Where did the baby name Rizzo come from in 2016?

Baseball player Anthony Rizzo (upon catching the final out of the 2016 World Series)
Anthony Rizzo (2016 World Series)

The curious name Rizzo first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 2016:

  • 2018: 7 baby boys named Rizzo
  • 2017: 10 baby boys named Rizzo
  • 2016: 7 baby boys named Rizzo [debut]
  • 2015: unlisted
  • 2014: unlisted


Because of baseball player Anthony Rizzo. He was a key part of the Chicago Cubs’ successful 2016 season, which was capped with a World Series win over the Cleveland Indians. This famously ended the Cubs’ 108-year drought.

Notably, Rizzo caught the “final out” balls in the final games of both the National League Championship Series (against the Dodgers) and the World Series.

The Italian surname Rizzo is a variant of Riccio, which comes from the Italian word riccio, meaning “curly.” Originally, Riccio was a nickname for someone with curly hair.

What are your thoughts on Rizzo as a first name?


Image: Adapted from Rizzo celebrates the final out of the 2016 World Series by Arturo Pardavila III under CC BY 2.0.

P.S. “Rizzo” of the Pink Ladies (from Grease) was actually named Betty Rizzo.

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