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Italian Baby Names

A recent poll counted upwards of over 100,00 names at the national level. The greater part of these, however, are extremely rare. Experts think there are approximately 17,000 Italian names

that appear with regular frequency. Many Italian names have an english version and most have an historic background, usually Latin baqsed names or names of saints e.g. the name Antonio (Anthony in English) is derived from the Latin surname Antonius. Italian naming patterns

Traditionally, Italian parents have chosen their children's names based on the name of a grandparent, choosing names from the father's side of the family first and then from the mother's side. According to Lynn Nelson, there has been a strong custom in Italy that determines how children are named:

the first male is named after his paternal grandfather
the second male is named after his maternal grandfather
the first female is named after her paternal grandmother
the second female is named after her maternal grandmother
Top Italian Names
The following list represents the top 20 male and female Italian baby names registered by baptism throughout Italy.

1 Maria Giuseppe
2 Anna Giovanni
3 Giuseppina Antonio
4 Rosa Mario
5 Angela Luigi
6 Giovanna Francesco
7 Teresa Angelo
8 Lucia Vincenzo
9 Carmela Pietro
10 Caterina Salvatore
11 Francesca Carlo
12 Anna Maria Franco
13 Antonietta Domenico
14 Carla Bruno
15 Elena Paolo
16 Concetta Michele
17 Rita Giorgio
18 Margherita Aldo
19 Franca Sergio
20 Paola Luciano

The common given names of Italy today are all taken from names borne by saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. In the Middle Ages there was a comparatively wide range of Italian names, including an extensive group of Germanic names of Lombard origin (Adalberto, Adalgiso). Some of these have given rise to surnames, but most of them are no longer in use as given names. Vocabulary phrases intended to invoke a good omen (Benvenuto "welcome," Diotiguardi "God preserve you") were also formerly used as given names in Italy.


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