100 French Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular and unique French baby names

France is a country well-known for its beautiful sights, food and wine, and its rich history and culture. From the snow-capped mountains to the Riviera coast to the iconic Eiffel Tower in the City of Lights and Love, France is captivating. It is a popular tourist destination, but it's also a place that has had a profound influence on art, fashion, and literature. 

France is also known for its romantic and elegant language, providing the perfect inspiration for baby names. There are many reasons to consider a French name for your child. It may be to honor your ancestry—or maybe you're just into all things France, you love the sound of the name, or you’re looking for something a little different.

French Baby Names
Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

French names can represent prominent figures in art and science such as Claude and Louis, or saints such as Claire and Dominque. They can be trendy like Gabrielle and Leo or uniquely French like Fleur and François. Read on to learn about 100 popular and unique French baby names that are très magnifique

Popular French Baby Names for Girls

Here are some popular and unique French baby names for girls along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information.

Aimée

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aimee, Amie, Amy, Aimee, Aimy, Aimey, Amee
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Aimee Carrero, actress Aimée Leigh
  • Peak Popularity: Aimee was very popular in the United States in the 1970s and 80s. In 1976, it reached a rank of 123 on the top 1,000 list of names for girls. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 2016.

Fun Fact: Aurore and Aimée is a children’s story by French writer Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

Antoinette

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Praiseworthy and priceless
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Antonetta, Antonella, Antonine, Antonia, Etta, Toni, Tony
  • Famous Namesakes: Ballerina Antoinette Sibley, actress Antoinette Perry
  • Peak Popularity: Antoinette is a name that has been around for centuries. It was number 280 in 1900 and a top 400 name until the 1990s when it saw a swift decline. It dropped off the top 1,000 list in 2001.

Fun Fact: Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France who is rumored to have said the famous words, “Let them eat cake.”

Bernadette

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Strong and brave
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bernadine, Bernadetta, Bernette, Bernetta, Bern, Bernie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Bernadette Peters, former First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac
  • Peak Popularity: Bernadette has been a consistent name for well over 100 years. It had its best year when it reached number 188 in 1946. Since then, it has become a less common name and is no longer in the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski is a scientist and the wife of Howard Wolowitz on the television comedy series The Big Bang Theory.

Blanche

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: White and fair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Blanch, Blanca, Blancha, Blanchefleur, Bianca
  • Famous Namesakes: Queens of France Blanche of Castile and Blanche of Burgundy, painter Blanche Hoschedé-Monet
  • Peak Popularity: Blanche is a vintage name that is centuries old. It was a top 100 name in the early 1900s but slowly declined in use from 1920 to 1960. It was no longer a top 1,000 name by 1965. Blanche may be ready for a comeback.

Fun Fact: Blanche Devereaux is one of the main characters in The Golden Girls, a classic TV series with a cult following about four older women who live together in a house in Miami.

Camille

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Innocent, pure, and perfect
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Camile, Camila, Camilla, Kamille, Kamilla, Cammy, Cammi, Cami, Millie, Milly, Mila
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Camille Anderson, Olympic athlete Camille Muffat
  • Peak Popularity: Camille was a historically male name that became a female name in the last 150 years or so. In the U.S., Camille was number 496 in 1900 and had its most popular year in 2012 when it hit number 238. It was a top 10 name in France in 1990–2015.

Fun Fact: Hurricane Camille was a category five storm that made landfall in Mississippi during the 1969 Atlantic hurricane season causing catastrophic damage.

Chanel

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: From the canal or channel
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Channel, Chantel, Chanelle, Shanel, Shanelle
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Chanel Celaya, model Chanel Iman
  • Peak Popularity: Chanel is a newer name. It made the U.S. top 1,000 in 1973 and reached a high of 382 in 1991.

Fun Fact: The House of Chanel was founded in 1909 by fashion designer and entrepreneur Coco Chanel.

