This is a slightly revised re-run of a post I wrote for Nameberry. In case you missed the first go around:
You don’t have to be Italian to fawn all over Isabella.
She’s lyrical, historical, even practical with nicknames Bella and Izzy at the ready. It’s no surprise she and cohorts Olivia and Sophia would be storming up the charts, now assuming spots 1, 3, and 4.
Let’s take a look what people are choosing in New Jersey– as housewife fame has evidenced, they’re heavy on Italian pride.
Top picks for the state: Adriana (#64), Adrianna (#95), Angelina (#30), Ariana (#46), Arianna (#43), Gabriella (12), Gianna (#11), Julia (#19- Giulia in Italy), Isabella (#1), Juliana (#49), Julianna (#63), Maria (#65), Natalia (#72), Olivia (#2), Sophia (#3), Valentina (#92), Victoria (#22- Vittoria in Italy)
Italian-American mothers often lament that all the good names are taken by their family and friends.
I assure you the options are vast!
If you’ll be summering with Nonna in Toscana, you may want a choice that is both well loved there and reads undeniably Italian here (rankings are from Italy in 2008): Alessia (#8), Chiara (#5), Federica (#21), Francesca (#9), Giada (#13), Giorgia (#6), Ludovica (#27), Ilaria (#25), Vittoria (#26)
Italy also has a few popular names that wouldn’t necessarily scream Bolognese sauce: Alice (#10), Anna (#11), Beatrice (#18), Elisa (#12), Emma (#14), Greta (#24), Marta (#29), Martina (#3), Matilde (#15), Nicole (#30), Noemi (#19), Sara (#4). Note Alice and Beatrice are pronounced ah-LEE-che and be-ah-TREE-che.
A triumvirate of recent Cosimas, Claudia Schiffer’s child, Sofia Coppola’s baby, and a Windsor 22nd in line to the throne, remind us that there are still other genuine Italian names to cull from the history books. Some are quite antique, but just as we have “old lady chic” here, so too do they in Italy.
I urge you to take a chance on an ancient beauty:
Should you have a boy, Armani may rank in the top 100 for males in Rhode Island, but does not come recommended as a genuinely Italian choice. ;-D