Italian Names Meanings

Looking for the meaning of common Italian names? Want to know what your own family name means? Whatever it is, our guide to the meanings of Italian names provides you with useful facts & information you want to know.

Along with having beautiful rhythmic tones to them Italian names have some very profound meanings if uncovered. Italian names usually consist of a nome and a cognome which in everyday language means a given name and a surname. They are written in pretty much the same order as we find in other countries. Many people tend to think that Italian names are the same as the ancient Latin ones. Although they do have Latin and Hebrew as their source language Italian names differ in the way they are written and pronounced.  The meanings however may have been inherited down the line from these ancient civilizations.

Biblical Italian Names & Meanings

A classic example of a name that has relevance in history is Ciro. This is a name originating from Cyrus who was the founder of the Persian Empire. Religion too has played a vital role in the names and their meanings that are found in Italy. Christianity being the religion of the time it was common to find people with names that indicated their faith in Jesus such as Cristiano which literally means follower of Christ. Dino is another religiously inclined name but comes in as sort of a title meaning a religious official. Giacobbe is the Italian version of the name Jacob meaning “held by the heel”. Similarly Gianni is the Italian form of John suggesting God is Gracious. These are names that were derived from the New Testament. Some of them were names of Prophets and others of Saints. The public was greatly encouraged to use these names during those times.

Regional Italian Names & Meanings

Some Italian names have meanings that are relevant to the circumstances of the birth of an individual. For example Primo means the first one which maybe an ideal name for a first born child. Then you have a name like Ottavio which means the eighth born. If you have such a large family then you can keep a name as such. Other names can be indicative of where the person is from. They can be as vague as Este which means from the East or Enzo meaning from the Laurel tree. You will also be able to find names that are indicative of the exact town or region that a person is coming from. Although it is most likely that such names will form the surname of an individual some people have given names like Ventio meaning from Venice.

Common Names & Meanings

Generally Italian names are believed to carry virtuous meanings. Examples of such names include Aronne meaning exalted, Ehno meaning a protector and Ilario meaning cheerful. Other Italian names will be stating a specific characteristic of the individual such as Carlo which means a free man. Then you have a name like Armando which means a man of the army and Enrico meaning industrious. There are however some nice sounding names that are derogatory in terms of meaning such as Claudio which means the lame one. Although there are many Italian names for females as well like Bella meaning beautiful and the like but with a change of a letter here and there most Italian names can be used for males and females.