Italian Dog Names

DSCN0452Looking for Italian dog names? Here’s a list of hundreds in alphabetical order and help with pronunciation. Maybe you will find something to suit your Italian greyhound or Lagotto Romagnolo or Neapolitan Mastiff – even your little Volpino!

Even if your dog isn’t from one of the 16 recognised Italian dog breeds, I’m sure you’ll find something here to suit him or her.

Apparently we’ll use our dog’s name over 30,000 times in its life, so it makes sense to choose a good one!

Italian favourites

From personal experience dog names in Italy can tend to be a little unimaginative, with the same names being used over and over!

Favourites are Lupo for an alsation type dog (lupo means wolf),  Lassie (pronounced Lessie as for some strange reason Italians often change the /a/ sound in English words to an /e/) and Whisky pronounced weeskee!

Fashion names are popular, so you could go for Versace or Valentino or even Dolce and Gabbana for twin pups.

Italians also tend to use a lot of English names for their pets, albeit with Italian pronunciation!

Male or Female?

If you remember the basic rule that if it ends with an ‘a’ it’s for a female and if it ends with an ‘o’ it’s for a male you won’t go far wrong, and unless you live in Italy no-one will know, will they?


A Aba,  Abe, Achille, Ada, Adamo, Ade, Ado, Adolfo, Agar, Agata, Ago, Alaska, Alan, Alba, Alberto, Alcatraz, Alco , Alfredo, Aika, Alfa, Alice (pronounced a-LEE-chay), Amadeus, Amata, Amato, Ambra, Amanda, Amelia, America Amedeo, Amigo, Amor,  Anita, Andromeda, Apollo, Arianna, Arancione, Argo, Arlena, Arlette, Arturo, Arminia, , Artù Asia, Asterisco,  Asso, Astro, Atena, Atos, Attila, Aurora, Azzurra.

B Baffy (baffi is a moustache so nice for a bearded or hairy dog!), Baffo Baldo, Bambola, Banko, Baronessa, Barbina, Bamia ,Baramia, Barica, Bartolomeo, Battista, Bea, Bebo, Beetowen (Italian for Beethoven!) Bella, Beniamino, Benito, Benny, Beta, Bernie, Beatrice Betta, Bernice (pronounced bern – nee- chay), Burmilla, Berty, Berta, Bassottina ( a little sausage dog!), Beshira,  Bernardo, Bianca, Bianchino, Bibi, Biba, Billa, Billy, Bir , Birba, Birillo, Black (pronounced bleck), Blacky (pron: Blecky), Bonduel, Bossina, Bora, Briciola, Brigida, Brutus,  Briciola, Buffa,  Bubu, Bukara

C Cabò, Caffelatte,Caino, Caio, Candido, Cappuccino, Carina, Carmen, Cassandra, Casper, Castore (CAS-tor-ay), Catone, Cesare (CHEZ-ah-ray), Chago, Charity, Chicco, Christal, Cibiachin (Chee-BYAH-chin), Cico (CHEE-coh), Ciop (chop), Ciuffo (CHOO-foh), Cecilia (pronounced Cheh –CHEE –lee- yah), Cecily, Celeste (pron: che-LEH-steh), Cesare (CHEH-sah-ray), Chicco, Ciappi (pron_ chappy!) Ciccio (CHEE –Chee-oh), Cirillo, Ciro, Cissy, Cita, Cleo, Cleopatra, Cloe, Coca, Cocco, Cora, Corallo, Cordelia, Corinna, Corinne, Corrado, Cowboy, Cristoforo, Cucciolo (Italian for puppy), Cuccu (cuckoo!)

D  Dafne (DAF-neh), Dalia, Daisy, Dakota, Dalia, Dalila, Dalma Dante, Daria, Dark, Decibel (DETCH-ee-bel), Demetra, Demian, Desdemona Delia, Delizia, Demos, Den, Desdemona, Diablo, Diamante, Diana, Diba, Diomira, Dirce, Diva, Dolly, Dolores, Dora, Domenica, Donar, Dora, Doris, Dorotea, Doroteo, Drago, Dracma, Drusilla, Dulcinea, Duchessa, Duilio, Duna .

