Looking for baby naming inspiration? Many English names have their origin in Latin, which continues to be a popular source of names for Italians…
Traditionally, children are named after their grandparents, choosing from the paternal side for the first and then, from the mother’s side of the family. The naming custom is as follows:
Any subsequent children are named either after their parents, aunts, uncles, a relative or a saint. In case the birth occurs on the day of a major holy festival or on the day of an important saint, then the child will get the name of the saint or the occasion. Often parents will name their children after the patron saint of the village or a saint that they have a special connection with.
Most of the names that go back several generations have their origins in the holy calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Certain names reflect the region where they came from. For instance, Romulus is a typical name for the Rome area. Each Italian name that originates from holy figures has one day in the year as its ‘name day’. This is an occasion that is celebrated as a kind of second birthday with the person receiving a cake, wine and gifts. Any saints and their names that don’t feature in the Calendar, have their celebration on the 1st of November; All Saints’ Day.
Current trends in Italian names reflect popular culture and naming after major football stars and entertainment personalities is becoming an increasingly common practice.