Celebrity Names Blog

Italian Singer Andrea Bocelli Welcomes First Daughter Virginia

Italian Singer Andrea Bocelli Welcomes First Daughter Virginia
Fame/Flynet

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli became a dad once again last Wednesday, when he and fiancé Veronica Berti welcomed a baby girl named Virginia. This is the first child for the couple, and first daughter for Bocelli. Virginia will be joining big brothers Amos and Matteo from Bocelli's previous marriage. 

Virginia may not be a popular Italian name, but its origins are in the old Roman family name Verginius, which is also the Latin for "springlike." Fittingly, Virginia was born on March 21, the day after the Spring Equinox this year. According to Namipedia, Virginia is also associated with the the word "virgo," which means "maiden."

Berti commented on the choice to HELLO! Magazine, saying, "The thing I like about this name is that none of my friends has it." In the U.S., Virginia has been consistently ranked in the top 1000, but peaked in the 1920s as the seventh most popular girls name. It has faced a pretty steep decline since then, ranking at No. 609 in 2010. 

Although the name peaked almost a century ago, its associations as an old lady name aren't as strong as newly chic names like Ella or Violet. Perhaps because of its consistent presence or because it peaked a bit later than the "old lady names" that are now coming back in to style, the popularity of Virginia has continued to decline. In the U.S., it obviously stands out as a place name (fun fact: it is the oldest English language place-name in the U.S.) and as the name of British author Virginia Woolf, who was actually born Adeline Virginia Woolf. 

Virginia, Amos and Matteo don't have a lot in common as a sibset, other than that they are all very old names. Amos comes from Hebrew and was a prophet in the Old Testament and although Matteo also has its roots in Hebrew, unlike Amos, it's currently a global hit. A top 10 name in Italy, it has also been increasingly more popular in the U.S. over the past decade. Although Virginia isn't among Italy's top girls names, with it's -ia ending, it will fit nicely with the chart toppers Sofia, Giulia and Giorgia.

What do you think of Virginia? What about Amos, Matteo and Virginia as a sibset?

--A.F.

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