E Eclisse (eh-CLEES-eh)Eddy, Edgardo, Edith, Edmea, Edmondo, Eduardo, Edwina,  Egle, Einstein Elettra, Elettra, Elia, Elio, Ella, El Toro, Elvis, Elisabetta, Elizabeth, Elma, Eloise, Elsa Empire, Emy, Enea, Enrico, Enzo, Eolo, Erasmo, Ercole, (ER-coh-leh) Erica, Esmeralda, Ester, Ettore (EH-tor-reh), Eufemia, Eureka, Evita, Ezio.


F Fabia, Fafi, Falchetto (Fal-KET-oh), Faith, Fantàsia, Farah, Farnia, Fata, Falco, Fatima, Fatma, Febe Febo, Fedele (Feh-DEL-leh), Fedra, Fedora,Felice (feh-LEE-cheh meaning happy), Felicia (feh-LEE-chee-a), Felicita (feh-LEE-chee-ta), Fiàdor, Fiamma, Fiammetta, Fidelia,Fido, Fifi, Filomena, Fiocco, Fiore (fee-OR-eh – flower) Flora, Foglia, Follia, Fortuna, Fortunia, Fory , Fosca, Freccia , Freddy, Freya, Frida, Fufi, Furia

G Gaia (GUY- yah), Gaio, Galea, Galatea , Gaspare (GAS-pah-rey – our own beloved rescue Setter’s name – Gas for short!) Gastone (gas-TONE-eh), Gea (JAY-a), Gemma (Jemma), Gelatina (jel-a- TEEN-ah), Gelsomina (JEL-so-mee-na), Genziana (jent-see-AH-na),Geraldo, Giada (JAH-dah), Giallino (jah-LEE-no), Gianduia (Jan –DO-yah), Giano (Jee-ah-no), Gilda (Jilda), Ginestra (jin-EST-ra), Ginevra (jin-EH-vra), Giocasta (jocasta) Ginevra (Jee-NEV-ra), Gioia (JOY-ya and yes, it means ‘joy’), Giaconda (Ja-CON-da) , Giovedì (Jo-ve-DEE), Giubba (DEW-ba), Giuditta (Dew-DIT-ta), Giulietta (Julietta), Giona (jee-OH-na), Giotto (jotto), Giunone (dew NO-neh),  Gretel, Glauco (GLAU-ko), Gloria, Goffredo, Golia, Goliard, Goccia (GOH-cha – it means drop!), Grappa Greta, Gunner, Guendalina (GWEN-da-lee-na).

H (Words don’t usually begin with ‘h’ in Italian so these tend to be ‘borrowed’ names) Hannibal, Hansel, Happy, Harmony, Havana, Hawk, Heidi, Helga, Hera, Herbie, Hercules, Hero, Hidalgo, Honey, Hoshi, Historia

(Remember this tends to be pronouced ‘ee’as a first letter) Iago, Icarus, Idalia, Igea (ee-JAY-ah), Iggy, Igor, Inca, Indiana, Indy, Ingmar, Iole (ee-OH-leh), Iorio (ee-OR-ee-oh), Iride (ee-REE-deh) , Irina, Iris (EE-ris), Isa, Isabella, Isidoro, Isotta, Ivo, Ivonne, Izzi.

J (Another letter that doen’t ‘exist’ in Italian so names tend to be borrowed) Jason, Jerry, Jimmi, Jo-Jo, Joker, Jolly, Jommi, Julia, Jiulietta.

