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Italian names that start with the letter 'N'

You might already have heard of some Italian names that begin with the letter ‘N.’

If, for instance, you know the English adjective “Machiavellian” (that describes scheming and unscrupulous methods), you might also know that this word originates from the name of Niccolò Machiavelli. Born in Florence during the 15th century, he is the author of The Prince,” a political treatise that advocates cunning political maneuvers.

More poetic than Machiavelli, but with the same first name, is Niccolò Paganini, a well-known Italian violinist and composer from the late 18th and early 19th century.

Niccolò (sometimes spelled Nicolò) is the Italian version of the English Nicholas (both originate from Ancient Greek). Alongside Niccolò, several other Italian names start with ‘N.’ Let’s have a look at them now.

Italian girl names that start with 'N'

Italian female names that start with ‘N’ include a group of three related names: Nicoletta, Nicolina, and Nicla. These have the same Ancient Greek origin as the name Nicholas used in English.

Nives is an Italian name that shares the same Latin origin as the Italian word for “snow” (which is “neve”).

Several Italian female names that start with ‘N’ arose as shortened forms of names that begin with other letters. This is the case of Norina, Nella, and Nunzia.

Norina (and Nora) arose as shortened forms of other names, such as Eleonora. Nella originated as a shortened form of names like Antonella and Brunella. Nunzia is derived from the longer name Annunzia.

Italian boy names that start with 'N'

Nino and Nello

Some Italian male names that start with ‘N’ are shortened forms of names that begin with other letters.

Nino, for instance, arose as a short form of names ending with “-nino” like Lucianino and Antonino (an endearing diminutive of Antonio). Interestingly, it resembles the Spanish word “niño” (which means “boy”), but the corresponding Italian word is “ragazzo.”

In the same way, the name Nello arose as a shorter form of names like Brunello, Lionello, and Antonello.

Nedo and Nerio may also have originated as a short form of other names, but their origin is less clear.

Nicolò, Nicolino, and Nicodemo

Nicolò and Nicolino are Italian names that correspond to the English name Nicholas. They come from an Ancient Greek name that combines the words “victory” and “people,” and because the Greek word for “victory” starts with an ‘N’ sound, they do so as well.

Nicola is a variant of the name Nicolò, which resembles the French form Nicolas. Although it ends in “-a,” it is a male name. Another variant is the name spelled as Niccolò.

Nicolò (and its variant Nicola) appear in compound names Nicolangelo and Nicolantonio.

The name Nicodemo has a similar origin. It combines the same Ancient Greek word meaning “victory” with a different Greek word meaning “people.”

Natale, Nunzio, Nazzareno, and Nazario

Natale (and its variant Natalino) are names derived from the Latin expression “dies natalis” which means “birthday.” The corresponding French name is Noël.

The name Nunzio is identical (except for the initial capital letter) to the Italian word “nunzio” which means “messenger”. Nunzio is the male form of the name Nunzia, itself a shortened form of the female name Annunziata.

Nazzareno and Nazario are Italian names connected to Christianity, as they are derived from Nazareth, a city famous for being the hometown of Jesus.

Famous people with Italian names that begin with ‘N’

A famous namesake can make a name more attractive and provide a source of inspiration.

In the case of Italian names that start with ‘N’, famous people with such names include several film directors (Nanni Moretti, Nino Manfredi, and Nello Rossati) as well as several musicians (Niccolò Paganini, Nino Rota, and Nello Santi).

Individual Occupation
Niccolò Machiavelli Italian statesman and author of “The Prince” (the English adjective Machiavellian originates from his name)
Niccolò Paganini Italian violin player and composer
Nino Rota Italian composer who made the music for several movies directed by Fellini and Visconti, as well as some of the music of the Godfather trilogy directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Nicoletta Braschi Italian actress
Nello Rossati Italian film director
Nino Cerruti Founder of the Cerruti fashion brand
Nello Santi Italian conductor who performed at the Zürich Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera in New York
Nanni Moretti Italian film director whose movie “The Son's Room” (La stanza del figlio) won the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival
Nino Manfredi Italian actor and director whose movie “Between Miracles” (Per grazia ricevuta) won the Best First Work award at the Cannes Film Festival