MANFRED: From the Old German for "man of peace." Relatives: Manny, Fred. Namesakes: Manfred Mann, poem by Lord Byron, "Mighty Manfred."
MANLEY: Old English for "man of the meadow." If you are interested in establishing a sense of machismo early on, this is a bold choice. Relatives: Manly, Manning, Mansfield, Manton, Manville, Mannix, Manchester, Manheim. Namesakes: Dexter Manley, Mike Mansfield, Manchester (England), Man Ray.
MANON: A French version of Mary or Marian. The French pronunciation is essential: "Man-on." Namesakes: Manon Lescaut, Manon of the Spring.
MANUEL: Spanish variation of Emanuel. Relatives: Manuela, Mano, Manolo, Manny, Mani. Namesake: Manuel Ortega.
MARA: From the Hebrew for "bitter," a version of Mary, and an abbreviated form of Tamara ("palm tree"). Mara has an elegant simplicity, so it works well with a long surname. In the Old Testament (Ruth 1:20), Naomi says, "Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara." Relatives: Marah, Maraline, Marlina.
MARCEL: A French form of Marcellus or "little hammer." Relatives: Marcello, Marcellus. Namesakes: Marcel Proust, Marcel Marceau, Marcello Mastroiannni.
MARCELLA: A Latin name derived from Mars, the god of war. Marcella is also the feminine version of Marcus, Marcel, and Marcello. Relatives: Marcy, Marcie, Marcelle, Marclyn, Marcelin.
MARCIA: A Latin name derived from the Roman god of war -- Mars. It is a feminine version of Mark, Marcius, and Marcus. It may be pronouned "Mar-cy-a" or "Marsh-a." Relatives: Marsha, Marshe, Marcille, Marchita, Marchette, Marquita, Martia, Marcelia, Marcy, Marci, Marcie. Namesakes: Marcia Wallace, Marsha Mason, "Marcia Brady."