The baby name Antonella combines ancient roots with an elaborate, romantic sound.
Thanks to Christina for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.
Names like Victoria and Gabriella, Natalia and Alexandra all sound just right for our daughters.
The baby name Antonella fits right in.
It’s a feminine form of Anthony.
You might know that Anthony’s H is a late addition. English speakers adopted it because of the Greek word anthos – flower.
The name comes from Roman family name Antonius. The meaning is uncertain. Anthony’s roots are Etruscan, predating Rome.
Antonio dominates for boys in Italian, with Antonia the feminine form.
Italian names can take lots of different endings. There’s Antonina, Antonietta, and, of course, the baby name Antonella.
Italy gives us many famous women by the name.
Olympic athletes include skiier Antonella Confortola and cyclist Antonella Bellutti.
Oscar-nominated costume designer Antonella Cannarozzi might be familiar.
Actors include Antonella Costa, most famous in Argentina.
Antonella Lualdi starred in French films during the 1950s. She named her daughter Antonellina, a double diminutive.
This list barely scratches the surface of the Italian women with the name. It was a Top 100 favorite in Italy as recently as 2007, and remains in the Top 200.
However, Antonia ranks as the most popular Anthony name in Italy now.
Chilean actor Antonella Rios is famous for telenovelas in her native country. She might help explain why the name ranks in Chile’s Top Ten.
Or maybe it’s just having a moment in the Spanish-speaking world. Argentine telenovela Antonella aired in 1992. The name is heard throughout South America.
Football star Lionel Messi married Argentine native Antonella Roccuzzo.
BY the NUMBERS
Beginning in the 1960s, the baby name Antonella appeared in the US popularity data.
Of course, Antonias in Italian families might’ve been Antonella at home.
But the name’s rise tracks with so many other -ella enders. Think of Gabriella and Isabella, twenty-first century favorites.
It was first given to over 100 girls in 2007, the same year Isabella reached #2.
Antonella Barba competed on American Idol in 2007, too, therefore giving the name some exposure.
In 2016, Antonella debuted in the US Top 1000 at #768.
As of 2020, the baby name Antonella stands at #558.
For years, girls named Antonia or Antoinette became Toni for short.
But Antonella offers other options. Ella, Nell, and Nella all feel quite current.
Overall, the baby name Antonella feels romantic and elaborate. It fits with current Top Ten favorites like Olivia. In addition, we all know how much Ella appeals!
It also retains a strongly Italian style. Like Francesca or Gianna, Antonella works for families of any background. But it might be especially fitting for parents seeking to honor Italian roots, or express their love for the country.
The baby name Antonella might honor an Anthony. Of course, it might reinvent another Anthony name, too.
What do you think of the baby name Antonella?
First published on June 1, 2011, this post was revised and re-posted on December, 2021.
My name is Antonella and I’ve never been called Toni in my 26 years of life, my nickname has always been Anto
I don’t know. I think America is digging “ella” and “bella” endings, but somehow “nella” doesn’t sound the same to me. I think it would be more popular as Antobella, except that Antobella sounds too much like the historical period Antebellum. That said, I’ve been really loving Antonia recently. I think it would fit in with the frillies, but also give the to option of tomboy options with excellent literary connections to the Willa Cather Character, the author A.S. Byatt, and Harold Pinter’s wife (also a writer) named Antonia Fraser.
We just had a celebrity baby with the middle name Anthonette – Antonella looks very usable, especially with the uber-popular -ella suffix.
I can see this one going down a treat.
Christina Fonseca says
I had to look that one up – sharing the definition for other Americans that will wonder what “go down a treat” means:
if something goes down a treat, people like it very much
Oops, I didn’t realise it was so incomprehensible! Thanks for helping out Christina!!! 🙂
Anthonette … hmmm, no. I really don’t know what to do with that one. But hey, in the middle spot, I think almost anything goes.
It sounds better than it looks – ANN-ton-et, pretty much like Antoinette but less Frenchy.
I’ve often said, I wish Antonella or Antonina were my “real” name instead of just Toni. They have such feminine flair compared to my given name that sounds better on a male mechanic than it does on a girl. I haven’t liked my name since I was old enough to realize it is a “boy’s name” and I’m glad other options are popping up into American usage.
Ugh. I hate all forms of Anthony–feminine or masculine. Also, Antonella makes me think of spiders, probably because it rhymes and shares an N and a T with tarantella, the dance.
An old neighbor of mine has a daughter named Antonella. I’ve never heard her parent’s call her anything but her full name, which is a pity because I love the nickname Nella. Antonella is a lot of name, but the nickname possibilities could make it feasible.
I don’t love Antonella (Antonia is my favorite form of Anthony) but I would be pleased to meet another.
Antonia has really been growing on me lately, and Antonella too– I love the nickname options of Nell/Nella and Annie. The only reservation I have is that it seems too much like a diminutive, with the frilly -ella ending. Antonia seems stronger and more lasting. But I’d love to see a little Antonella!
Lady Gwyn says
I think Antonella is loverly! I like Antonia, too. I hope Antonella doesn’t get too popular, though, I would hate to have it go the way of Isabella and Sophia!
Sarah A says
Antonella is very pretty to say, but my favorite feminine version of Anthony is still Antonia. I’m quite surprised that she’s not in the Top 1000, though I think if more parents are turning from Isabella to Anabella then Antonella really shouldn’t be far behind.
I love this name! Reminds me of an amusing story: some boys I know were discussing getting into a women’s conference by dressing up as girls, and were therefore working out what names they’d go by. I suggested to a boy called Anthony that he could be Antonia. He turned around and said ‘Oh no, that’s not pretty enough. I want to be Antonella…’
I think this name is so gorgeous! I would definitely use this one!
Christina Fonseca says
I love Antonella and agree with Lola that “she’s so much fun to say”. It is precisely her -ella ending that makes it hard for me to believe that she still hasn’t made it into the Top 1000. I think she would make a great substitute for my formerly beloved Isabella.
Antonella’s pretty but I prefer the frillier Antonina. Mostly because I prefer Nina to Nell/Nellie as a nickname.
But Antonella’s very, very pretty and I’m sure if more people were exposed to her, she’d rise precipitiously. Antonella’s rich, melodic and just so much fun to say! 😀 Lovely Antonella!
Such a pretty name. Of the feminine versions of Anthony, Antonia remains my favorite, but I can see the appeal for the frillier Antonella. I would love to hear it on a child.