Charlotte

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Strong and free
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Charlette, Charlize, Charlene, Charlotta, Carlotta, Carly, Charlie, Charley
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Charlotte Rae, Olympic athlete Charlotte Kalla
  • Peak Popularity: Charlotte is a long-honored traditional name that is very trendy. It has been a top 100 name in the U.S. for more than half of the last century. It is a top 10 name since 2014 and was number 6 in 2018. Charlotte is a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: Charlotte is the spider who weaves words into her web to save her friend Wilbur the pig in the classic children’s novel Charlotte’s Web.

Chloé

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Flourishing and blooming
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Chloe, Khloe, Cloey, Chloee, Cloe, Clo
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Chloe Bridges, Olympic athlete Chloe Sutton
  • Peak Popularity: Chloe is another tremendously popular and trendy name. It made the top 100 in 1998 and the top 10 in 2008, but has dropped back to the top 25. Chloe is also very popular in France where it has been in the top 10 for over 20 years.

Fun Fact: Chloé Pig is Peppa Pig’s cousin and a supporting character on the animated children’s television series Peppa Pig.

Claire

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Clear and brightly shining
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Clair, Clare, Khlare, Clarie, Clarette, Clarisse, Clarice, Clara
  • Famous Namesakes: Princess Claire of Belgium, Actress Claire Danes
  • Peak Popularity: Claire has been a top 500 name in the U.S. for over 100 years. It became a top 100 name in 1998 and reached its highest rank of 40 in 2016.

Fun Fact: Claire’s is a retail store that sells fashion jewelry and other accessories for girls and women.

Clementine

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Merciful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Clementyne, Clemintine, Klementine, Clemence, Clementina, Clemencie, Clemmie, Clem
  • Famous Namesakes: Former Spouse of the Prime Minister of the UK Clementine Churchill, Actress Clémentine Célarié
  • Peak Popularity: Clementine is an old name that is new again. It was popular in the 1800s and early 1900s, but fell out of favor in the 1950s. After more than 50 years, it popped back up on the top 1,000 list in 2014.

Fun Fact: A clementine is a small, sweet citrus fruit and a type of mandarin orange. 

Colette

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Victorious and triumphant
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Collette, Colete, Coletta, Colleen, Kolete, Kollette
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Colette Marchand, actress Colette Hiller
  • Peak Popularity: Colette was a constant on the top 1,000 list from 1928 until 1986 when it disappeared. It reemerged in 2012 and was number 533 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Saint Colette was a nun who gave her money to the poor and founded the Colettine Poor Clares.

Corinne

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Maiden
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Corine, Corrine, Corynne, Coryn, Korinne, Corina, Cory, Corrie, Cori
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Corinne Calvet, model Corinne Foxx
  • Peak Popularity: Corinne was in the top 500 names for 100 years until 1995, but remains in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: Corinne Tate is the daughter of Chester and Jessica Tate and one of the main characters on the TV comedy series Soap.

Danielle

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is the judge
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Daniele, Daniela, Danyelle, Danella, Danelle, Danette, Dani
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Danielle Fishel, singer Danielle Bradbery
  • Peak Popularity: Danielle was extremely popular and a top 100 name in the U.S. from 1971 until 2004. It reached its highest rank of 14 in 1987.

Fun Fact: Danielle Steel is a well-known romance writer and one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Denise

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Devoted to the wine god, Dionysius
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dennise, Denice, Denese, Denece, Danise, Danece, Deniece, Denisse, Denissa, Denize, Denyse, Denni, Dennie, Deni
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Denise Richards, fitness personality Denise Austin
  • Peak Popularity: Denise was a top 100 name from 1950 to 1982. It dropped in popularity from the 1990s until it fell off the top 1,000 list in 2016.

Fun Fact: Denise Quiñones won the Miss Universe competition in 2001 representing Puerto Rico.

