Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Pablo

Pablo is the Spanish equivalent of Paul. The name Paul was once an old Roman family name which was derived from a nickname during the classical era. The Latin word “Paulus” means ‘small, humble.’ Paul is borne from the Bible, in the New Testament, as one of the most influential Christian missionaries who lived in the first century at the time of rising Christian beliefs. Originally called Saul, he was a Jewish Roman citizen raised in Jerusalem and over-zealous in his determination to imprison and even execute Christians. This all changed on Paul’s “Damascus Road experience” (a term still used in referring to the precise moment when a person develops a personal relationship with God/Jesus). In Paul’s case, he was going to Damascus to capture more of those pesky Christians when suddenly a bright light appeared and blinded him. “Who are you, Lord?” Paul asks, to which a voice replies: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” [Acts 9:4]. Uh oh. Sounds like Paul got caught in a pretty big faux-pas. Fortunately for Paul, his conversion is successful, his sight is restored and he goes onto become one of the most important early Christian leaders and a prolific spreader of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean. The Latin Paulus and its offshoots Paul (English), Paolo (Italian) and Pablo (Spanish) have all been successful male names enduring since medieval times. The Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is one of the more notable name bearers. Today, Pablo is the 3rd most popular name in Spain (2010) outranked only by Daniel and Alejandro.

All About the Baby Name – Pablo

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME PABLO

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME PABLO

Pablo has been a Spanish staple in America. The name has existed on the charts since the 19th century and has impressively maintained a position of semi-moderate usage. Even though Pablo is ranked so high in Spain (and Catalonia), Spanish names in the United States are more heavily influenced by the naming trends in Mexico and South America. Pablo is currently not ranked in the Top 100 in Mexico (but Juan Pablo is). Therefore, there are dozens of more popular Spanish male names on the American popularity charts other than Pablo. Still, we love Pablo. It’s simple and ‘humble’ but strong, upbeat and friendly. Thanks to Pablo Picasso it also sounds so cosmopolitan Spanish. Pablo is quintessential Spanish; one of our favs.

Quick Facts

ON PABLO

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Spanish

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

402

PRONUNCIATION:

PAH-blo

SIMPLE MEANING:

Small, humble

Characteristics

OF PABLO

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Pablo

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME PABLO

Pablo is a main character in Ernest Hemmingway’s 1940 novel set against the Spanish Civil War, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (made into a film in 1943 with Akim Tamiroff playing Pablo). He is a leader of a guerilla band, a complex and puzzling character, who squares off against the American protagonist, Robert Jordan. Pablo is presented as a crass and slovenly figure who is determined to undermine the Republic’s efforts against Fascism, but continuing association with him brings one to a kind of empathetic understanding of him. Once a brave and fearless fighter for the Republic, he has been so disillusioned by the length and brutality of the ongoing war that he clings to his single-minded devotion to staying alive. In sharp contrast to the lofty heroism of Robert Jordan, who is willing to risk all for a country not even his, we find Pablo to be refreshingly real. His goal is to retire to the countryside with his horses and his “woman”, Pilar. Not at all an unreasonable aim, we think. In the end, he comes through for the Republic and manages to save his skin as well, while young Jordan loses his life for a lost cause.

Pablo Sanchez is a character in John Steinbeck’s 1935 novel, "Tortilla Flat", a modern day take on King Arthur and his Round Table, featuring a rollicking band of “paisanos” living communally in this Monterey County, California district after having served in World War I. They are all intent on the pure business of living – eating, drinking, laughing and loving. If this mode of living freely must involve idleness, thievery, trickery and drunkenness, well, so be it. Conventional they are not, and our Pablo fits right in, a happy, generous, humorous and fiercely loyal member of the band of “knights”, devoted to each other and living harmoniously in their environment. The novel was made into a movie of the same name in 1942, and guess who played Pablo – Akim Tamiroff! (Well, Google him.)

Popular Songs

ON PABLO

Pablo Picasso
a song by David Bowie

Pablo Neruda
a song by Patty Larkin

Pablo and Andrea
a song by Yo La Tengo

Blues for Pablo
a jazz piece by Miles Davis

Famous People

NAMED PABLO

Pablo Picasso (Spanish artist)
Pablo Neruda (Chilean poet)
Pablo Sandoval (baseball player)
Pablo Escobar (infamous Colombian drug lord)
Pablo Casals (cello virtuoso)
Pablo Cuevas (tennis player)
Pablo Francisco (comic)
Pablo Hernández Domínguez (soccer player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED PABLO

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Pablo

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME PABLO

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Pablo