I like a lot of your list. My husband is Hispanic and our children have Spanish names that have one pronunciation in English and Spanish, so I have thought about these kinds of names a lot.
Leandro - We considered this for one of our kids. My family (non-Spanish speakers) felt the le-an sounded feminine, a la Leanne, but I would think they would say the same for Leander. I think this name is very handsome.
Marcelo - I suggested this name at one point, but for my husband this is a very dated name, similar to suggesting Todd or Kurt for a baby today, so it was nixed.
Emmanuel - In Spanish you would spell it with one m. Manuel is also a nice, traditional name. Both give the cute nn Manu.
Elian - As others have said, I can only think of Elian González.
Marco - I like this name a lot and it is very international.
Mateo - This is also nice, as is Matías.
Others you might like are Lisandro, Mariano, Maximo, Eliseo, Tadeo, Pedro, or Tomás. I like the previous suggestions of Javier, Joaquin, Rafael and Alejandro. And I tried to suggest Pascual for our first baby - I think it is so cute - but my husband thought I was nuts!
I really like Mateo, with Leandro my second pick.
My favorite cross over names are Aaron, Adrian, and Emilio. But Matteo and Marco are great as well. I know a Marcos as well, so that's an option. You really can't go wrong, most of the names on your list are so handsome.
Thanks everyone for the insights! I especially appreciated the comments about how these names are actually perceived in Mexico, since I have no idea and we'll probably end up living there at one point.
I love the suggestions for Joaquin, Mauricio, Reuben, Horacio (no good nickname though...), and Javier/Javi.
And it's too bad my suspicions for Elian were confirmed... It's all Elian Gonzales... But I still adore the name. But no matter -- so many good things to choose from!
rosamonte, I'm so curious what names you ended up going with!
It's interesting to think about how names are thought of in any particular culture. For example I have always loved the name Pilar but I have heard from my Argentinian friends that it's considered a very old fashioned name.
I love the Spanish pronunciation of Gabriel. Seriously beautiful.
Emanuel, Marco and Mateo are probably the best, most familiar for Americans. That being said, I actually really like all of the naes you mentioned, and Marco and Mateo are by far my favorites. I noticed someone else's idea of Diego and I think that's a great choice as well.
I lived in Mexico for 2 years, recently.
Originally Posted by beccachan
Those aren't all the most common names for Mexican kids. I worked as a teacher. Never heard Leandro, Marcelo, or Elian. Never met a Mateo but I know it's a latino name and I love it!
Again, love Mateo. No rolled rs to worry about, yet Latino and biblical and not too popular - at least from my experience.
If you want to really go with the culture an be unique, give him 2 names and call him both. I never saw that until I went to Mexico, with kids an adults like Luis Fernando, Marco Antonio, Luis Miguel (that's a famous singer too), Juan Carlos, Miguel Angel, Angel Manuel, and more. Just throwing that idea out there for your creative mind but I totally understand if you want an American middle name or a first name that isn't so common.
Can I add Elias to your list?
I met someone in Mexico with this name - the Spanish version of Elijah. Love both pronunciations.
Mateo is the best though IMO
Marco in second.
And since we're in the Spanish bible, what about Lucas? That's Luke. :)
Just a word of caution. Emanuel usable and common in Latino communities, but I've seen it rub some non-Latinos the wrong way. If you aren't considering Jesus, I wouldn't use Emanuel either. Manuel is great though and there are some great suggestions here without crossover baggage.
I love Emanuel.
I also love or have on my own list or did at one time before my husband chewed my list up:
Angel (but there's the pronunciation issue)