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Maltese baby names

Reading out the attendance in a primary school nowadays has become a very interesting exercise. Many parents in Malta take pride in naming their son or daughter a name which is not common. We tend to find names from all over the world and then choose a slight variation in the spelling or pronunciation to make sure that the name is different from others. Some parents even create their own baby name by coining two different names. It is also interesting to note that the request for Maltese baby names has grown over the years. But the question that arises is, do we really have names that are purely Maltese?

When we think of Maltese names, we think of names like Peppi, Rita, Karmena, Ganni, Wigi and Kola. But strictly speaking, these names are just the abbreviations of the proper name that our ancestors were baptised with.

If one had to take a look at an old registry of Maltese persons, most of the names that one would find would be Italian names the likes of Giuseppe, Carmela, Giovanni, Nikola, and Luigi, amongst others. These names would then be shortened to a simpler version for everyday use. At the times of the Second World War, most babies were given English names. This was probably de to Malta being an English colony. Common names at that time were Carmen, Mary, Doris, Joseph, Paul and James. In the past years, parents that came up with a 'strange' name for their child would be brought back on the right track by the parish priest before baptising the child. The priest would only baptise the child if the name corresponded with one of the saints, a pope maybe, a king or a queen, or a person from the Holy Bible. Therefore, parents tended to go for the proper Italian or English name on paper. This would then be abbreviated to something easier for everyday use. Giuseppe would become Guzeppi, Zeppi, or Peppi. Carmela would be called Karmni, Angela would become Golina or Gulina, while Luigi would be called Wigi. Emanuele would be shortened to Leli, while Mary would then be referred to as Marija.

We asked Trevor Zahra, a well known, Maltese author, for a list of Maltese names. He pointed out that most Maltese names are derived from their Italian equivalent.

So while keeping in mind that most of these names are the abbreviation of an Italian or an English name, here is a list of Maltese names that we compiled:

Maltese Names for Boys 

Adam
Alessandru
Alfred
Alwigi
Anglu
Anton
Arturo
Andrija
Abram
Anard
Baldassar
Benard
Bertu
Censu
Cikku
Duminku
Dwardu
DAnjel
Emmanwel
Emvin
Elija
Edwardu
Erin
Fernardu
Filippu
Fonzu
Frangisk
Fredu
Frenc
Ganni
Gorg
Govanni
Gulju
Guze
Guzeppi

Gwann
Gwanni
Giljan
Gwakkin
Gann
Guzi
Gerardu
Gabrijel
Girgor
Gori
Gavino
Grazzju
Grezzju
Indri
Indrija
Karm
Karmenu
Kalcidon
Kelinu
Konstantinu
Karistu
Konsu
Lawrenz
Luwiġi,
Lawrent,
Lażżru,
Leli,
Leonardu
Marju,
Mikiel,
Mosè,
Mawru,
Manwel
Massimiljanu
Marjanu

Mark
Nestu
Nikola
Nunzju
Ninu
Nazzarenu
Noe
Oliver
Oskar
Pawl, Pawlu, Pawlinu,
Peppi
Pietru
Piju
Patrizju
Pinu
Rokku
Rikkardu
Redent
Saver, Saverju
Spiru
Stiefnu
Salvu, Salvinu,
Tumas, Tinu, Turu,
Valent, Valentin, Valentinu, Vinċenz
Vittor
Vestru
Varist,
Wenzu
Wiġi
Wistin
Xand
Xandru,
Zakkarija
Żaren
Żaru
Zazu

 

Maltese Names for Girls 
Anna
Angela
Anjeze
Anna
Censa
Censina
Cettina
Cikka
Dolor
Duminka
Elena
Ester
Eva
Filomena
Ganna
Gerit
Gejta
Gizimina
Gjacinta
Goma

Gulina
Guza
Guzeppina
Grazzja
Grezzja
Hilda
Karmena
Karmni
Katerina/Katerin
Kelina
Koncetta
Konsa
Liena
Lini
Lela
Leonarda
Lola
Lonza
Lora
Lorenza

Marija
Mari
Margerita
Nina
Pawla
Pawlina
Pietra
Pina
Pompea
Regina
Rita
Rozarja
Salvina
Sofija
Spira
Stella
Tereza
Vittorja
Vitorina
Vitor
Wena
Zeza

 

Are you thinking of another Maltese baby name, and it is not listed here? Send it on info@babiesmalta.com

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