Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Tony

Tony is the short form of Anthony. The name Anthony is the anglicized version of an old Roman Family name “Antonius” originating out of the ancient Etruscan civilization in Italy (near modern day Tuscany). Most notably, Mark Anthony comes from this family (Marcus Antonius). Not much else is known about its origin. The “th” was added later as some (erroneous) attempt to associate it with the Greek word “anthos” which means flower. Different variations of the name became heavily used throughout Europe starting in the post-classical era. The name is commonly associated with the 3rd century Egyptian monk who is credited with founding Christian monasticism. Also, Saint Anthony of Padua (the patron saint of Portugal) is further credited with popularizing the name during the Middle Ages when naming children after saints was seen as a protective measure. The spelling with the “h” appears to be distinctly English. Anthony is still a very popular name throughout the English-speaking word, and Tony as an independently given name has generally been most popular in the United States. Tony is also occasionally used as a feminine short form of Antonia.

All About the Baby Name – Tony



The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.



As an independently given name, Tony has had a surprisingly successful career on the U.S. popularity charts. Americans are definitely not shy about embracing short forms, nick names and pet forms of regular traditional names and then using them as independently given names. The charts are teeming with short forms and pet forms: Sam, Jack, Ben, Alex, etc. etc. Tony is one of the longest lasting and most enduring of these names. Tony has existed on the American male naming charts for as long as the U.S. government began tracking naming trends (starting in 1880). And it has generally maintained relatively moderate to high success. The name became a Top 100 favorite in 1955 and then a Top 50 most commonly used boy names for most of the 1960s (the height of Tony’s popularity). As we’ve entered the threshold of the 21st century, Tony has waned considerably. We can’t help thinking about the quintessential New York Italian from Brooklyn or the Bronx who goes by Tony (who can forget Tony Manero from the 1977 disco-dancing film “Saturday Night Fever” or Tony the Jet who falls in love with Maria in “West Side Story”). Unfortunately, this is part of what makes Tony feel dated. It’s also one of those constantly used Italian Mafioso names like Tony Soprano of “The Sopranos” or Fat Tony the mobster boss on “The Simpsons”. From this perspective, Tony could be considered a “tough guy” name. The more genteel and timeless full name Anthony, however, is still on the Top 10 list of most commonly used boy names in America.

Quick Facts













Praiseworthy, flourishing













Cultural References to the Baby Name – Tony

Literary Characters


Tony is one of the two star-crossed lovers in the Broadway musical adaptation of the Romeo and Juliet tragedy – West Side Story, which was also made into a major motion picture of the same name in 1961, with Richard Beymer playing Tony. Tony is a former leader of the Jets, a gang of second-generation American teens, while Maria’s brother is the leader of the rival Sharks, made up of Puerto Rican immigrants. Against this backdrop of racial tension and suspicion, the young lovers try to transcend their pre-ordained fate. Tony has left the gang and taken a legitimate job, trying to rise above the tenement neighborhood. Having met and fallen in love with Maria, he looks to a bright future. He is reluctantly drawn back into the gang warfare, although he tries to make it as fair a fight as possible. Violence reigns, however, and the young lovers are separated by Tony’s death by stabbing. He leaves behind a grief-stricken Maria, but also, a shred of hope that the futility of bloodshed has been realized, and peace will prevail.

Tony is the protagonist of 1977 film, Saturday Night Fever, starring a young John Travolta in his signature role. Young Tony is of working class Brooklyn origins, with a minimal education, stuck in a dead-end clerking job. But ah, on Saturday nights – he is King of all he surveys at the local discotheque. Dancing to the tunes of the unforgettable Bee Gees’ soundtrack, decked out in his seventies’ white suits and paisleys, Tony rules. On the dance floor, he is beautiful, graceful, limit-less – women love him, men envy him. He can step beyond the confines of his restrictive environment into a wonderland of light and lyrics. There are some ugly twists to the plot, but at the movie’s end we sense Tony’s coming of age and his first tentative steps toward a maturity that fully recognizes all aspects of his life and seeks to deal with them in an honorable way.

Tony Soprano is the main character in the hugely popular HBO television drama series, The Sopranos, who was played by James Gandolfini. He is an Italian-American crime boss in New Jersey, caught between balancing his mobster duties with those toward his family, and suffering in resultant depression, guilt and panic attacks. In seeking psychiatric treatment for these symptoms, Tony explores his past and present, giving us a window into his heart and soul. He is a very complex man, at once a tender and loving husband and father, while also managing to entertain a number of mistresses on the side. He is proud of his children, overprotective of his daughter, and hopeful that his son will not follow in his footsteps, as he did in his own father’s. He loves animals, sports, music, history and movies. Oh, and he does a lot of killing. Nobody’s perfect. Somehow, Tony manages to grab and hold our sympathy, even as we witness the fallout from his chosen life. Is it that way with all godfathers?

Tony is the alter-ego of little Danny Torrance in Stephen King’s 1977 horror novel, The Shining, which was made into a successful 1980 film (with an adorable Danny Lloyd as the child). Danny’s baffled parents see Tony as an “imaginary friend”, but he takes over the inner Danny in weird and frightening ways, sending the child into hypnotic trances and communicating to him in unsettling ways. Danny himself describes him thusly: “Tony is a little boy who lives in my mouth.” Yikes. Nonetheless, when things get creepier and creepier at the Overlook Hotel, it is Tony’s warnings that alert Danny to the danger he is in and the mortal threat that his own father presents to him. So in spite of his eerie origins and his gravelly voice, Tony really represents the part of the child that is aware of the vagaries of the adult world, and is on guard against them. At least, that’s what we’d like to think!

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Tony

Popular Songs


We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Tony

Famous People


Anthony “Tony” Curtis (actor)
Tony Bennett (born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, singer)
Tony Danza (actor)
Tony Richardson (film director)
Anthony “Tony” Gonzalez (football player)
Tony Hawk (skateboarder)
Tony Blair (former U.K. Prime Minister)
Tony Amonte (hockey player)
Tony Canadeo (football player)
Tony Dorsett (football player)
Tony Stewart (racecar driver)
Tony Romo (football player)
Tony Randall (actor)
Tony Orlando (singer)
Tony Larussa (baseball manager)
Tony Jacklin (golfer)
Tony Esposito (hockey player)
Tony Gwynn (baseball player)
Tony Perez (baseball player)
Tony Lazzeri (baseball player)
Tony Raines (racecar driver)
Tony Shalhoub (actor)
Anthony “Tony” Goldwyn (actor)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Tony

Historic Figures


We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Tony