baby name AntonellaThe 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.


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.

baby name Antonella

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. My name is Antonella and I’ve never been called Toni in my 26 years of life, my nickname has always been Anto

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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

      1. Oops, I didn’t realise it was so incomprehensible! Thanks for helping out Christina!!! 🙂

    2. 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.

      1. It sounds better than it looks – ANN-ton-et, pretty much like Antoinette but less Frenchy.

  4. 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.