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Baby Names

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The Most Popular Italian Names


See also: The Most Popular Italian Baby Names, Best Italian Baby Names, or browse all Italian names.

Italian Naming Conventions

Italy, known the world over for extremely close family ties, also expresses the value of family when naming their children. Though it is 2007, most native Italian families still follow this long-held tradition:

  • Firstborn male is named after the paternal grandfather
  • Second male born into a family is named for the maternal grandfather
  • Firstborn female is named after the paternal grandmother
  • Second female born into a family is named for the maternal grandmother

Subsequent children often carry the name of a favorite aunt or uncle, the parents or a saint. Each Italian baby name entry includes the onomastico (or name day) with a brief description of the saint represented. If named for a saint whose name does not appear on the calendar, you celebrate on November 1st La Festa d'Ognissanti or All Saint's Day. Many children are named for the saint on whose feast day they were born, or for a saint who has special meaning to the family.


Top Female Names in Italy

Maria

  • Latin origin: Mary in English, whom Catholics believe is the mother of Jesus
  • Meaning: Star of the sea

Anna

  • Hebrew origin: Anna, Ann, Anne in English, a form of Hannah
  • Meaning: Grace or favored by God

Giuseppina

  • Hebrew origin: English counterpart Josephine, female form of Giuseppe
  • Meaning: Jehovah increases or God shall add

Rosa

  • Latin origin: Rose in English
  • Meaning: named for the beautiful flower, rose, often associated with the Blessed Virgin

Angela

  • Greek origin: Feminine form of Angelo
  • Meaning: An angel or saintly messenger

Top Male Names in Italy

Giovanni

  • Italian origin: John in English
  • Meaning: The Lord is gracious

Antonio

  • Italian origin: English counterpart is Anthony
  • Meaning: Priceless

Mario

  • Latin origin: Masculine form of Mary
  • Meaning: Manly

Luigi

  • Italian origin: Louis in English
  • Meaning: A famous warrior

Giuseppe

  • Hebrew origin: Joseph in English, whom Catholics believe acted as Jesus' earthly father
  • Meaning: Jehovah increases or God shall add

Up and Coming Names

While over 100,000 Italian names exist, per a recent poll, most are rarely used. Approximately only 15,000 appear with frequency. Popularity is on the rise for two names in particular. Though not in the top twenty yet, don't be surprised if you hear of more bambinos being named:

Allesandro

  • (Alexander in English)
  • Meaning: Protector and Helper of Mankind

Chiara

  • No English counterpart
  • Meaning: Clear and bright.

Author: Mary Dorice Wills


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