Old Italian Names

Trying to find out the meaning of an Old Italian name? Perhaps it’s your name of that of your partner? Whatever it is you’re looking for our guide to Old Italian names gives you the interesting background information you’re looking for, along w

There is something about Italian names that makes us assume that they date far back into the medieval times. This is not entirely true because a lot of the Italian names that we hear are quite modern alterations and innovations by the Italian people. The majority of the modern names have their roots way back in time. Apart from those names that are relative to a person’s current profession or other nick names that people may keep according to some aspect of the individual’s personality, the rest have come from the distant times of Greek occupation on Italian territory. The history of the region reveals that Hebrew, Latin, Greek and even the Arabic language has had an influence on Italian names.

Origin of Old Italian Names

This is not to say that all Italian names are equivalent to Latin or Greek ancient ones because over the years much of the spellings and pronunciations of Italian names has changed. The oldest Italian names are those that have Christianity as their source of origin. During the rule of the Romans the Church was backed by the state as it encouraged people to give their children names out of the New Testament. These could be names of biblical characters or saints that have gone down in history. Furthermore we find many such names that either celebrate the praises of the Lord or show gratitude towards the Creator. Gianni as the Italian form of John and Giacobbe as the Italian form of Jacob are some of the Old Italian names that have the New Testament as their source of origin. Names like Angelo meaning an angel or saintly messenger can also be seen to have religion as its inspiration. The same goes for the name Dino which though simple actually means “A religious official’. Giovanni is a name that shows gratitude towards God as it means God is Gracious.

Old Testament Italian Names

During the early years only the New Testament was used for deriving names of individuals. The 18th century saw the Old Testament incorporated in the list of source books for naming. This widened the archive for the Italians and hence they now had Italian versions of even older names than before. This was because the Old Testament is dated as a much earlier book than the New Testament. Although most of the characters and saints between the two books were the same the Old Testament had some names that were first unheard of by the Italian public.

All the major religions of the world tend to teach us good values, morals and ethical conduct. Religious books are supposed to be the most positive books for the governance of the human self. Hence we find many Old Italian names to be based on the ethical teachings of Christianity. Fedele as Faithful can clearly be seen as being derived out of the teachings of the religion.  As religion teaches us to think and reflect we can see the name Tancredo meaning “Of thoughtful counsel” having its roots in religion as well. You will find most of the Old Italian names to be either names of saints or religious characters along with positive teachings of religion.

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