why is Jesus a common name in Spanish-speaking countries but nowhwere else?

I’ve met a few Hispanic fellows in my day named Jesus. But i’d be stunned to be introduced to Caucasian with the English pronunciation of the same name. Why the discrepancy?

Names, like words, can be different in different languages. Jesus is a Greek variation of Yeshi or maybe Yeshua. The English version is Joshua. You probably know a few people with that name.

Many Hispanics are Caucasians.

In addition to this, while I don’t speak Arabic at all I believe “Isa” is both the Arabic version of the name “Jesus” and a fairly common given name for boys.

You are correct.

Jesus (name) in other languages.

I like Estonian and Finish: Jeesus. But those guys love their double vowels…

Okay, but we don’t call Jesus Joshua. In English, they’re now different names. In Spanish, Jesus can be the messiah, but he can also be the school principal or the plumber or the carpenter (ha.)

Have English-speakers somehow developed a complex about daring to name their kids after the “son of God” that Spanish-speakers haven’t?

It’s not just English speakers. It’s not common outside Spanish speaking countries. Although maybe also common in Portuguese speaking countries (I honestly don’t know). Danes, Germans, Russians… they don’t name their kids “Jesus” either.

So the question isn’t why it’s taboo in English, the question is why it isn’t taboo in Spanish.

When is it bad luck to be told “Jesus loves you”?

When you’re in a Mexican prison.

But are they the same name?

Hispanics at my mothers church pronounce it differently: Jesus the plumber is pronounced ‘Hay-Zeus’, while Jesus the Savior is pronounced ‘Jee-sus’. Or is that difference in pronunciation just them adapting to a mostly Anglo congregation?

It’s the same pronunciation in Spanish.

I thought that might be the case, but I wasn’t in the mood for any research.

One thing, though. I don’t know how common “Isa” is a name in Arabic speaking countries among Arabic Christians. There are a lot of Arabic speaking Christians in quite a few countries. But in Europe, it appears to be a Spanish thing.

For instance, Arabic Christians will refer to “God” as “Allah”. That’s just the Arabic word for “God”, not specific to Muslims. I have a feeling that Isa is not uncommon.

To confirm what John said, it’s the same name and pronounced identically in Spanish.

The use of the name varies regionally in Latin America. It is quite common in Mexico, but pretty rare here in Panama. I can think of only a few people I’ve met with the name here.

From that wikipedia link:

Notable modern individuals named Jesus

As first name
Jesús Alou, baseball player
Jesus Baza Duenas, Catholic priest in Guam
Jesús Guevara, Venezuelan boxer
Jesús Herrera, Mexican long-distance runner
Jesús Jiménez Zamora (1823–1897), President of Costa Rica from 1863 to 1866 and 1868 to 1870
Jesus Quintana, character in the film The Big Lebowski
Jesús Chucho Sanoja (1926–1998), Venezuelan musician
Jesús López-Cobos (b. 1940), Spanish conductor
Jesús Martínez (b. 1976), Mexican boxer
Jesús Navas, Spanish football player
Jesús Pérez (b. 1971), Colombian boxer
Jesús Chávez (b. 1972), Mexican boxer
Jesús Pérez (b. 1984), Venezuelan cyclist
GG Allin was originally named Jesus Christ Allin
James Jesus Angleton, Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counter-Intelligence of the CIA

Wow, one guy even had the “Christ” part. I’m godsmacked over that!
But you can see that it’s several different countries, including Spain.

Maybe his mom didn’t want her parents to know she was having sex.

And while at it, the Old Testament hero is called “Josué” in Spanish, so that is not it.

But English-speaking lands have all sorts of people named with some variation of “Christ” though: Chris, Krista, Christiane, Christopher, etc, etc, etc…

It might be accurate to say that the name of the biblical Jesus, when put into modern English, ought to be Joshua. But I’m not so sure about Spanish. it seems from Wikipedia that the biblical Joshua (Moses’ disciple), and the book named for him, are called “Josué” in Spanish, rather than the “Jesus” suggested by Julius Henry.

There are Caucasians in Spain and Latin America with the name Jesus

Yeah, that was noted above. I overstepped my generalization a bit much. But I did say a Caucasian with the English pronunciation. I’m betting there are no Spaniards or Argentinians pronounced Jee-sus.