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The most authentical Albanian names and their meaning [Jun 2024]

The case when the name reveals the age of a person

Albanian Names ©Kalaja e Tiranes
©Kalaja e Tiranes

Our name not only identifies us but also tells a story. It shows our origin, where we come from, who our ancestors are, it shows in which years we were born approximately, it tells a lot about the parents or the person who baptised us with this name, it tells about their personality, their religion, about their passions and desires. In the recent years, Albanians have also taken the course of globalisation and the names of the newborns are becoming shorter and shorter and without nationality.

However, we want to introduce you to the real Albanian names and the meaning behind them. The names we hear today from our parents or grandparents are truly an anthropological indicator of national culture and consciousness.

Let’s go fast through the most typical Albanian names of all time.

Typical names through Illyrian Tribes time:

Arian, Albana, Ilir, Dardan, Ardian, Taulant, Teuta, Drane (Drandofille), Dafina, Dedë, Dodë, Nertila, Dorian, Arben, Arbër, Aranit , Adriatik

These names are mainly related to the tribe names like Taulant, Ardian, Arian , Dardan, Ilir, Arbër – just like Albania was called during 1190 to 1255.

Albanian Names

Typical names in the communism period:

Agim/e – Dawn

Afrim/e – Approach

Saimir/a – So good

Shkëlqim (m)– Glow

Shpresa (f) – Hope

Gëzim/e –  Joy

Kujtim/e – Memory

Art/a – Art/Golden

Flutura – Butterfly

Liri/je – Freedom

Jetmir/a – Good life

Besmir/a – Good Faith

Fatjon/a – Our Luck

Fatbardh/a – White Luck

Fatmir/a – Good Luck

Diellza (f)– Sun

Luljeta (f)– The flower of Life

Dritan (m)–Light

Vjollca (f)- Violet

Dëshira (f)– Wish

Lind/a – I was born

Lindit/a – Day rises

Majlind/a – In May I was born

Pëllumb (m) – Dove

Çlirim (m) – Liberation

Bujar (m) – Generous

(the letter after slash intends the female version)

Albanian Names, Tirana in the 70's

These are mainly names that were used in Albania during the communist era 1944 -1990 and were part of a very strict list dictated by the authorities, which did not allow any foreign influence in Albanian culture, but only names with meaning in Albanian. These names are held today by 40-50 and 60 year olds and are very common.

Other typical Albanian names :

Alban/a , Arben/a, Argjend, Astrit, Ajkuna, Alketa, Amantia, Arbion/a, Albion/a, Aulon/a, Bardhyl , Besfort, Besnik , Bora, Bledar , Blerim, Blerina, – Ermir/a – Besmir/a, Briken/a, Blerta, Bukurosh/e, Çiljeta, Dashamir, Denis/a, Dasara, Delina, Dëfrim, Drenushë, Drini, Dhurata, Edlir/a, Ejon/a, Ermal, Erand/a, Enkelejd/a, Eri/a, Fitor/e, Fisnik/e, Fatlum/e, Genci, Gramoz, Genti/a, Jetnor, Jet/a, Jonila, Sonil/a, Kastriot, Klevis/a, Kreshnik, Korab, Kaltrina, Kroi, Lavdim, Ledjon/a, Migjen, Mrika, Mirush, Mirësi, Mirlind/a, Neritan, Netil/a, Oltian/a, Olsi/a, Petrit, Pëllumbesha, Rinor, Rudin/a, Sazan, Selvie, Skerdi, Sokol, Stolie, Shkumbin, Shqipe, Teuta, Tritan, Vesa, Ylber, Ylli, Zamir/a, Zanfina

Also for you: 21 ways to recognise an Albanian

Albanian Names

A little earlier the names in Albania were influenced by the Greco-Roman culture and the most used names were:

 Dionis, Afrodita, Artemisa, Hermes, Helios, Elio, Venera, Hera, Mitro, Klaudio, Diana, Marta

This influence is of course timeless, because ancient antiquity is the cradle of many cultures, just as the names in the Bible today are widely used among Albanians who are returning to their old faith by bringing to life Bible characters like Daniel, Amos, Joel, Luka, Mark, Samuel, Maria, Eve, Ester, Noemi, Sara, Rebeka and one of the most used names in Albania at all times Ana.

Subsequently, the Muslim culture of the Ottoman Empire greatly influenced not only the naming of newborns with Turkish names, but many Albanians were directly or indirectly forced to change their name, religion and identity. The most used names of this time are:

Mehmet, Ahmet, Fatime, Sami, Servet, Bektash, Adnan, Ali, Beqir, Arif,  Ferhat, Nazmi, Nadir, Sabri, Ramiz, Haxhi, Qamil, 

Our grandparents bear many of these names, some have even inherited them to their grandchildren, as an old Albanian tradition and not only.

As reported by Instat, the Institute of Statistics in Albania, these are the 5 most used terms in the last century in the country:Albanian Names and their meaning

After the 90’s, it started another era of names, influenced by the western culture but adapted to the Albanian way. These names have probably no meaning at all but sound great and represent the generation of Millennials today. You might have heard some of them:

Altea, Blerina, Bruna, Brunilda, Denisa, Endri, Erald, Elton, Erion, Xhensil/a, Gladiola, Igli, Ina, Ilva, Inva, Jona, Jonid/a, Jonilda, Klajdi, Marinela, Migena, Sibora, Sidorela, Silvana etc.

Meanwhile, it is being noticed, in recent years, while Albania is culturally oriented from the west, an influence also on the names given to small children. The tendency is to be short, simple, internationally understood and modern. The 2 tables below show the names of the girls and boys who are being named more children today.

Albanian Names and their meaning Albanian Names and their meaning

Which is your favourite Albanian name so far?

Let us know in the comments!