Desiree

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Desired and longed for
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Desirae, Desaree, Desarae, Dezaree, Deziree, Desyree, Desire, Desi, Dezi, Ree
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Desirée Goyette, Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock
  • Peak Popularity: Desiree made the top 1,000 in 1954 and rose to a rank of 95 in 1983. But, it began to fall drastically after 2010 and was no longer in the top 1,000 as of 2018.

Fun Fact: Desiree is a variety of large, red potatoes that are perfect to mash, roast, or cut for wedges and chips. 

Dominique

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Belonging to the Lord
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Domenique, Domineque, Domanique, Domineke, Domenica, Dominga, Domini,
  • Famous Namesakes: Gymnast Dominique Dawes, actress Dominique Swain
  • Peak Popularity: Dominique was a top 1,000 name from 1966 to 2011. Its best year was 1985 when it made it to number 83.

Fun Fact: “Dominique” is a song about the 12th-century priest, Saint Dominic. It was a hit single for The Singing Nun in the 1960s. 

Elaine

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Bright, shining light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elayne, Ellaine, Alaine, Elaina, Elana, Elena, Alaina, Laine, Laney
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Elaine Hendrix, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
  • Peak Popularity: Elaine has been popular for well over 100 years. It was in the top 100 from 1923 to 1958. In the past decade it usually ranks around 700.

Fun Fact: Elaine Benes is one of the main characters and one of Jerry’s best friends on the television comedy series Seinfeld.

Fleur

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: A flower
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fleure, Fleurette, Fleura, Fleury, Flora
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Fleur East, Olympic athlete Fleur Maxwell
  • Peak Popularity: Fleur is a unique name. It is not currently on the top 1,000 list in the U.S., but it may be up and coming.

Fun Fact: Fleur Delacour is a character in the Harry Potter book series who marries Bill Weasley and fights in the Battle of Hogwarts. 

Francine

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: From France or free
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Francene, Frances, Francis, Francina, Franchelle, Francesca, France, Francille, Frankie, Frannie, Fran
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Francine Pascal, singer Francine Reed
  • Peak Popularity: Francine was very popular in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s. It began to see a drop during the 1970s and fell off the top 1,000 list in 1988. It is now a less common name.

Fun Fact: Fran Drescher is the nasal-sounding actress who played the main character Francine “Fran” Fine in the TV sitcom The Nanny.

Gabrielle

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is the hero and strength
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gabriele, Gabraelle, Gabriella, Gabryelle, Gabby, Gaby
  • Famous Namesakes: Politician Gabrielle Giffords, Olympic athlete Gabrielle Douglas
  • Peak Popularity: Gabrielle is an old name but became popular in the U.S. in the late 1950s. It was a top 100 name from 1990 to 2010. Gabrielle is a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: The iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel’s real name is Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel.

Genevieve

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Belonging to the tribe or race of women
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Genavieve, Genovieve, Genovia, Geneva, Gene, Gena, Genie, Gen
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Geneviève Bujold, model Genevieve Morton
  • Peak Popularity: Genevieve is a well-established name that has been around for a long time. It was number 142 in 1900 and a top 100 name from 1909 through 1924. Its popularity decreased a little from the 1950s until 2000, but it is once again rising in the ranks. It was number 172 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, is believed to have saved Paris from the Huns through her prayers and devotion to God.

Giselle

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: A promise or pledge
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gisele, Gizelle, Gisela, Ghisel, Ghiselle
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist Giselle Fernández, actress Giselle Loren
  • Peak Popularity: Giselle is an old name that hit the U.S. top 1,000 in 1983 and reached a peak of 134 in 2009.

Fun Fact: Giselle is a beautiful, old French ballet that is one of the most famous and most performed around the world.

