If there’s one thing to know about the Mexican culture, it’s that family, tradition, and a deep appreciation of your heritage are of prime importance. So when it comes to Mexican boy names, it’s no surprise that the most popular contenders have been going strong for literally centuries. From Antonio to Raul, these baby names roll right off the tongue — and it’s no wonder why, since they all stem from one of the world’s smoothest Romance languages.
If you’re looking for the perfect name for your baby-to-be that celebrates the beautiful culture of Mexico, scroll on for plenty of inspiration.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Defends mankind
Talk about a strong name. This Spanish variant of Alexander is bold, yet classic, and has been the namesake of countless famous men, like Mexican film director Alejandro González Iñárritu (of Birdman fame) and singer-songwriter Alejandro Fernández. (Speaking of music — BRB, we now have Lady Gaga’s song “Alejandro” stuck in our heads … )
Origins: Spanish, Greek | Meanings: Manly, brave
Andrés is a popular variant of the common English boys’ name, Andrew, and is another very masculine name with a strong and noble meaning. It’s been the name of athletes, like footballer Andrés Guardado, politicians like Andrés Roemer, and even 19th-century scientists like Andrés Manuel del Río.
Origin: Latin | Meaning: Worthy of praise
The name Antonio just sounds handsome, doesn’t it? We tend to think of it mostly as a Spanish or Italian name, but Shakespeare made this name pretty popular in English-speaking countries, too, after he named several characters Antonio in plays like The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice. Today, perhaps the most famous Antonio of all is the actor Antonio Banderas — and one day, maybe it’ll be your little guy!
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Son of a farmer, ploughman
Bartolo isn’t the most common name these days (though you’ve definitely heard it before if you’re a baseball fan and follow Bartolo Colón); but it certainly is unique. Shorten it to Bart or Bardo for a fun nickname!
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Manly
Carlos is a pretty common boys’ name in Mexico that remains among the top baby name lists, and yet another moniker with a very masculine meaning. Its famous namesakes include actor Carlos Pena Jr., baseball player Carlos Gonzalez, and of course, musician Carlos Santana!
Origins: Latin, Spanish | Meaning: Follower of Christ; anointed one
Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo immediately springs to mind when thinking of the name Cristiano, but this name has been a popular one for Spanish-speaking parents for centuries. The Latin form, which is more common in English-speaking countries, is Christian, and means “anointed one.”
Origins: Spanish | Meaning: The supplanter
Diego is actually a variant of James, and has steadily climbed in popularity in the U.S. in the last decade, where it now sits comfortably on the Top 100 baby names list. Famous Diegos include the Latin-American painter Diego Rivera as well as Diego Luna, the dreamy Mexican actor who starred in such noteworthy films as Frida and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Origin: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian | Meaning: Prosperous guardian
Eduardo is the saucier Latin version of the English name Edward, and we don’t know about you, but something about it just seems more fun to us. It has plenty of nickname potential (Ed, Eddie, etc.) and lots of famous namesakes, from Mexican model, singer, and actor Eduardo Verástegui to Red Sox player Eduardo Núñez.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Adventurer
There’s a reason why the name Fernando conjures up a sense of spirit and adventure — that’s literally what its meaning is all about. It’s a variation of the more traditional name Ferdinand (think: Ferdinand Magellan), and belongs to such famous men as singer Fernando Allende and baseball player Fernando Valenzuela.
Origin: Latin, Spanish, Greek | Meaning: Steadfast
Hector‘s a strong and dependable name, and a pretty common one in Mexico. It’s less common in the U.S., but chances are you’ve known a few in your time — like the popular character actor Hector Elizondo, who you’ve seen in movies like Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Xavier
Javier is the Spanish form of Xavier, and is pretty popular within Mexico. It has risen in popularity within the U.S., too, most likely in part thanks to the success of actor Javier Bardem. It’s cool, it’s edgy, and it’s definitely unique.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: God is gracious
When it comes to common Spanish names, Juan is pretty up there. It’s the Spanish equivalent of John. Well-known Juans you may have heard of over the years include American politician Juan M. Garcia III, boxer Juan Manuel López, and countless professional baseball players.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: God shall add
Speaking of uber-popular Spanish names … José sure runs a close second. It’s the Spanish equivalent to Joseph, and its namesakes include baseball player José Canseco, singer José Carreras, and Mexican politician José Francisco Ruiz Massieu.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Lion
Hopefully, your ferocious little Leon will take life by the horns and never be afraid to conquer his dreams, just like his name connotes. This masculine moniker is a great alternative to more common names, and a clever twist on the name Leonardo.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Famous warrior
Luis, the Spanish form of Louis, has remained one of the top 30 baby names in Mexico for years now. It’s a classic name with a strong meaning that works for both young and old. Famous Luises include Puerto Rican pop singer Luis Fonsi and soccer player Luis Suárez.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: A rock
Pedro, which is a Spanish form of Peter, is another popular name that’s still going strong in Mexico, and doesn’t appear to be going out of style any time soon. Its namesakes include Spanish conqueror Pedro de Alvarado and baseball pitcher Pedro Martinez, but even celebs are in love with the name — Frances McDormand and Joel Coen named their son Pedro when they welcomed him home in 1995.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: God is with us
Manuel is a popular name in Spanish-speaking countries that derives from the more classic, biblical name Emmanuel. But if Manuel is still a bit too formal for you, it has a super-cute nickname if you decide to shorten it further: Manny!
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Affectionate, peaceful
The name Oliver is climbing in popularity on the baby name charts for English-speaking countries, but its Spanish form, Oliverio, deserves some love, too. It’s a sweet name with a fun twist, if you’re looking for a different take on an already trendy name.
Origin: Hebrew, Spanish | Meaning: God has healed
Over the years, Rafael has surpassed its original form, Raphael, and come back en vogue thanks to tennis star Rafael Nadaro. But its most famous namesake to this day is a Raphael with a -ph — the Italian painter. (Okay, and Raphael, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.)
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Wise wolf
In the States, Raúl isn’t as common a name (though it was made famous by the actor Raúl Juliá, who played Gomez Addams in The Addams Family movies). But in Mexico, the name — which is a Spanish version of Ralph — is actually one of the top 30 baby names for boys.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Saint
Loving the fact that Kim Kardashian named her baby Saint? Who says you can’t follow in her footsteps, with a little twist? Santos is the Spanish form of Saint, and has been a popular name in Spanish-speaking countries for centuries.
Origin: Spanish | Meaning: God
Teo may have a religious meaning, but it’s actually a pretty cool name (that sounds kind of edgy) in its own right. It can also be used as a nickname for Mateo — or, if you’d like to tweak it further, you can even nickname him Teddy!