Some Italian names that start with the letter ‘M’ —such as Mario and Michelangelo— are known worldwide. The first is widely known because of the character from Nintendo’s video games; the second is famous thanks to the Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.
Some other Italian names that start with the letter ‘M’ —such as Matteo and Massimo— are rarely encountered outside the borders of Italy. This can contribute to a distinctiveness and a unique charm.
A rather large percentage of Italian girl names that start with ‘M’ are derived from the name Maria, either by adding suffixes (for example, Mariella and Marietta) or by forming compound names (for example, Mariangela, Marialuisa, and Mariarosa)
The distinctively Italian spelling of some names on this list can be better understood in light of the fact that the traditional Italian alphabet consists of 21 letters, with the letters J, K, W, X, and Y being absent.
For instance, the Latin word “maximus” (which means “the greatest”) is the origin of the Italian name Massimo as well as the French name Maxime. The French form of the name has preserved the letter ‘x’ from the Latin word, whereas the Italian form of the name has lost it.
Several other Italian names that begin with the letter ‘M’ distinguish themselves through their spelling from their French counterparts.
The Italian name Maurizio has the same Latin origin as the French name Maurice. Similarly, the name Marziale in Italian and the name Martial in French also share the same Latin origin.
In these two cases, the Italian spelling of the name has the letter ‘z’ whereas the French spelling has the letter ‘c’ or ‘t’.
This pattern can be observed not just in some names, but also in some vocabulary words.
Looking at the most common Italian words, one notices several Italian words containing the letter ‘z’ where the corresponding French and English words contain the letter ‘c’. For example “silenzio” (silence), “presenza” (presence), and “differenza” (difference).
The attractiveness of a name can be enhanced when it is associated with a respected historical figure or public personality.
In the case of Italian names that begin with ‘M’, these famous namesakes include the Renaissance artist Michelangelo, who painted the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and sculpted the marble statue of David.
In addition, Marco Polo —the Venetian explorer and merchant who sailed to Asia in the 13th century— gives the Italian name “Marco” an adventurous aura.
In more recent times, Italian actresses such as Monica Bellucci, Mariangela Melato, and Marisa Pavan have added a touch of glamour to these three Italian girl names that start with ‘M’.
|Italian artist, architect, and poet (1475–1564)
|Italian explorer and merchant (1254–1324)
|Italian actress and model (born 1964)
|Italian soprano (1935–2020)
|Italian actress (1941–2013)
|Italian actress (1932–2023)
|Italian politician who was Prime Minister of Italy
|Italian economist and politician who was president of the European Central Bank