K –(Also a ‘non-Italian’ letter, although very popular in texting to substitute for hard ‘c’ ‘ke kosa? Instead of che cosa?) Kactus, Kahlua , Kala, Kaja, Kami, Kandy, Kaoke (Kah-OH-kay), Kayle, Katyusha, Katti, Kanin, Kendra, Kilian, Kim, Kimmi, Kira, Koen, Kolman

L Laika, Lalla, Lassie, Lea, Leda, Leo, Leona, Leone (lay-OH-neh), Leopoldo, Lilli, Liala, Licio (LEE –chee-oh), Lida (LEE-da), Lilith, Lilli, Lola, Lolita, Lora, Loreley, Lori, Lothar (LOW-tar)Luce (LOO-cheh, meaning ‘light’), Lucky, Luka, Luminosa, Lotte (LOH-teh), Luna, Lupo,

M Mac, Magda, Maia (our lovely mongrel’s name! pronounced Maya) Malka, Mandrake, Marcellino, Marcy, Marilyn, Marvin, Max, Madonna, Melany, Melba, Mercedes, Mery,  Minni, Mira, Mirando, Miro, Mister, Medea,  Michele (mee-KEH-leh), Micina (mee-CHEE-na), Milko, Milo, Mimosa, Mina, Mino, Moby, Mocha (Mocka), Molly, Muppy..

N Nabie, Nadena, Nairobi, Nancy, Nanni, Nano (means dwarf or small),Naomi, Natale  (Christmas!) Neda, Neera, Neri, Neo, Nera, Nessy, Nerone (neh-ROE-neh), Nicki, Niels, Nina, Ninfa, Ninja, Nives (NEE-ves), Nocciolina (notch-oh-LEE-na), Noemi, Nora, Novella.

O Oasis, Odessa, Odetta Ofelia, Olam,Olimpia, Olivia, Olli, Omar, Omega, Ombra, Omnia, Onda, Orietta, Orelia, Ozina, Onassis, Onyx, Opal, Orchidea, Orion, Orso, Ortensia, Osara, Oskar, Otello, Otto, Ottavia, Ottone (o-TOE-neh), Ovidio, Ozzi

P Pablo, Pakita, Pakita, Palla, Pallina, Pallino, Palma, Palmira, Pamela, Pamina, Pandia Pandora, Panter, Pantera Rosa  (pink panther!) Papaia (papaya), Paperino, Paperina,Papi Paris, Pazienza, Pedro, Penelope, Perceval, Perla, Pesca, Petronilla, Paperina, Pierino, Pietra, Pillola, Pinta, Pippo (if I had a euro for the number of dogs I’ve met called Pippo pronounced PEE-poh…), Piola, Pirata, Pirro, Piuma, Pietro, Pierro, Pluto, Polpetta, Polvere (POL-veh-reh – dust!), Preziosa,  Primula, Prisca, Priscilla, Prudenza, Prugna, Prunella,  Preziosa, Primo, Primula, Prisca, Priscilla, Puci (POO-chee), Pula

Q -Qantas, Qua, Quango, Quasar, Quasimodo, Queenie, Qui, Quo, Quack, Quake, Quinto, Quango, Quasar, Quasimodo, Queenie, Quirino, Quiz.


R Ramona, Raffaello, Ragu, Rambo, Red (a red setter in my local canile is called ‘Red’), Regina, Rem, Remo, Remy, Reno, Rex, Rin tin tin (Rinti for short), Ricci (REE.chee), Ricco (REE-co), Ringo, (another very popular name) Roberto, Robbi, Robilla, Rocco, Rocky, Rodolfo, Romeo, Romolo, Rosa, Ross, Roswita, Romena, Ruben, Rudy, Rossella,

S Sadie, Sami, Sandy, Santa, Sante, Scilla (SHILL-ah), Selene (seh-LEH-neh), Sem, Sergio, Shirley, Sibilla, Sidney, Sissi, Sirena, Sirja, Siro, Snoopy, Sofio, Solange, Sonny, Spice, Spidy, Spillo, Squit, Stella, Super, Susanna, Susi, Susina …

