My turn: Baby names show Hispanics assimilating

No way Jose, but how about Jacob? It doesn’t have the same ring, but according to The Social Security Administration, for the first time since 1972 (with the exception of one year), the name Jose fell from the No. 1 spot for Hispanic baby boys, even in Texas, where Jose’s been top since 1996.

Where are all the Jesuses, Joses and Marias? It was a Hispanic tradition to name babies after the Holy Family: Jesus, Joseph and Mary. They’re being replaced by Jacob, Isabella, Ethan and Sophia.

I shouldn’t be shocked. My grandson’s name is Giovanni, Italian for John.

Some say this is a sign Hispanics are assimilating, I mean, those of us whose families haven’t already been here for centuries. I’m not surprised the surnames Garcia and Rodriguez were listed among the Top 10 U.S. surnames in 2010.

On the other mano, some say these names are a sign Latin American names are becoming more varied. For example, Jonathan has become a popular name in Argentina.

When I subbed in a bilingual class, Hispanics students had names like William and Amber, pronounced with heavy accents on the “a’s” and “b’s.” I therefore agree with the notion that acculturation works both ways.

In addition to assimilation, Hispanics are changing U.S. culture. Experts point to the popularity of the name Isabella.