List Lists: Mapuche names used in 2016


On this ‘List Lists’ post, we will be taking a look at some of the Mapuche (some hispanicised) names that were given to babies in Chile in 2016. For this post, I am sorting out this list by popularity.

Note 1: there may be more variations of names listed here that I haven’t included in this list (either by accident or by intention), so the number of babies being given a certain name (or its variants) may increase.
Note 2: the data contained in the first link do not contain any diacritics – some names like Aylen and Rayen can be transcribed as Aylén and Rayén to indicate that the stress is on the last syllable, a closed one, as it should be in Mapudungun (if the last syllable is open, the second to last syllable is stressed).
Note 3: when using words from Mapudungun, the Unified Alphabet is used for the sake of uniformity with the name data.
  • Aylen – Behind the Name says that this name may possibly mean either “happiness” or “clear.” However, the only word that is closer in terms of pronunciation is the noun ayḻen/ayḻeṉ (the l and aren’t underlined, by the way. They are different letters representing the phonemes /l̪/ and /n̪/ respectively) meaning “ember.”²⁴⁵
    • This name is the most popular Mapuche name, given to 451 girls. There were also 140 girls named Ayelen, 23 Ayalen, 21 Ailen, 7 Ahylen, 3 Ayilen, Aylenn and Ayllen and 1 Ahilen, Ailenn and Haylen, amounting to 654 girls in total.
    • It’s worth noting that Aylen wasn’t even in the top 100 back in 2014 – the threshold number for girls for that year would be 196. It would seem that model Aylén Milla, who is from neighbouring Argentina, may have sparked the rise.
  • Mailen – a lot of the baby name websites give the meaning of Mailen as “princess.” Though, I can’t find this in the dictionaries I’ve used, there is a similar noun malen/maḻeṉ⁵ which, in this case, means “girl”³⁴ or “young woman,”⁵ the only problem being it’s missing a ‘y.’
    • This name was given to 169 girls. There were also 109 girls names Maylen, amounting to 278 girls in total.
  • Rayen – this is derived from the noun rayen meaning “flower.”¹²³⁴
    • This name was given to 256 girls, down from 295 back in 2014, making it the most popular Mapuche name back then. There were also 3 girls names Rayhen, amounting to 259 girls in total.
  • Millaray – this is taken from nouns milla meaning “gold” and rayen (see Rayen above)²³, thus giving this name the meaning of “golden flower.”¹
    • This name was given to 181 girls, down from 272 back in 2014. There were also 2 girls names Miyarai, amounting to 183 girls in total.
  • Sayen – Behind the Name says that this name means “sweet” or “lovely,”¹ however none of my dictionaries have this word and the meanings all display different words.
    • This name was given to 151 girls. There were also 3 girls named Sayeññ, 2 Sayem and 1 Sahien, Sahienn and Sayenn, amounting to 159 girls in total.
  • Nahuel – this is derived from the noun nawel meaning “jaguar”¹²⁵ or “tiger.”⁴⁵
    • This name is the most popular Mapuche boy name, given to 141 boys. There were also 8 boys named Nawel, 3 Nawuel and 1 Nawell, amounting to 153 boys in total.
  • Eluney – this is derived from the verb elun meaning “to give,”²⁵ as in to give something as a gift or to give permission.²
    • This name is the most popular Mapuche unisex name, given to 111 girls and 30 boys. There was also 1 boy named Elunei, amounting to 142 babies in total.
  • Lautaro – this is taken¹ from adjective lef meaning “fast, quick”²³⁵ and noun traru, which refers to a caracara (a type of bird primarily found in South and Central America).²⁵
    • This name was given to 117 boys. There were also 5 boys who were given the original form Leftraru and also 1 boy each named Leftraro and Leftratru, amounting to 124 boys in total.
  • Tahiel – the only source of information I can about this name is, to the delight of few, Wikipedia, where it says it’s derived from the noun tayül. Though I can’t locate the ‘tay’ element, the ‘ül’ can come from a noun meaning “song.”⁴ The noun tayül can be reflected in another noun tayülfe⁵, which refer to women singing sacred songs during ngillatun, or a community prayer⁵. So, in other words, tayül refer to sacred songs sang during ngillatun.
    • This name was given to 57 boys and 2 girls, amounting to 59 babies in total.
  • Antu – this is derived from the noun antü meaning “sun, day.”²³⁴⁵
    • This name was given to 42 boys and 9 girls, amounting to 51 babies in total.
  • Newen – this is derived from the noun newen meaning “strength.”²³⁴⁵
    • This name was given to 18 boys. There were also 10 boys named Nehuen, amounting to 28 boys in total.
  • Aukan – this is derived from the noun awkan meaning “rebellion, war.”²
    • This name was given to 22 boys. There were also 3 boys named Aucan, amounting to 25 boys in total.
  • Ayun – this is derived from transitive verb ayün meaning “to love, to want.”²³⁵
    • This name was given to 11 boys and 5 girls, amounting to 16 babies in total.
  • Aliwen – this is derived from the noun aliwen meaning “tree.”²⁵
    • This name was given to 7 boys and 3 girls. There were 4 boys named Alihuen, amounting to 14 babies in total.

What do you think of these names? Favourites? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below the sources.

Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación name data via Ahora Noticias:
Behind the Name –¹



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