Jacqueline

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: The one who comes after or replaces
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jacqualine, Jacquelyn, Jaclyn, Jacklyn, Jackalyn, Jacaline, Jacquie, Jackie, Jacky, Jacki, Jacqui
  • Famous Namesakes: Former First Lady of the U.S. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, athlete Jacqueline “Jackie” Joyner-Kersee
  • Peak Popularity: Jacqueline has been a top 1,000 name for over 100 years. It was number 843 in 1900 and made the top 100 in 1928. It spent most of the last century in the top 100 reaching its highest rank of 37 in 1964. It was number 339 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The record-setting flyer, Jacqueline Auriol, was one of the first women to become a test pilot and break the sound barrier.

Jeanne

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jean, Jeane, Jeanette, Jeanetta, Jenna, Jeanine, Janine, Jeannie, Jeana, Jane, Joan, Joanne, Joanna
  • Famous Namesakes: Heroine Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), Actress Jeanne Moreau
  • Peak Popularity: Jeanne is an old name that has been around for centuries. It was number 384 in 1900 and very popular from the 1920s through the 1970s. After a decline, it dropped off the top 1,000 list in 1990.

Fun Fact: Jeanne is the name of a 12-mile-wide crater on Venus that is the result of an object that hit the surface of the planet.

Jewel

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Pretty, precious gemstone
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jewell, Jewelle, Jeul, Jule, Jules, Joule
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Jewel, actress Jewel Staite
  • Peak Popularity: Jewel was a more common name in the early part of the 20th century. It was number 255 in 1900 but began to lose popularity in the 1950s. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 1973 but returned in 1997. It was number 866 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The Jewel Tower is a sightseeing stop in London, England near Westminster Abbey. It was part of the Medieval Palace of Westminster built in the 1300s.

Jolie

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Lovely and joyful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jolee, Jole, Joley, Joleigh, Jolia, Jolienne, Jolene, Joline, Joli, Jollie, Jolly,
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Jolie Jenkins, businesswoman Jolie Gabor
  • Peak Popularity: Jolie has been a top 1,000 name since 1968. Its most popular year was 2008 when it reached 563.

Fun Fact: Jolie is Angelina Jolie’s middle name. She was born Angelina Jolie Voight.

Josephine

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: God will add or increase
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Josefine, Josephene, Josefene, Josaphine, Josephina, Josepha, Josette, Joette, Joetta, Josie, Josine, Sephine, Sephie, Joey, Jojo, Jo
  • Famous Namesakes: Inventor Josephine Cochrane, actress Josephine Jobert
  • Peak Popularity: Josephine is a vintage name that never goes out of style. It was number 47 in 1900 and number 91 in 2018. It is also popular in France where it is in the top 100.

Fun Fact: Joséphine Bonepart was the Empress of France and Napolean’s wife.

Juliet

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Forever young
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Juliette, Juliete, Juliana, Julie, Julia, Jules
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Juliet Aubrey, actress Juliet Stevenson
  • Peak Popularity: Juliet has been a top 1,000 name for over 100 years, but has seen a spike in use in the last 10 years. It was most popular in 2017 when it reached 226. Julia is a very trendy version of the same name that is currently a top 100 name in the U.S. and France.

Fun Fact: Juliet Capulet is one of the main characters in the classic romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

Lorraine

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: From Lotharingia and the Lothar’s kingdom
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lorrain, Loraine, Lauraine, Lorayne, Laurene, Lorianne, Louraine, Lorena, Lorette, Lorrie, Lora, Lori,
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Lorraine Bracco, actress Lorraine Chase
  • Peak Popularity: Lorraine was a top 100 name in the U.S. from 1918 to 1948. After that, it saw a slow decline in popularity until it fell off the top 1,000 list in 1996.

Fun Fact: Lorraine is an area in the northwest part of France that is part of the broader region of Grand Est which also includes Alsace, Champagne, and Ardenne.

Lourdes

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: From the town of Lourdes in France
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lourde, Lordes, Lourdez, Lordez, Lourdis, Lourdette, Lourdi
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Lourdes Leon, Olympic athlete Lourdes Becerra
  • Peak Popularity: Lourdes was a top 1,000 name from 1950 to 2001. It was most popular in 1966 when it reached a rank of 532.

