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Generation Y: unusual Cuban names

Generation Y: unusual Cuban names

by cubapura

The more Cuban people you get to know, the easier it is to you to notice a certain peculiarity: many Cubans have unique names that cannot be heard anywhere else in the world, and some of them, even in Cuba only a few people share the same name. It is a trend in many Cuban families not to give newborn babies traditional names, but to show some creativity and invent new names for their children.

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The people born during the 70s and the 80s in Cuba receive the nickname of Generation Y. This is due to the fact that many of these people’s names start with that letter, which is unusual, as there are only a few words that start with Y in the Spanish language, all of them borrowed from foreign languages. However, the creativity of Cubans when it comes to making up names with Y is endless, and thus hundreds of new names came to be in Cuba. Yaniel, Yunieski, Yulieski, Yolexis, Yuslan, Yoanni,  Yunior, Yusded, Yinier, Yusnel, Yordanis, Yurisbel, Yanisleidi, and Yoandri are only a few examples of Cuban names with Y that became popular in the country. Some of them are variations of common names with the letter Y added.

Even Cubans themselves do not know why they have such unusual names, but most people agree that it is some form of rebellion. Some say that Cubans were trying to forget their past as a Spanish colony, thus gave their children names that are not in the list of the allowed by the Catholic church. Others state that it is not a rebellion against the Spanish colonists, but against the new socialist regime. They say that in a strict authoritarian country the people show their creativity and unwillingness to obey the rules by creating these non-conformist names.

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Also, it is not completely clear why Cubans are so fond of the letter Y, but some people assume that it comes from the time when Cuba was allied with the Soviet Union. Inspired but such Russian names as Yuri, Yevgeny, and Yuliya, Cubans also started to give their children names starting with Y.

Names starting with Y are not the only weird names from Cuba. Another trend in made-up Cuban names are the reverse names. Writing the names backwards, Cubans transform the simple and boring name Maria into exotic-sounding Airam. Some other examples are: Nomar from Ramon, Naiviv from Vivian, Oldanier from Reinaldo, and Ailed from Delia.

Another trend is to make up a name for the baby combining both of their parents’ names. Thus, came to be Elian (Elizabeth and Juan), Daneisys (Daniel and Daisy), and Daymer (Daniel and Mercedes), among many other examples. Other names do not follow any rules and are completely based on the parents’ imagination, such as Dayesi (the word “yes” in three different languages), Disney, Danyer (from the English “danger”), and Katiuska (as the Russian missile launcher).

The more Cuban people you get to know, the easier it is to you to notice a certain peculiarity: many Cubans have unique names that cannot be heard anywhere else in the world, and some of them, even in Cuba only a few people share the same name. It is a trend in many Cuban families not to give newborn babies traditional names, but to show some creativity and invent new names for their children.

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The people born during the 70s and the 80s in Cuba receive the nickname of Generation Y. This is due to the fact that many of these people’s names start with that letter, which is unusual, as there are only a few words that start with Y in the Spanish language, all of them borrowed from foreign languages. However, the creativity of Cubans when it comes to making up names with Y is endless, and thus hundreds of new names came to be in Cuba. Yaniel, Yunieski, Yulieski, Yolexis, Yuslan, Yoanni,  Yunior, Yusded, Yinier, Yusnel, Yordanis, Yurisbel, Yanisleidi, and Yoandri are only a few examples of Cuban names with Y that became popular in the country. Some of them are variations of common names with the letter Y added.

Even Cubans themselves do not know why they have such unusual names, but most people agree that it is some form of rebellion. Some say that Cubans were trying to forget their past as a Spanish colony, thus gave their children names that are not in the list of the allowed by the Catholic church. Others state that it is not a rebellion against the Spanish colonists, but against the new socialist regime. They say that in a strict authoritarian country the people show their creativity and unwillingness to obey the rules by creating these non-conformist names.

Also, it is not completely clear why Cubans are so fond of the letter Y, but some people assume that it comes from the time when Cuba was allied with the Soviet Union. Inspired but such Russian names as Yuri, Yevgeny, and Yuliya, Cubans also started to give their children names starting with Y.

Names starting with Y are not the only weird names from Cuba. Another trend in made-up Cuban names are the reverse names. Writing the names backwards, Cubans transform the simple and boring name Maria into exotic-sounding Airam. Some other examples are: Nomar from Ramon, Naiviv from Vivian, Oldanier from Reinaldo, and Ailed from Delia.

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Another trend is to make up a name for the baby combining both of their parents’ names. Thus, came to be Elian (Elizabeth and Juan), Daneisys (Daniel and Daisy), and Daymer (Daniel and Mercedes), among many other examples. Other names do not follow any rules and are completely based on the parents’ imagination, such as Dayesi (the word “yes” in three different languages), Disney, Danyer (from the English “danger”), and Katiuska (as the Russian missile launcher).

This tradition of giving children unique names is not limited to the island, but is also seen in some other countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. In Cuba, some locals make fun if these funny-sounding names, others bear their unique names proudly. However, now the trend to make-up names for the kids is slowly fading. You will find much more traditional names among kids born in this century than among grown-ups, and even more among preschoolers than high school kids. Still, the creativity of Cuban people does not disappear, and they will surely surprise us with more amazing exotic names.

(Daniel and Mercedes), among many other examples. Other names do not follow any rules and are completely based on the parents’ imagination, such as Dayesi (the word “yes” in three different languages), Disney, Danyer (from the English “danger”), and Katiuska (as the Russian missile launcher).

This tradition of giving children unique names is not limited to the island, but is also seen in some other countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. In Cuba, some locals make fun if these funny-sounding names, others bear their unique names proudly. However, now the trend to make-up names for the kids is slowly fading. You will find much more traditional names among kids born in this century than among grown-ups, and even more among preschoolers than high school kids. Still, the creativity of Cuban people does not disappear, and they will surely surprise us with more amazing exotic names.

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