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Italian girl names :  the top twenty Italian first names for baby girls.

Family traditions and Italian girl names : the most popular baby first names, their meaning, saint's day and naming traditions in Italy. 


Italian girl names

So you have an Italian background?

You want to carry on the Italian family traditions when it comes to naming your baby girl?

Or perhaps you just love Italy and its culture and want to introduce Italian naming traditions into your own family customs.

You've come to exactly the right place!

Italian girl names and naming traditions.

If you've ever tried to trace your Italian family tree you'll have come across a lot of relatives with the same names. That's because naming traditions have followed a clear pattern down through the generations. 

That pattern applies to both Italian boy names and names for baby girls.

For girls, this is how Italian family traditions of choosing names works :

  • The first girl is named after her father's mother;
  • The second girl is named after her mother's mother;
  • Any other girl can be named after her parents, aunts, a close friend or the saint's day on which she was born.

It doesn't always work that way though. If the first-born child is a girl, she may well be given the female version of her paternal grandfather's name to show respect for him : Antonia for Antonio; Angela for Angelo; Giuseppina for Giuseppe.

And we know of one family whose parents were so crazy about opera that they named all their children after characters from their favourite opera. So don't rely on these naming traditions if you're trying to trace your family tree!

Italian first names and the saint's day.

Most of the Italian girl names that go back for generations will have their origins in religion and, specifically, in saints of the Roman Catholic Church.

Originally that name will have been given to celebrate the patron saint of the parents' village, or the saint of the day on which the person was born.

An individual's 'saint's day', or 'onomastico', is one of the Italian family traditions that's still upheld in some parts of Italy, particularly in the south of the country.

It's a bit like having a second birthday : cards may be sent, sweets given, an Italian cake made, or at the very least your mother or aunt will telephone to wish you a happy 'name day'.

Those who have names which don't have a specific name day celebrate on November 1st - All Saints' Day.

So why not adopt this naming tradition in your own family? Find out when your family's name days are and use our free interactive e-cards to send them a greeting.

Italian girl names.

Here are the twenty most popular Italian first names for baby girls.

To help you, we've also included each name's meaning, the English equivalent where there is one, and the date of their 'onomastico'.

Name
Meaning
Equivalent
Name day
Maria
Much-beloved
Maria / Mary
Septmber 12th
Anna
Graceful
Ann(e)
July 26th
Giuseppina
God-given daughter
Josephine
March 19th
Rosa
Rose
Rose(mary)
August 23rd
Angela
Messenger of god
Angela
Easter Monday
Giovanna
Gracious
Joan
May 30th
Teresa
Huntress
Theresa
October 15th
Lucia
Light
Lucy
December 13th
Carmela
Divine garden
Carmel
July 17th
Caterina
Pure
Catherine
April 29th
Francesca
Free
Frances
March 9th
Anna Maria
Graceful much beloved
Ann-Marie
June 9th
Antonietta
First-born
Antoinette
February 28th
Giulia / Giulietta
Youthful
Julie / Julia
May 21st
Elena
Moonlight
Helen
August 18th
Concetta
Conceived
No equivalent
December 8th
Laura
Honour
Laura
October 19th
Margherita
Pearl
Margaret
February 22nd
Chiara
Luminous
Cla(i)re
August 11th
Paola
Modest
Paula
January 26th


Italian names for baby boys

Want to learn to speak Italian? Here's a good place to start.

 

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