T Taboo, Taffee, Tammi, Tango, Taos, Tasha, Taxi, Tata,  Teodoro, Teodora,Tequila, Teseo, Tesoro, Testarossa (meaning ‘redhead’), Tex, Tiffany, Timothy, Titina, Tito, Titti, Tobia, Tobi, Tom, Tommi, Toni, Totem, Totò, Tris, Tutu, Trottola Tigrilla, Tina,

U Uffa, Uganda, Ugolina, Ulla, Ugo, Ugolino, Ulisse, Ullallà, Uma, Umbra, Unagi, Urania, Urban, Ursula, Utopia, Utica, Uvetta.

V Valdo, Valentine, Valentino Valentina, Valeriana, Valter,Vanessa, Vaniglia, Vampira, Van Gogh, Vanilla, Vasco, Vega, Vela, Veleno (means poison!)Velia, Venerdì, Venere (veh-neh-REH), Venezia, Venus, Vera, Verdi, Verbena, Verona, Vesta,Vicki, Victoria, Vincent, Vilma, Viola, Virgilio, Visa, Vispa , Vulcan,  Virgola (VEER-goh-la – means ‘comma’!),

W (Not in the Italian alphabet so names tend to be  borrowed or equivalents of English names eg ‘Woody’ – Wuddi)  Wabbli, Waku, Walty, Warky, Wuddy, Wally, Wally, Walter, Watson Weeky, Wendy, Welshi,  Wendy, Whiskey (WEES-kee), Wilma, William, Willi, Wolf, Wolfgang, Wolfram, Wonka

X (Not in the Italian alphabet so these are ‘borrowed’ and used mostly for their spelling as X looks cool!) The pronunciation  is like ‘z’ so Xara is Zara etc.) Xara, Xalda, Xantia,. Xanadu, Xenia, , Xeros, Xoros,

Y (Another letter not in the Italian alphabet as the sound ‘y’ tends to be made by ‘i’ plus a vowel.) Yezzy, Yira, Yuma.

Z Zaira (za-EER-a), Zacharia, Zagara, Zama, Zampa (meaning ‘paw’), Zanzibar, Zanzara, Zara, Zarina Zarah, Zagor, Zaza (Our own dear Lab’s name!), Zebra, Zecca, Zelda, Zelia, Zelinda, Zelia, Zelig, Zelinda, Zenaide, Zeno, Zepellin, Zeppo, Zeus, Zico, Zigana, Zimba, Zita, Zoe, Zombie, Zoom, zora, Zoran, Zorro, Zucca, Zucchero, Zulu, Zummo, Zuffa.

I hope you like this list of Italian dog names, and don’t forget they can be used for cats and othet pets! And you might like this post about Italian dog names.

Catfood and Dogfood Vocabulary in Italian

You can buy many familiar brands of petfood in Italy from the supermarket although the brand name pronunciation may be different. Whiskas is weezkass for example! You’ll also find some rather oddly named pet products like Alan the dog food (my husband loved that!) or Clumpy the cat litter (bit too graphic thanks!)

Some words are ‘false friends’ that is you think they will be the same in Italian and English, but they aren’t. Examples of this are ‘organic’, which isn’t ‘organico’ but ‘biologico’ and ‘preservatives’ which is ‘conservanti’. ‘Preservativi’ are condoms so be careful what you ask for!

 Here are some of the most common food and foodstuff words with stress and pronunciation in brackets. You can ask for an item by saying Vorrei (vor-RAY), Volevo (vo-LAY-voh) or mi serve (mi SER-veh) For example: vorrei una ciotola per il mio gatto(I would like a bowl for my cat.)

 Food in general for animals is mangime (man-JEE-meh) and you won’t go far wrong using that although you do also see cibo (CHEE-boh) and alimento (al-ee-MEN-toh).

