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Giovanni Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Giovanni including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Giovanni Overview

  • Meaning: Giovanni means God is gracious.
  • Gender: Giovanni is traditionally a male name.
  • Origin: Giovanni is an Italian name.
  • Pronunciation: “gee-oh-VAHN-ee”
  • Popularity: Giovanni is a popular name in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Anni, Geo, Gian, Gianni, Giannino, Gigi, Gio, Giov, Giovi, Givvy, Innie, Nanni, Ova, Oven, Van, Vaney, and Vanni.
  • Variations: Efan, Evan, Iain, Ian, Iban, Ieuan, Ifan, Ioannis, Ivan, Jean, Johann, Johannes, John, Juan, and Vanya.
  • Namesake: Giovanni di Bernardone, the given name of Saint Francis of Assisi.

What Does Giovanni Mean?

Giovanni is a beautiful name with an old-world feel. This classic name means God is gracious and is an Italian boy name that comes from John, which in turn comes from the Hebrew name Yəhôḥānān (1).

John and other variations thereof is a popular name in Christian cultures, as there are several prominent figures named John in the Christian narrative. Two examples include John the Evangelist, who wrote one of the gospels, and John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus Christ.

What Is the Origin of the Name Giovanni?

Giovanni is the Italian version of John, which is the Anglicized version of the Hebrew male name Yəhôḥānān. As Greek became a prominent cultural language in the west, particularly among the early Christians, Yəhôḥānān was translated to Ioannes (2).

Later on, Latin became a dominant language in Christian culture, and Ioannes became the Latinized version Johannes. As Italian developed out of Latin in the Roman Empire, Johannes eventually became Giovanni.

Since John and its variants are a prevalent name, it is no wonder that the name gained popularity in Italian-speaking cultures, as most Italian communities were strongly influenced by the Holy Roman Empire and Roman Catholicism.

How Popular Is the Name Giovanni?

Giovanni is a popular name in the United States. As of today, Giovanni is ranked within the top 500 most popular baby names for boys in the country (3).

The name Giovanni has steadily increased in popularity over the past hundred years. This is likely due partly to the increase in Italian American families and an increased interest in a newer generation of American parents to depart from common Anglican names.

A century ago, the name Giovanni was barely popular, but by 2010 it peaked at the one hundred-seventeenth most popular boy name in the country. Today, Giovanni continues to rank in the top 200 baby names in the United States.

How Do I Pronounce Giovanni?

Giovanni is pronounced “jee-oh-VAHN-ee.”

Is Giovanni a Boy or Girl Name?

Giovanni is traditionally a name for boys. It is a masculine name that comes from the same origins as John, a male biblical name. A common feminine version of the name is Giovanna.

However, with contemporary naming practices, it is possible that Giovanni or another variation could become more common as a feminine or gender-neutral name.

Variations of Giovanni

There are many variations of Giovanni, or Joh, in different cultures. Examples of variations of Giovanni include:

  • Efan (Welsh)
  • Evan (Welsh)
  • Iain (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Ian (English)
  • Iban (Basque)
  • Ieuan (Welsh)
  • Ifan (Welsh)
  • Ioannis (Greek)
  • Ivan (Slavic)
  • Jean (French)
  • Johann (German)
  • Johannes (German)
  • John (English)
  • Juan (Spanish)
  • Vanya (Russian)

Nicknames for Giovanni

There are many cute possible nicknames for the name Giovanni. Some ideas for nicknames for Giovanni include:

  • Anni
  • Geo
  • Gian
  • Gianni
  • Giannino
  • Gigi
  • Gio
  • Giov
  • Giovi
  • Givvy
  • Innie
  • Nanni
  • Ova
  • Oven
  • Van
  • Vaney
  • Vanni

Similar Names to Giovanni

If you are interested in names like Giovanni, consider names with a similar sound and aesthetic. Some ideas for similar names to Giovanni include:

  • Gavino
  • Genaro
  • Geona
  • Georgino
  • Gerodi
  • Geronimo
  • Giacob
  • Giacomo
  • Giancarlo
  • Giordano
  • Giorgio
  • Giulio
  • Giuseppe
  • Greco
  • Gustavo

Middle Names for Giovanni

Many middle names work well with the name Giovanni. One approach is to pick a short middle name to create balance with the longer first name. Some ideas for middle names for Giovanni include:

Sibling Names for Giovanni

It isn’t difficult to find sibling names that pair well with the name Giovanni. For instance, some parents may want to stick with the Italian theme and pick beautiful, classic Italian names for their other children as well.

Names for a Brother

Some ideas for brother names include:

  • Alfonso
  • Carmine
  • Donatello
  • Emilio
  • Francesco
  • Leonardo
  • Lorenzo
  • Luciano
  • Marco
  • Orlando

Names for a Sister

Some ideas for sister names include:

Famous People Named Giovanni

Various people throughout history have been named Giovanni. Some examples of famous people named Giovanni include:

  • Giovanni Agnelli: Founder of Fiat.
  • Giovanni Bellini: Renaissance painter.
  • Giovanni Borgia: The son of Pope Alexander VI.
  • Giovanni di Bernardone: The given name of Saint Francis of Assisi.
  • Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici: The given name of Pope Leo X.
  • Giovanni Palandrani: American drag queen known as Aquaria.

Giovanni in Popular Culture

The name Giovanni sometimes appears in fictional works. Some examples of Giovanni in popular culture include:

  • Giovanni: Character in Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin.
  • Giovanni: A character in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
  • Giovanni Soprano: Father of Tony Soprano in The Sopranos.
  • Giovanni Zito: Character in Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception.

Giovanni FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Giovanni.

Is Giovanni a Biblical Name?

Giovanni is the Italian version of the name John, which appears several times in the Bible. Examples of John in the Bible include John the Apostle and John the Baptist.

What Is the Female Version of Giovanni?

The feminine version of Giovanni is Giovanna. Another similar feminine name is Gia.

Is Gino Short for Giovanni?

Gino is sometimes used as a nickname for Giovanni.

What Does Giovanni Mean in Italian?

Giovanni is an Italian name that means God is gracious. John is the English version of this name.

What is Jack in Italian?

The most common version of Jack in Italian is Giacomo. However, since Jack is traditionally a nickname for John, you could also use Giovanni, which is the Italian version of John.

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