Why is Isabella Acceptable but Camila isn’t?

So first off, I really don’t want to come across as rude or disrespectful, so just making that clear.

Being a name nerd, I find myself talking about my favourite names a lot, [name_f]Camila[/name_f] (ca-MEE-la) being one of them. A few people now have told me that it would be disrespectful to call my daughter [name_f]Camila[/name_f] because I’m not hispanic.

I just wanted to hear everyone’s opinions on it, like [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] is spanish (like [name_f]Camila[/name_f]) yet it’s one of the most popular names in the world, so why is it acceptable for a non-hispanic child to be called [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] (the first name that came into my head, no hate to any [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]’s or [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] lovers) but not [name_f]Camila[/name_f]?

Thanks in advanced, again, I don’t think I came across rude, but sorry if I did.

[name_f]Izzie[/name_f] :slight_smile:

I’m not Hispanic but I would never have thought that using [name_f]Camila[/name_f] would be inappropriate on a non-Hispanic baby. I also much prefer [name_f]Camila[/name_f] to [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]. I swear half of the people I know have Hebrew names but almost none of them are Jewish. In the end it think it depends on the name but also know that most people have names that are not related to their own heritage or ethnicity. [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is very cute.

I’ve never heard anyone say [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is inappropriate.

Personally I prefer [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] anyway, I’ve never been a fan of [name_f]Camila[/name_f]. But there’s nothing wrong with using it if you’re not hispanic. I know plenty of Camillas who aren’t hispanic at all.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable! We use names all the time that are not from our own culture. My own mother wanted to name me [name_m]Miguel[/name_m] if I were a boy and she is 100% western European ([name_f]England[/name_f]/[name_f]Ireland[/name_f]/[name_f]Scotland[/name_f])! But because I am a girl, I wound up being named after a Japanese video game character of all things instead. I am as white as they come ([name_m]French[/name_m], Norwegian, English, Irish & Scottish) and I’ve only ever received compliments on my own name. If you appreciate the name and the namesake, it’s totally okay. Using [name_f]Camila[/name_f] if you are not Hispanic is not an example of what some might call “cultural appropriation” at all. You are using the name because you love it and appreciate it.

People use names outside of their cultural origins ([name_m]French[/name_m] names, Hebrew names, [name_m]German[/name_m] names, Irish names, etc, you name it!) ALL THE FREAKING TIME and no one bats an eye. If you love the name, use it. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t let those people discourage you. They are just being overly sensitive. It’s not offensive to use [name_f]Camila[/name_f] in the slightest. It’s a beautiful name.

PS; [name_u]Love[/name_u] how you’ve formatted your signature @oh.archiekins! <3

I don’t think it’s fair to compare [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] to [name_f]Camilla[/name_f] in this case. Why? Because [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] isn’t Spanish. It’s Italian. It’s derived from the Hebrew [name_f]Elisheba[/name_f] ([name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f]) and because of that it was widely used in a multitude of countries.


  • [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] of [name_f]France[/name_f] (1295–1358), [name_f]Queen[/name_f] consort of [name_f]England[/name_f] as the wife of [name_m]Edward[/name_m] II of [name_f]England[/name_f]
  • [name_f]Isabella[/name_f], [name_f]Countess[/name_f] of [name_m]Bedford[/name_m] (1332–1379), daughter of [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]Edward[/name_m] III of [name_f]England[/name_f]
  • [name_f]Princess[/name_f] [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] of Denmark (born 2007), daughter of Crown [name_m]Prince[/name_m] [name_m]Frederick[/name_m] and Crown [name_f]Princess[/name_f] [name_f]Mary[/name_f] of Denmark

[name_f]Camila[/name_f]'s origin on the other hand is just Spanish & Portuguese. [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is a variant of the Latin [name_f]Camilla[/name_f]. Both of which are derived from Old [name_m]Roman[/name_m] Camillus.

If you named your daughter [name_f]Camila[/name_f] and I came across her yeah I would think she had some kind of Spanish background but would I think it disrespectful to call your daughter who isn’t Spanish [name_f]Camila[/name_f]? No. Why? Because it’s just a name. A name you obviously feel passionate about.

People name outside their origin all the time. I know someone named Xihuitl (who is Caucasian) because his father was an Aztec archaeologist and researcher and wanted to show his love and respect for that culture by giving his son an Aztec name.

thank you!