Fun Fact: Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow is the full name of the successful, award-winning actress known as Mia Farrow. 

Louise

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Brave warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Luise, Louisa, Loise, Eloise, Heloise, Lois, Louie
  • Famous Namesakes: Artist Louise Bourgeois, actress Louise Fletcher
  • Peak Popularity: Louise is a traditional name. It was in the top 100 names in the U.S. from 1900 until 1949. Its popularity began to decline in the 1970s, and it dropped out of the top 1,000 in 1992. However, it returned to the list in 2016 and may be making a comeback. It has been in the top 10 in France since 2010, and even reached the top spot in 2015.

Fun Fact: Lady Louise Windsor is a member of the British Royal Family and a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth.

Lucie

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Illuminating and light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lucy, Lucee, Lucille, Lucienne, Lucette, Lucia
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Lucie Arnaz, actress Lucie Laurier
  • Peak Popularity: Lucie was a top 1,000 name in the U.S. from before 1900 until 1923. It is now a more unique name. However, it may be ready for a resurgence, especially since it is in the top 100 in France. The variant Lucy is quite popular and had a new high rank of 51 in the U.S. in 2018.

Fun Fact: The St. Lucie river flows through St. Lucie County and Martin County in South Florida.

Madeleine

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Strong and great
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Madelyn, Madelaine, Madeleina, Madeline, Madaline, Magdelene, Maddie, Maddy
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, writer Madeleine L’Engle
  • Peak Popularity: Madeleine is a traditional name. It was number 438 in 1900 but dropped off the top 1,000 list in 1960. It returned in 1986 and reached a rank of 217 in 1998. In France, Madeleine is a top 100 name.

Fun Fact: Madeleine is the name of a small, soft, shell-shaped sponge cake that is a traditional sweet, treat from the North of France.

Mallory

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Unfortunate and unlucky
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mallery, Malory, Mallori, Malery, Malloree, Malori, Mallorie, Malorey, Malloreigh, Mal
  • Famous Namesakes: Entertainer Mallory Lewis, athlete Mallory Deluce
  • Peak Popularity: Mallory is a last name that has turned into a first name. It made the top 1,000 list in the U.S. in 1983 and reached number 83 in 1986. It dropped out of the top 500 in 2017.

Fun Fact: Along with plenty of restaurants and entertainment, there’s a sunset celebration every night at Mallory Square in Key West, Florida.

Manon

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Bitter or child of wishes
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Manin, Manen, Mannon, Marion
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Manon Capelle, athlete Manon André
  • Peak Popularity: Manon is uncommon in the U.S., but it has been a top 10 name in France for the past 20 years.

Fun Fact: Manon is an iconic French Opera and one of the most celebrated works by composer Jules Massenet.

Margot

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Like a pearl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Margaux, Margeaux, Margo, Marguerite, Margaret, Margie, Maggie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Margot Robbie, ballerina Margot Fonteyn
  • Peak Popularity: Margot ranked consistently in the top 1,000 from 1929 until 1966. After almost 50 years, it returned in 2013 and reached a rank of 358 in 2018. Margot is a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: Margot is one of Elle Wood’s sorority sisters in the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde.

Marie

  • Origin: French, German, English
  • Meaning: Star from the sea of bitterness
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maree, Maria, Marye, Mariane, Mariette, Mariet, Marietta, Mariene, Marielle, Maree, Mary
  • Famous Namesakes: Queen of France Marie Antoinette, singer Marie Osmond
  • Peak Popularity: Marie is an age-old name. It was number 9 in 1900 and a top 100 name until 1958. It has fallen in the ranks a bit in the U.S. and was number 576 in 2018. It remains in the top 100 in France.

