University of Malta
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House names in ten Maltese localities

posted on 2023-10-18, 08:07 authored by GODFREY BALDACCHINOGODFREY BALDACCHINO

A total of 19,683 house names from a convenience sample of ten localities across the island of Malta were collected and analysed by UM students of sociology in 2022, teasing out how they communicate social identities. Trends in multilingualism and secularisation were particularly explored, from two sets of house names that represent different historical epochs, one dating from 1977 and one from 2022. Results suggest that:

  1. English remains by far the preferred language for naming houses, followed by Maltese;
  2. House names that involve two or more languages have increased;
  3. House names that relate to the religious or sacred have declined (from around 16% to 10%); and
  4. In spite of evident secularisation in house-naming practices, the most common house name is ‘St Joseph’ and its linguistic variations (e.g. San Guzepp; San Giuseppe ...)

The ten localities are: Ghaxaq, Gzira, Marsaskala, Mosta, Msida, Mtarfa, Qormi, Senglea (Isla), Zejtun and Zurrieq.

The spreadsheets contain ALL the house names of these ten localities, as appeared in the Spring 2022 Malta Electoral Register for local council elections ( They are organised by street and in alphabetical order. The data appears in two sets [er locality, depending on whether the particular street already existed in 1977 or not. This allows comparisons in the quantity and nature of house names between 1977 and 2022. Data is Public and Accessible to the General Public