And I quote: “Origin of [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]: Spanish and Italian variation of [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f], Hebrew

Because camila is pronounced the same as camilla and camilla is the accepted spelling in english speaking countries. Why would you adopt the spanish spelling if you arent hispanic? A better title for this thread wpuld be why is isabella accepted but isabela isn’t. Same issue

From [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] Wikipedia

Languages: Italian
Region of Origin: [name_f]Italy[/name_f]

[name_f]Isabella[/name_f] might be used in Spanish countries but it is originally Italian. :slight_smile:

[name_f]Elisheba[/name_f] (Hebrew), “Elisabel” (Medieval Latin), “[name_f]Isabell[/name_f]” and “[name_f]Isabel[/name_f]'” (Spanish), [name_f]Izabel[/name_f] (Portuguese), [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] (Italian), [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] ([name_m]French[/name_m], Dutch, [name_m]German[/name_m]), [name_f]Izabela[/name_f], [name_f]Isobel[/name_f], [name_f]Ishbel[/name_f] (Scots), [name_f]Iseabail[/name_f] (Scottish Gaelic), Ysabeau, [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] (English).

[name_f]Camila[/name_f] and [name_f]Camilla[/name_f] are different names. [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is pronounced ca-MEE-la, [name_f]Camilla[/name_f] is pronounced ca-MILL-a. That is why I would use [name_f]Camila[/name_f], because that’s the name I love.

I’ve also never heard the argument that [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is inappropriate for a non-Hispanic child. It’s in the top 25 names in the US, I doubt that every single one of those children are Hispanic??

As long as you respect the pronunciation and culture, I feel like it’s not a problem, but that’s coming from a White non-American so I really don’t know.

I was going off Nameberry, obviously they’re information is incorrect. I’ve always believed that [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] is Spanish and Italian.

[name_f]Isabel[/name_f] is the Spanish form, [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] is the Italian. To answer your question, it’s because [name_f]Camila[/name_f] hasn’t crossed cultures yet. Names like [name_m]Carlos[/name_m], [name_f]Mar[/name_f]ía, Sofía, [name_f]Emilia[/name_f], are all Spanish, and have successfully crossed into the mainstream. This could easily change as [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is rapidly rising, and it’s doubtful that all those [name_f]Camila[/name_f]'s are the products of Hispanic parents. While you may get a weird glance or two, don’t be completely turned off from the name just because of this. You could be one of the parents that make it acceptable for everyone to use without getting weird glances, a pioneer of sorts.

[name_f]EDIT[/name_f]: I just read your last post, and some Hispanics indeed use [name_f]Isabella[/name_f], many also spell it [name_f]Isabela[/name_f].

I think [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] has more cultures aware of it. I always thought it was Spanish, Italian & Latinised form of… I can’t remember the name. But I do associate the name more with the Italians due to their words [name_f]Bella[/name_f] and [name_m]Bello[/name_m] etc.

I don’t think [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is strictly used for a culture. As long as there meaning for using the name, its not rude to use it in their culture and you accept the cultures pronunciation etc for the name their should not be an issue.

I agree with some of the other posters about [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] being Italian rather than Spanish - the traditional Spanish form is [name_f]Isabel[/name_f].

Re:[name_f]Camila[/name_f], where do you live? If you live in the UK, [name_f]Ireland[/name_f] or continental Europe, I don’t think there’s anything offensive or inappropriate about using a Spanish name.

I have noticed that in the US there is a stigma surrounding Spanish names that just doesn’t exist in the UK and Europe.

I don’t see a problem. Anyone who thinks that’s not acceptable is probably a little racist. If you wouldn’t complain about a Hispanic person having a ‘white’ name, don’t complain about a whote person having a ‘Spanish’ name. And Spain is part of Europe anyone, so the people are white.

I don’t think [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is inappropriate at all. [name_f]Camila[/name_f], and [name_f]Camilla[/name_f], have been used in a variety of cultures and nationalities so the name [name_f]IMO[/name_f] isn’t restricted just to one - if you were asking about a name more specific to a particular culture or community, I would understand though [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is pretty safe for international usage to me.

Thank you everyone :slight_smile: I’m sorry for thinking [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] was spanish, I shouldn’t believe everything on Nameberry, I guess, hahaha.

Thanks for all the honest feedback.

I can’t see why [name_f]Camila[/name_f] would be inappropriate. I think it’s a gorgeous name and I much prefer [name_f]Camila[/name_f] to [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]!

Spain and [name_f]Italy[/name_f] are right across from one other and both of those countries have adopted many things from each other, names included so I think that’s why Nameberry listed it as Spanish & Italian because even though [name_f]Isabella[/name_f] originated in [name_f]Italy[/name_f], it’s very, very common in Spain as well. ([name_f]France[/name_f] too, the cultures of those three countries bleed into each other so it can be pretty difficult to pinpoint which came from which when dealing with things like this)

That being said, [name_f]Camila[/name_f] is a very beautiful name and like another user said, it’s in the Top 25. In my opinion there’s nothing wrong at all with choosing a name from another culture, just as long as it’s done with respect and knowledge of the culture’s traditions.