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Italian first names

Are you looking for Italian boy or girl names for your baby, or you want to know more about old first names carried in the family? In Italy, first names have several origins, which reflect the richness of their history: Roman first names from the Latin language, but also Greek and biblical first names, with numerous variations in the different dialects spoken on Italian territory. Alongside these very popular first names, babies now have many rare or original first names, sometimes from cinema or series, novels, songs, and even their family tree.

Roman first names

In ancient Rome, a person’s name was divided into three parts: praenomen, nomen and cognomen. Only the cognomen, a nickname, made it possible to distinguish a person: the nomen was inherited from the father, and the praenomen were very few in number and were often passed down in the family. There are so few that they were often reduced to an initial! This is the case of L. for Lucius or M. for Marcus. Most often, the girls did not have a first name but a feminine version of their name: the girls of the Julii family were therefore most of the time called Julia. Some boys also had first names that reflected their order of siblings, such as Quintus (fifth) or Octavus (eighth).

Original first names

Some Italian names are suitable for those looking for spelling variations of classic names, but also unique or very rare names. This is the case for ancient first names of gods or mythological characters, such as Venus and Eros, or even ancient Roman surnames such as Flavio or Claudio. Some rare Italian first names can be very popular, but in a specific region: this is the case of Catena in Sicily, Grimoaldo in Lazzio, or even Ermete in Emilia-Romagna.

Popular first names

Istat (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica) publishes each year the list of the most popular baby names in Italy. Thanks to our first name search feature, you will be able learn their origin, their popularity through the ages, and their geographical distribution! A similar page exists for surnames.

Italian girls’ names

Here is the list of the 50 most popular Italian girls’ names in 2022. Click on each one to learn more:

Sofia
Aurora
Giulia

Ginevra
Vittoria
Beatrice
Alice
Ludovica
Emma
Matilde
Anna
Camilla
Chiara
Giorgia
Bianca
Nicole
Greta
Gaia
Martina
Azzurra
Arianna
Sara
Noemi
Isabel
Rebecca
Chloe
Adele
Mia
Elena
Diana
Francesca
Ambra
Gioia
Cecilia
Viola
Elisa
Marta
Emily
Carlotta
Margherita
Sole
Anita
Maria
Eleonora
Amelia
Alessia
Nina
Luna
Giada
Sophie

Among the 100 most popular first names, we find first names of Latin origin (Vittoria, Diana, Amelia), Greek first names (Alessia, Sofia), biblical first names (Anna, Rebecca, Maria) first names of Germanic origin (Emma, Matilde), first names referring to the Earth or the stars (Gaia, Sole, Luna, Azzura), or even diminutives (Greta, diminutive of Margherita; Nina, diminutive of Antonia).

Italian boys’ names

In the list of the 100 most popular boys’ names in 2022, we find in particular biblical and saintly names (Giuseppe, Tommaso, Davide, Samuele, Gioele, …), but also first names of Germanic origin (Riccardo, Federico) or Greek (Enea, Ettore) or even American first names or those used in the United States (Christian, Noah).

Here is the list of the 50 most popular Italian boys’ names in 2022:

Leonardo
Francesco
Tommaso
Edoardo
Alessandro
Lorenzo
Mattia
Gabriele
Riccardo
Andrea
Diego
Nicolò
Matteo
Giuseppe
Federico
Antonio
Enea
Samuele
Giovanni
Pietro
Filippo
Davide
Giulio
Gioele
Christian
Michele
Gabriel
Luca
Marco
Elia
Salvatore
Vincenzo
Liam
Thomas
Emanuele
Noah
Alessio
Samuel
Nathan
Giacomo
Jacopo
Giorgio
Simone
Ettore
Luigi
Manuel
Damiano
Daniele
Domenico
Daniel

Archaic first names

In Italy, as elsewhere in the world, first names change over time. Many Italian first names have an ancient Roman origin, such as Giulio, Lucrezia or Camilia. With the spread of Christianity, many first names from the Bible or the lives of saints such as Maria, Giuseppe, or Giovanni became very common in Italy. Although many people have had the same first name for a long time, including brothers and sisters or cousins, Italian first names are very diverse today. Even the most popular names are actually borne by a small number of boys and girls. As in Spain and to a lesser extent in France, the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were marked by the appearance of new first names, signs of parental political commitment or more simply hope for the future: Marxino, Avvenire, Utopia… During the fascist period, the Italianization of the country notably led to the translation or transformation of numerous foreign first and last names or those from other languages, notably those of the German-speaking populations of the north of Italy.

What were the first names of your ancestors?

To obtain the list of first names mentioned in your family tree at Geneanet, click on the menu of your online tree then on “genealogical statistics”. The “first names” page will give you the complete list of your ancestors’ first names and the number of people with each of these first names in your ancestry. Geneanet Premium members also have access to illustrated statistics, including a donut diagram displaying the 10 most common first names in their family tree.

This statistics chart is from an online family tree at Geneanet.
This statistics chart is from an online family tree at Geneanet.

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