Features
 • Baby Names Home
 • Articles
 • Baby Name
 • Database

 • Members' Picks
 • Featured Names
 • Suggested Books



facebook
Bookmark and Share

Select a Week

StorkNet's Week By Week Guide to Pregnancy

Baby Namer

Enter a name
or words that
appear in its
meaning:


Baby Names Cubby

Italian Baby Names - Romantic, Yet Traditional
by Michael Barrows

Italian baby names, like the language itself, can be very beautiful, flowing and romantic. Who can resist the beautiful sounding Allesandro (literal meaning "The protector and helper of mankind"), or Giovanni ("God is gracious") or Carmela ("A garden or orchard").

Italian is a romance language and this is reflected in the beauty of the names. However, surprisingly, the range of Italian baby names is actually quite narrow due to the historically very traditional methods used in naming babies.

In Italy, there has always been a very firm set of rules for naming children, i.e.;

The first male is always named after his paternal grandfather.
The second male is always named after his maternal grandfather.
The first female is always named after her paternal grandmother.
The second female is always named after her maternal grandmother.

The subsequent children can then be named be named after the parents, favorite aunts or uncles, a saint or a deceased relative. This all-pervasive custom has created the situation where many Italian families have several children, of similar ages, with exactly the same names. For example, if a man named Giovanni has three sons and each of them get married and have their own children, in all three cases, the first boy born into the family would be named Giovanni. Similarly, the first girl would be named after Giovanni's wife. Given that Italians have traditionally been devout Catholics with a tendency to have large families, you can see how family gatherings could become quite confusing!!

If this isn't confusing enough, Italians often also have two birthday celebrations. As well as the birthday itself, Italians often celebrate their "Name Day," or Onomastico. Italian babies often have one of their names connected to a particular patron saint, e.g. the saint of their town, or a saint who has a special significance for their parents. Each of the many saints has a special feast day, for example the third of March is the feast day of St. Tereza Verzeri - one of many different St Tereza's! The name day is celebrated just like the birthday and is seen as just as important.

But you don't have to be Italian, Catholic, or willing to have two birthday celebrations to start considering the use of an Italian name for your child. In this fast shrinking and individualistic world, Italian names are becoming more and more common in some of the most unusual places - witness how many Brazillian soccer players seem to have Italian names!

So, what are currently the most popular Italian names? Here are the top 10 most popular Italian baby names registered by baptism in Italy:

MALE / FEMALE
  1. Giuseppe / Maria
  2. Giovanni / Anna
  3. Antonio / Giuseppina
  4. Mario / Rosa
  5. Luigi / Angela
  6. Francesco / Giovanna
  7. Angelo / Teresa
  8. Vincenzo / Lucia
  9. Pietro / Carmela
10. Salvatore / Caterina

Italian names are not only beautiful sounding, but also usually have very nice meanings. There are lots of good Internet sites featuring some excellent lists of Italian names, together with their meanings, so it's quite easy to explore this option when choosing a baby name. Remember also that many Italian names are Latin derivatives of other names, so why not give them a try - after all, doesn't Gianni and Caterina sound a just little bit nicer than John and Catherine?

About the Author:
Michael Barrows' website has great advice for choosing baby names, lots of baby name lists and lots of great baby resources. Get your free ebook packed with baby tips for new parents, visit http://www.all-about-baby-names.com.

If you like this article, we'd be honored if you shared it using the button below.
Bookmark and Share

Copyright © 1996-2016 StorkNet. All rights reserved.
Please read our disclaimer and privacy policy.
Your feedback is always welcome. Link to Us!

StorkNet Family of Websites:
StorkNet's Blog | Pregnancy Week By Week | Exploring Womanhood | Books for Families | EriChad Grief Support