Hispanic boy names sound romantic and laid-back, yet their meanings carry strong royal and religious roots, which make them a super popular pick for new parents. These names are also great if you’re going for something trendy, but don’t want to stray too far from the traditional, since many of these are variations of mainstream names.
From tried-and-true classics like Diego to edgy ones like Cruz, we’ll help you find the perfect name with Hispanic origins for your future little boy.
Meaning: Noble, eager, brave
This name is fit for royalty — literally. Over the centuries, Alfonso was used by 26 kings from both Spain and Portugal, and is still in the top 1,000 names list in the U.S. year after year. The name is a Spanish and Italian variation of an old Visigoth German name, meaning “noble”, “eager,” and “brave.” It’s popular enough that it’s familiar to people, so pronunciation and spelling won’t be a problem, but still retains it’s lovely Latino feel.
Meaning: Defends mankind
Alejandro derives from the Greek name Alexander, which is known for being a strong name that’s truly stood the test of time. The most popular Alexander of all? That’s easy: Alexander the Great, who ruled the Greek kingdom of Macedon. The popular Spanish form has a much more romantic sound and relaxed vibe, while still retaining its legendary roots.
Meaning: Barberry tree
Arlo may not be a name you hear every day, but it sure is on the rise. It’s gotten some recent attention thanks to the character Arlo Givens, played by Raymond J. Barry, on the popular TV series Justified, but also has some clout as a celeb baby name favorite — Leighton Meester and Adam Brody named their baby Arlo Day in 2015, and Johnny Knoxville named his daughter Arlo Clapp in 2011. It has a vintage, Southern feel (despite it’s Spanish origin), and it’s unisex quality makes it a hit, especially as a unique alternative to Harlow.
Pronounced “krooz,” Cruz was mostly known as a surname originating from the Spanish and Portuguese Empires for centuries. But in recent years it’s been uniquely transformed into a pretty cool first name, most likely due to famous parents David and Victoria Beckham, who named their third child Cruz. With its rich (and holy) history, plus the fact that it’s fairly new as a first name, there’s no denying that this simple, single-syllable moniker is currently the epitome of cool.
The not-so-obvious Spanish equivalent of James, Diego has made a steady climb in the States since the 1970s, and now sits comfortably in the top 100 list. Some of its best-known namesakes include Diego Rivera, the famous Latin-American painter, and the dreamy actor Diego Luna, who starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Perhaps it’s no wonder then why its appeal extends well beyond Spanish-speaking circles.
Meaning: God has answered
Eduardo just oozes laid-back coolness, doesn’t it? And believe it or not, it’s now almost as popular as its English form, Edward. It’s also the name of several past presidents of Argentina, famous baseball players like Eduardo Núñez, and even popular Spanish actors, like Eduardo Noriega.
Meaning: God has answered
Feeling like your baby-to-be is the answer to all your prayers? Naming him Elia would be a beautiful way of showing it. A Spanish/Italian variation of the Hebrew name Eliana, the name literally means “God has answered.” Though it comes from the Hebrew boy name Elijah, it has a unisex vibe in this form that makes it perfect for either a girl or boy.
Emiliano is a gorgeous Spanish and Italian variation of Emil, the male version of the always popular name Emily, which makes it a great pick if you’re a fan of the female version but are expecting a boy. It’s also romantic-sounding and attractive — perfect for your future heartbreaker!
Meaning: Crowned in victory
As the Spanish version of Stephen, Esteban has experienced a steady rise in popularity since the 1960s, and is looking poised to become a Latin name-crossover hit. The moniker also has some major cool-factor, in that it sounds classic without being pretentious. Choose it if you want something somewhat traditional, without the stuffiness.
Meaning: Frenchman; freeman
Franco is basically the cool older brother of Francis, Frank, and Francisco in the baby-naming world. It’s a modern take on a somewhat outdated name, if you were thinking of paying homage to the Franks in your family, but wanted something a bit more 21st-century.
Meaning: God is my strength
According to the Bible, Gabriel is one of the seven archangels, who appeared to Mary to give her the news of her pregnancy and impending birth of Jesus. As a result, this name goes way back, popping up in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim texts. The traditionally Spanish moniker has been coming back in vogue in recent years and (best of all) shortens to the cute nickname Gabe. How cool is that?
Meaning: God will judge, established by God
The name Joaquin is now officially part of mainstream pop culture, perhaps thanks to Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix or the daytime talk show hostess with the mostess, Kelly Ripa, who named her son Joaquin. Whatever the case, this name, which is derived from the Hebrew Joachim (“established by God”), is now experiencing a surge in popularity like it’s never seen before, particularly in South America.
Meaning: Lion; bold
A strong male name with a fierce meaning , the name Leonardo has spanned centuries, and been the namesake of everyone from artist Leonardo da Vinci to — who else? — actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who literally stole all our hearts back in the late ’90s. It’s also the name actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem decided to name their firstborn, proving the name is still going strong.
Still hugely popular in Italy, Marco isn’t doing too shabby in the U.S., either. As the more magnetic version of Mark (both derived from Mars, the Roman god of war), Marco is currently the most popular it’s ever been. (And now those rousing games of Marco Polo at the pool will take on a much deeper meaning … )
Meaning: God’s gift
Your baby is definitely a gift from above, so calling him Mateo is basically a no-brainer. As the Spanish form of biblical name Matthew, Mateo is a rising star in the baby name world. It’s already popular in Spanish-speaking countries, but it’s quickly becoming a common name in the U.S., too. If Matthew sounds a little too traditional for your liking, Mateo might be the right choice — it even comes with the cute nickname “Teo”! Celebs are loving it, too: Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo named one of his twins Mateo and actor Colin Firth’s son is named Matteo, which is the Italian version of the name.
The name Mauricio is one of those romantic Latin names that screams tall, dark and handsome (literally). It’s also a name with a lot of power, as it’s held by the president of El Salvador and the mayor of Buenos Aires, and — as any Real Housewives fan worth their salt knows — the name of Kyle Richards’ husband, Mauricio Umansky.
Meaning: God has Healed
The Spanish version of Ralph, Rafael is far more popular these days than Raphael, which is how it was traditionally spelled. It’s kind of mysterious and elegant, and really hit the mainstream thanks to the popularity of tennis player Rafael Nadal.
This unique three-letter name is just plan cool. Maybe because it reminds us of our ‘80s childhood (don’t act like you don’t remember Jerrica’s boyfriend Rio, from JEM and the Holograms!) or because it conjures up dreamy visions of beach life in Rio de Janeiro. Whatever the case, Rio is still pretty unique if you want to go for a stylish yet relaxed vibe for your baby.
Meaning: From Rome
Why not turn to Shakespeare for some classic baby name inspiration? No other name evokes “romance” than Romeo. Sure, he’s one of the star-crossed lovers in arguably the most tragic tale of love ever, but it’s a sweet-sounding name that comes with even sweeter literary cred. Celebs like Posh and Becks and even Jon Bon Jovi have given the name to their offspring. The Bard would be so proud!