Is Rafael decidedly Latino, and if so can you helps us find other Biblical names?

DH and I really love [name_m]Rafael[/name_m] “Raf”, but we live in the US and have no Spanish or Portuguese heritage. [name_m]Rafael[/name_m] is also the [name_m]German[/name_m] spelling and the transliteration of the Russian spelling (my family is Russian), but we don’t want to use the name if people are going to always be wondering why he’s [name_m]Rafael[/name_m] if he’s not Latino. We don’t like [name_m]Raphael[/name_m] “Raph” because it reminds us too much of [name_m]Ralph[/name_m], which we both hate ([name_m]Raphael[/name_m] by itself does too, not just Raph, so [name_m]Raphael[/name_m] “Raf” doesn’t really work for us either.) We love both the sound of it and the meaning of it (not just “god heals” but also the archangel and everything he does and represents and presides over.)

Other than [name_m]Rafael[/name_m], we don’t have any names we love. We like [name_m]Valentin[/name_m]/[name_u]Valentine[/name_u] (I like [name_m]Valentin[/name_m] because it’s the Russian form, he likes [name_u]Valentine[/name_u] cause it’s the English form) and [name_u]Konstantin[/name_u]/[name_u]Constantine[/name_u] (again, Russian vs English) but we aren’t anywhere close to set on either. We like [name_m]Valentin/name_m better but not the [name_u]Valentine[/name_u]'s [name_u]Day[/name_u]/St [name_u]Valentine[/name_u]'s [name_u]Day[/name_u] Massacre/St [name_u]Valentine[/name_u] sort of baggage that comes with it; also, in [name_f]Russia[/name_f] it has low-class connotations, so my family does not like it. I like long names, DH likes short names but is fine with just a short nickname. We both like less popular names, especially names that have distinct associations (for example, I guess, [name_u]Ellis[/name_u] is uncommon but not unfamiliar and strongly associated with [name_u]Ellis[/name_u] Island; [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m], on the other hand, is common and not really associated with anything very strongly.) We like Hebrew names but we’re not Jewish at all so we’re been looking a lot at Biblical names as well as saint names. Some names we like but can’t/won’t use: [name_m]Ezra[/name_m], [name_m]Gideon[/name_m], [name_m]Enoch[/name_m], [name_m]Ephraim[/name_m], [name_m]Joachim[/name_m], [name_m]Emmanuel[/name_m], [name_m]Ishmael[/name_m], [name_m]Canaan[/name_m].

Although [name_m]Rafael[/name_m] is predominantly used in the Latino community it isn’t used exclusively by Latinos. You could definitely get away with using it even if you are not Latino without getting many questions about it. It’s not like naming your child [name_m]Juan[/name_m] or [name_m]Jose[/name_m]. I think [name_m]Rafael[/name_m] is a fantastic name!

No I always think of it as being predominantly used by Catholics but honestly its always been more of an Italian association with me… It is used often in the Latino community as well yes but it is an angels name, if you are [name_m]Christian[/name_m] then I imagine you have every right to use it. I love angels names as well . The -el is God in the name and This one is one of my favorites and its carried by a ninja turtle just so you’re aware of that so children in the us usually unless they’re very religious will almost certainly only make that connection and nothing cultural