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Italian names that start with the letter 'E'

Enzo, Enrico, Emilio, and Eraldo are just a sample of the many Italian names that start with the letter ‘E’. Plenty more are covered below.

Some names that don’t start with ‘E’ in their original ancient Greek or Germanic form have Italian versions that do begin with ‘E’ (we’ll see many examples below); this contributes to the large number of Italian names that start with this vowel.

Italian girl names that start with 'E'

Notes

Elettra is the Italian spelling of Electra, the name of a character in two Ancient Greek tragedies, one by Sophocles and the other by Euripides.

Ersilia is the Italian version of the Latin name Hersilia, which, in some accounts of Ancient Roman mythology, belongs to the wife of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome. According to the legend, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were nursed by a she-wolf after being abandoned as infants.

Italian boy names that start with 'E'

From ‘H’ to ‘E’

The Italian name Enrico corresponds to the English name Henry. This may not be entirely obvious because they start with different letters. The initial ‘H’ is also absent from the Spanish version, Enrique.

Enrico is one of many Italian names where the initial ‘H’ has been dropped, resulting in names that start with the letter ‘E’. Another example is Ermanno, the Italian equivalent of the name Herman.

Enrico and Ermanno are both Italian names of Germanic origin. This pattern of dropping the initial ‘H’ also occurs in names of Greek origin: for instance, Elio comes from Helios, the Greek god of the Sun, and Ettore comes from Hector.

Ermete and Ermes are Italian versions of the name Hermes (in ancient Greek mythology, Hermes is the son of Zeus). Ercole, the Italian form of Hercules and Heracles, also starts with an ‘E’ because the initial ‘H’ has disappeared as the name transitioned from Ancient Greek to Italian.

These spelling changes in Italian names parallel those of Ancient Greek words that lost their initial ‘H’ in Italian. Examples of such words include “ipotesi” (hypothesis), “armonia” (harmony), “emisfero” (hemisphere), and “omonimo” (homonym).

The Latin ‘AE’ simplified to ‘E’ in Italian names

Some Italian names that start with ‘E’ are simplifications of Ancient Roman names spelled with the letter combination ‘AE’. That Latin diphthong usually becomes a single vowel in Italian.

Enea, for example, is an Italian name that comes from Aeneas, the Latin name of a Trojan hero in Greco-Roman mythology whose story appears in The Aeneid, an epic poem by the Roman author Virgil.

Egidio (from the Latin Aegidius) and Emilio (from the Latin Aemilius) are two other Italian names where the initial Latin diphthong ‘ae’ has evolved into an ‘e’.

In addition to names, many vocabulary words display this linguistic pattern. The Latin word “aedificium” (which refers to a building) becomes “edificio” in Italian. And the Latin word “aeternus” (which means “eternal”) becomes “eterno” in Italian.

From the Greek root “eu-” (meaning “well”)

Some Italian names start with ‘E’ because they begin with the same Greek root “eu-” (meaning “well”) as found in the English words “euphoria” and “euphemism”. This group includes names such as Eugenio (and Eugenia, its female form), Eustachio, and Eusebio.

Famous people with Italian names that begin with ‘E’

A famous namesake can be a source of inspiration and provide a name with additional appeal. In the table below are some examples of famous individuals with Italian first names that begin with ‘E’.

Name Occupation
Ennio Morricone Italian composer
Eros Ramazzotti Italian musician
Enzo Ferrari Founder of the Ferrari automobile brand
Emilio Salgari Italian writer
Ermanno Olmi Italian film director and screenwriter. His 1978 movie The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L'Albero degli zoccoli) won the highest award (The Palme d’Or) at the Cannes Film Festival.
Enrico Fermi Italian-American physicist
Elsa Schiaparelli Italian fashion designer
Ettore Bugatti Founder of the Bugatti automobile brand
Ermenegildo Zegna Founder of the Ermenegildo Zegna fashion brand

By the way, if you like Italian names, why not learn the language? Start learning Italian with a free lesson.