 Biscuits – biscotti (bis-COTT-ee)

Bones – ossi (OH-see)

Bowl – ciotola (chee-OH-to-lah)

Chews (rawhide)  ossi in pelle di buffalo(OH-see in PEH-leh dee – BOO-fah-loh)

Chicken – pollo (POLL-oh)

Complete food – alimento completo (al-ee-MEN-toh
kom-PLET-oh)

Daily amount- razione giornaliera (rah-zee-OH-neh   jee-or-nah-lee-ER-oh)

Duck – anatra ( AN-ah-trah)

Hypo-allergenic/sensitive – sensibile (sen-SEE-bil-eh)

Kibble – croccanti (kroh-KAN-tee)

Meal – pasto ( PAH-stoh)

Meat – carne (KAR-neh)

Minerals – minerali (min-eh-RAH-lee)

Natural ingredients – ingredienti naturali (in-GRED-ee-en-tee  Nah-too-RAH-lee)

No colourings – senza coloranti (SENZ-ah  ko-lo-RAN-tee)

No preservatives – senza conservanti (SENZ-ah  kon-ser-VAN-tee)

Organic – biologico/a (bee-oh-LODGE-ee-koh/kah)

Per day – al giorno (al – JEE-orno)

Sack- sacco (SAH-koh)

Sachet – busta (BOOS-tah)

Snack/treat – piccolo spuntino (PICK-oh-loh spun-TEE-noh) ricompensa (ree-kom-PEN-sah)

Tasty – gustoso/a (goos-TOE-zoh/zah)

Tin – lattina (lah-TEEN-ah)

Venison – cervo (CHER-voh)

Vitaminsvitamine (vit-ah-MEE-neh)

If you want to know the Italian words for cats, dogs and so on click here.

Cat and Dog Vocabulary

some of my animals in italy

La mia canina Maia con quatto gattini

 I’ve put some common dog and cat related words in Italian with phonetic pronunciation. The capital letters are the stress of the word.

 If you are at the vet’s and are not sure of the ailment try the English medical name as a lot of the scientific terms are similar in Italian and English. For example

uterus – utero, cardiac – cardio diabetes – diabete and so on. If you are unsure of the pronunciation, write the word down for your vet.

 

Names of breeds are more or less the same, but with Italian pronunciation! Here is an example from a genuine advert with the Italian authors attempt at spelling an English word: West Thailand wait terrier” (Say it out loud!)

 

Pet/Pets – animale domestico (ani-MAH-leh do-MES-tik-oh) animali domestici (ani-MAH-lee do-MES-ti-chee)

Owner – proprietario/a (pro-pree-eh-TAR-ee-oh/ah)

Dog/Dogs – cane (KAH-neh)  cani (KAH-nee)

Puppy /puppies – cucciolo (KOO-chee-oh-loh) cuccioli (KOO-chee-oh-lee)

Cat /cats – gatto (GAH-to) gatti (GAH-tee)

Kitten/kittens – gattino (gah-TEEN-oh) gattini (gah-TEEN-ee)

Male – maschio (MAH-skee-oh)

Female – femmina (FEH-min-ah)

Vaccinated – vaccinato/a (vah-chi-NAH-toh/ah)

Tattooed – tatuato/a (tah-TOO-ah-toh/ah)

Wormed – sverminato/a (sver-min-AH-toh/ah)

Paw / paws – zampa (ZAM-pah) zampe (ZAM-peh)

Whiskers/moustache – baffi (BAH –fee)

Tail – coda (KOH-dah)

Leg /legs – gamba (GAM-bah) gambe (GAM-beh)

Mongrel – Meticcio/a  (meh-TICH-ee-oh/ah) (you’ll also hear bastardino a an acceptable term)

Pedigree – pedigree (‘con pedigree’ – with pedigree documents) or cane di razza – cah-nay di RAZ-zah)

Cross – incrocio/a (in-KRO-chee-oh/ah) For example “incrocio Yorkshire terrier e chihuahua

Spayed/neutered – sterilizzato/a (steh-rah –lee-ZA-toh/ah).

