Italian Naming Traditions
According to Italian Genealogy, in Italy, the first-born son is usually named after his father’s father or his paternal grandfather, while the next son is named after their maternal grandmother. Naming kids after their parents, uncles, and other relatives is also common.
Another cool thing about Italian first names is how common it is for men to have names ending in the letter “a”. While many countries consider names ending in “a” as feminine names and names ending in “o” as masculine names in Italy, the rule is more flexible. Other male names that end in “a” include Mattia, Tobia, Nicola, and Luca.
The Most Popular Italian Boy Names
According to Istituto Nazionale di Statistica, these were the most popular Italian baby boy names in 2017. Here are their origins, pronunciations, and meanings.
Names Beginning With A
Meaning: “Defender of men”
Famous Namesakes: Football Alessandro Matri who plays for Juventus Football Club and the Italian national team.
Famous Namesakes: Famed pianist and tenor Andrea Bocelli.
Names Beginning With D
Famous Namesakes: Mexican actor Diego Luna.
Famous Namesakes: English Football player David Beckham.
Names Beginning With E
Meaning: God is with us.
Famous Namesakes: Immanuel Kant was a famous German philosopher.
Meaning: God has answered.
Famous Namesakes: Elio is the name of the lead character in the book Call Me By Your Name.
Names Beginning With F
Nicknames: Franco, Chesco
Famous Namesakes: St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis
Meaning: “Peaceful ruler”
Famous Namesakes: Filmmaker Federico Fellini.
Names Beginning With G
Meaning: “God is my strength”
Nicknames: Gabi, Gab
Famous Namesakes: Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who is often considered the father of magical realism.
Famous Namesakes: Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani.
Meaning: “He will add”
Nickname: Gio, Sep
Famous Namesakes: Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.
Names Beginning With L
Famous Namesakes: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio
Meaning: Derived from “laurel”
Famous Namesakes: Italian footballer and former AC Milan goalkeeper Lorenzo Buffon.
Names Beginning With M
Meaning: “Gift of God”
Famous Namesakes: Italian producer and husband to Brigitte Nielsen Mattia Dessi.
Meaning: “Gift of God”
Famous Namesakes: Italian football player Matteo Ferrari.
Names Beginning With S
Nicknames: Sasa, Tore
Famous Namesakes: Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali.
Meaning: “Heard of God”
Famous Namesakes: American actor Samuel L. Jackson (yes, the guy who plays Nick Fury).
Names Beginning With T
Famous Namesakes: Tommaso Campanella, a famous Italian philosopher and writer.