Name GIOVANNI and variations

It was the third name for distribution in Italy in the 20th century, after Giuseppe and Antonio, probably the first in the world, with all its variants. The listings collected from the white pages for Italy are based on the online phone directory for the years 2000-2005.
The listings collected from the white pages for Italy are based on the online phone directory for the years 2000-2005.


The name derives from the Hebrew Yehochanan, consisting of "yeho" (or Yah), short for Yahweh, the proper name of God in the Jewish tradition, always appointed by the tetragrammaton (YHWH), and "Chanan" which means "he had mercy (or grace)". The literal meaning would be "God had mercy (or grace)" or "Gift of God". The English name Hank, originally derived by John (because of the medieval diminutive Hankin) is now used as a diminutive of Henry. In the past it was often given to a long-awaited son, born when the parents had already lost hope of being welcomed by the birth of a child.

Patronimic surnames

Di Giovanni and compounds; Ianni, Nanni.


  • Gianni, Giannetto, Giannino, Giovannino, Ioanni, Ianni, Nanni
  • Compounds with Giovanni: Giovanbattista, Giovacchino, Giovanmaria
  • Compounds with Gianni: Gianpaolo, Gianandrea, Gianantonio, Gianbattista, Gianbruno, Giancarlo, Giandomenico, Giandonato, Gianfilippo, Gianfranco, Giangaetano, Gianlorenzo, Gianluca, Gianluigi, Gianpasquale, Gianpiero, Gianmarco, Gianmario, Gianmatteo, Gianmauro, Gianvito.
  • Nanni, Vanni, Nino, Zani, Ivano
  • Dialect forms - in Veneto Nane, Xani, Joàni; In Liguria and Lombardy Giuan, Giuanin, Gioan: in Naples Giuann, in friulan Jùan, and Sardinian Giuànni.

In other languages

  • Czech: Jan, Honza Jana
  • Danish: Hans, Jens, Jan
  • Dutch: Han, Hannes, Hans
  • English: John, Johnny, Jack; Joan, Joanna, Joanne, Joann, JoAnn, JoAnne, Jan, Jane, Jayne, Jayna, Janet, Janice, Janis, Jean, Jeane, Jeanne, Jeannie
  • French: Jean
  • German: Hans, Hannes, Johannes, Johann, Jan
  • Greek: Ioannis, Yiannis
  • Hungarian: János
  • Irish: Seán, Eoin, Sinéad
  • Latin: Iohannes, Ioannes
  • Norwegian: Johan, Johannes
  • Portuguese: João, Ivo
  • Romanian: Ioan, Ionut, Ionel
  • Russian: Ivan
  • Spanish: Juan
  • Welsh: Evan

Name Day

Of the over 300 saints and Blessed with the name Giovanni, the two most famous are St. John the Baptist (24 June and 28 August, birth and death respectively) and St John the Apostle (27 December).

Patron Saint

St John the Baptist is celebrated as patron of Firenze, Torino, Genova on 24 June. He is also the patron saint of blacksmiths, hoteliers, musicians, knife-makers, tailors and sweeps. According to tradition, he is prayed to stop hail, to cure epilepsy, convulsions and spasms. The painting below represents St. John the Baptist by Andrea Mantegna, and is in the National Gallery, London.
St john

Alphabetical Index

 Ab  ] [  An  ] [  B  ] [  C  ] [  Da  ] [  De  ] [  Dia  ] [  Din  ] [  Do  ] [  E  ] [  F  ] [  G  ] [  I  ] [  J  ] [  L  ] [  M  ] [  N  ] [  O  ] [  P  ] [  Q  ] [  R  ] [  S  ] [  T  ] [  U  ] [  V  ] [  Z  ]
ItalyHeritage on Facebook
Family History
Genealogy ResearchNeed help in your research?
Contact us with details of your ancestor and priorities.