Microchip – microchip (MEE-croh-cheep)

Breed – razza (RATS-ah)

Large – taglia grande (TAH-lee-ah GRAN-deh) (OK, the gl sound is hard so I’ve copped out here!)

Medium – taglia media (TAH-lee-ah MEH-dee-ah)

Small – taglia piccola (TAH-lee-ah PEE-coh.lah)

Beautiful – bello/a (BEH-ll-oh/ah)

Well behaved/good – Buono/a (BWON-oh/ah)

Short haired – pelo raso (PAY-loh RAH-zoh)

Long haired – pelo lungo (PAY-loh- LOON-goh)

Toy breed – nano/a (NAH-noh/ah)

Animal lover – amante animali (ah-MAN-teh  an-ee-MAH-lee) animalista (ah-ni-mah-LEE-sta)

Help! My Cat Needs a Hill and My Dog’s Chasing a Hormone.

Porcupine

An Italian Porcupine

Sooner or later your love of pets will lead to your having to speak Italian. You might want to buy food, explain something to the vet or just wax lyrical about how marvellous your cat or dog is to your Italian neighbour.  When you’re learning a new language mistakes are inevitable and don’t think that becoming more fluent eliminates the howlers.

 I speak passably good Italian, in fact, I’ve worked as a translator and even sold advertising in Italian on the phone for God’s sake. But last week while in the pet shop I noticed the face of the friendly assistant rearranging itself into an all-too- familiar expression – extreme politeness just failing to mask the urge to laugh.

“OK, what did I say?” I asked. I fess up instantly these days.

“No, no” she assured me, smirking. “Niente.”

I mentally ran back through my lengthy monologue on my beloved crow Merlina. I knew all the vocabulary. And then the penny dropped. Hooded crow is a relatively new word for me and it is, in case you ever need to know, cornacchia (kor-NACK-ee-ah). Sadly, that is not what I had just said. Oh no. I had said cantuccio. A lot. And cantuccio has nothing to do with crows or even birds. It is a hard dessert biscuit. I had explained how I had rescued a biscuit, how my biscuit now lived in an aviary I had built myself in the garden and how I was here looking for a toy for my biscuit as I was worried it was bored.  

ANIMAL CRACKERS

When we first moved to Umbria my mistakes were frequent and nearly always involved animals. Having tried to buy a packet of lambs (agnelli) instead of curtain rings (anelli)  in the local hardware store I was off to a good start.

Another day, I told the man in the farm accessories shop that I needed a hill for my cat. He seemed quite shocked by this simple request and told me they didn’t have any. Why on earth I thought that collina (hill) was the word for collar (collare) I have absolutely no idea, but to his credit he did his laughing in the stockroom when he though I had gone.

My neighbour was just recovering from having to mime a rabbit for me, after she’d asked me to rescue her coniglie and I had no idea what she was on about. So she was quite wary as she approached me curiously one morning. What was I looking at?

I was fairly sure I knew the word for falcon and so I confidently told her I had been watching a ‘fata’ and would she like to see it through my binoculars. “Are you sure?” she said looking at me incredulously. “Oh yes,” I replied. “I’ve seen quite a few.” She declined and made a quick exit. Alan informed me that falcon was not fata but falco and I had told her I’d seen a fairy.

TRICKS OF THE MEMORY

I like using mnemonics to remember words and so when I learned that another word for porcupines (porcospini) was istrici I remembered it by thinking that it sounded very similar to the hormone oestrogen. And then of course I needed to retrieve the word when telling an Italian friend an animal anecdote.

I began the sentence alright (you will find this happens a lot – start something and then not know how to finish) but then needed the magic word. Just in time I remembered it. Phew!

“My dog,” I said dramatically in Italian, “chased a hormone this morning!”