include:

  • Fernandu (Asturian)
  • Hernandu (Asturian)
  • Erlantz (Basque)
  • Errando (Basque)
  • Pernando (Basque)
  • Perrando (Basque)
  • Ferrà (Catalan)
  • Ferran (Catalan)
  • Ferdinand (Czech/French/German)
  • Veeti (Finnish)
  • Veerti (Finnish)
  • Veertinantti (Finnish) 
  • Fernand (French)
  • Fernandel (French: obsolete)
  • Ferrand (French: obsolete)
  • Fernán (Galician)
  • Fridunanth (Gothic)
  • Fernandó (Guarani)
  • Fernandío (Guarani)
  • Ferdinánd (Hungarian)
  • Nándor (Hungarian)
  • Ferdinando (Italian)
  • Fernando (Italian/Spanish)
  • Nando (Italian)
  • Fernandu (Leonese)
  • Nandu (Leonese)
  • Ferdinandas (Lithuanian)
  • Fridenand (Old High German)
  • Ferdynand (Polish)
  • Winand (Polish)
  • Fernão (Portuguese)
  • Hernando (Spanish)
  • Hernán (Spanish)
A common German short form is Ferdy.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hawaiian
Meaning: “heavenly flower; heavenly lei.”

The name is composed of the Hawaiian elements lei (flower, lei) and lani (heaven).

Currently, Leilani is the 268th most popular female name in the United States, (2010). In Hawaii itself, it is the 54th most popular female name, (2010).