The Name Game

23 Sep


When the Italian and I were choosing a name for Bambina, it was easy. I had always loved her name and luckily it was a perfect match for an English / Italian mix. We have an unusual Italian surname so finding a first name to match that could also have proven a task.

Now that the new addition is on the way, we are faced with the same challenge – what do we call it?? Will il Nonni be able to pronounce it if it’s an English name? How will it sound spoken with a Liverpudlian accent if it’s an Italian name?

I started in my quest a few evenings ago by googling the most popular Italian baby names of 2011 and 2012. The problem with Italian names is, well, they’re Italian and some of them sound completely ridiculous in English.  I just can’t imagine myself screaming across a busy playground, ‘Giuseppe, come on, we’re going home for our dinner now, get off that swing!”.

If you’re English and you’re male, with an Italian sounding name, it can tend to sound a bit cheesy.  I mean, there’s Gianni which conjures up images of a teenage, grease-backed hair Lothario that chats up anything in a skirt. Then, there’s Enzo, he could work in the local pizzeria – it makes me think of red and white checked table clothes.  What about Adolfo? No? Ok, me neither.

Whilst there are a few obvious Italian sounding choices, the ladies names aren’t much better to be frank.  The Italian likes the name Elisabetta (Elizabeth) which, said with an Italian accent sounds beautiful.  However, said in a Liverpudlian accent… sounds wrong! Then there’s Donnatella which conjures up female ninja turtle.

As you can see we are at a loss for both camps.  So this is where I urge you to provide advice! Do you know any European sounding names for a girl or a boy who might be a consideration? Think of your family and friends, celebrities etc, do they have Italian names that I may not think hideous? C’mon, the child’s life and school yard taunts depend on it!



Posted by on September 23, 2012 in London


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11 responses to “The Name Game

  1. farfromhomemama

    September 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Marco, Luca and Matteo seem to be quite popular here and can be said with an English accent without sounding terrible. Alessia or Anna may work for a girl in both countries. I work with a lady called Valentina which I wouldn’t choose myself but like very much. I don’t think Titinella would cross the boarders very well though 😉

    • Tea&Biscotti

      September 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Haha Titinella, that’s going top of the list! Valentina is actually one if our choices but I agree, it’s a lovely name on other people, not sure I can see a daughter of mine called it.
      I like Luca too and do prefer names that can’t be shortened. Thanks for the input! :-)) x

  2. farfromhomemama

    September 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Oh, and my uncle is called Costanzo and my cousins Gennaro, Dario and Alessandro – not sure you want to look to my family for advice really 🙂

  3. Sixtine and The Little Things

    September 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Good luck! We are also struggling to find a name for our second baby. Being a Franco-Canadian English family, it has proven somewhat challenging. We want a very unique name but it has to be easily pronounced in both languages.

    I have an Italian friend who has three boys: Kenzo, Sasha and David. I also know an Italian girl whose name is Alessandra: always loved that name!

  4. Renze Kramer

    September 24, 2012 at 8:19 am

    How about:
    Bambina: Paula
    Bambino: Adriano

    • Tea&Biscotti

      September 24, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Thanks for the input. I once had a boyfriend who cheated in me with a girl called Paula, so, no can do! 🙂
      Adrian’s is a good choice tho.. x

  5. dutchgoesitalian

    September 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Boy: Luca or Alessio
    Girl: Isabella (Isa) or Carolina
    Good luck!!

    • Tea&Biscotti

      September 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Alessio? Now that’s unusual.. I like it 🙂 Isabella is on our list too.. x

      • dutchgoesitalian

        September 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

        I find it a beautiful name… 🙂
        Well, once you have a name, please share it with us…I’m curious now 😉

      • Tea&Biscotti

        September 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        Ooh you’ll have to wait another few months yet 😉

      • dutchgoesitalian

        September 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

        no problem…I’ll be patient 😉


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