Fun Fact: Marie Curie is one of the most famous scientists. She discovered radium and polonium and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911.

Michelle

  • Origin: French, Hebrew, English
  • Meaning: Who is like or closest to God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Michele, Michaele, Michaelle, Machelle, Mischelle, Micheline, Michelene, Shelly
  • Famous Namesakes: Former First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Peak Popularity: Michelle made the top 1,000 list in 1938. It was a top 100 name from 1954 to 2008 and reached number 2 in 1968, 1969, 1971, and 1972.

Fun Fact: “Michelle” is a Grammy-winning Beatle’s song that was released in 1965 and hit number one in France and five other countries in 1966.

Monique

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: A wise counselor and advisor
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Moneek, Moniqe, Moneeque, Monicke, Monica, Mona
  • Famous Namesakes: Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, actress Monique Mercure
  • Peak Popularity: Monique became a top 1,000 name in the U.S. in 1955. It reached its highest position of 93 in 1980 before declining in popularity and dropping off the list in 2008.

Fun Fact: Mount Monique is a mountain in Antarctica discovered in 1910 during a French expedition commanded by explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot.

Nicolette

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: A victory of the people
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nicholette, Nicollette, Nicole,
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Nicolette Larson, actress Nicollette Sheridan
  • Peak Popularity: Nicolette made a brief appearance on the top 1,000 list in the early 1950s. Then, it disappeared until 1979. Its most popular year was 1993 when it reached 327, but it fell off the list once again in 2007.

Fun Fact: Aucassin et Nicolette is an old French tale told in alternating verses of singing words and speaking words.  

Noel

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Born on Christmas Day or at Christmastime
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Noël, Noelle, Noell, Noele, Nowelle
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Noel Neill, actress Noël Wells
  • Peak Popularity: Noel teetered on the edge of the top 1,000 list for girls in the U.S. from 1932 to 1998. It reached its highest position of 587 in 1987.

Fun Fact: Père Noël is Father Christmas and the French name for the famous gift-giver, Santa Claus.

Odette

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Wealthy and prosperous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Oddete, Odete, Odet, Odetta, Odessa, Odelia, Odelle
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Odette Annable, actress Odette Laure
  • Peak Popularity: Odette is a unique name. In the last 120 years, it made the top 1,000 list once in 1905 when it ranked number 843.

Fun Fact: Odette is the leading female role in the classic Tchaikovsky masterpiece Swan Lake.

Patrice

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Noble, born into nobility
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Pattrice, Patrisse, Patriece, Patreace, Patreece, Patricia, Patrishia, Patty, Patti, Pat
  • Famous Namesakes: Educator Patrice Baldwin, Singer Patrice Halloway
  • Peak Popularity: Patrice was a top 1,000 name from 1945 to 1995. It was most popular in 1958 with a rank of 211.

Fun Fact: Patrice is a gender-neutral name that is more often given to girls in the United States, but more often given to boys in France.

Pauline

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Petite and small
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Pauleen, Paulene, Paulyne, Paulina, Paulette, Paulise, Paula, Paulie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Pauline Chalamet, cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prevot
  • Peak Popularity: Pauline is a classic name. It was number 71 in 1900 and a top 100 name until 1939. It slowly decreased in popularity and eventually dropped out of the top 1,000 in 1997.

Fun Fact: Pauline, also known as Lady, is the character Donkey Kong kidnaps and Mario tries to save in the original Donkey Kong video game.

Renée

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Born again or reborn
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Renae, Rene, Renea, Ranee, Renay, Rhenee, Renie, Renette, Renita, Renata, Renna
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Renee Zellweger, singer Renee Fleming
  • Peak Popularity: Renee ranked 919 in 1905. It increased in popularity to become a top 100 name from 1960 to 1979. In the last 20 years, it has seen a sharp decline in use and fell off the top 1,000 list in 2018.

Fun Fact: Renée of France was the Duchess of Ferrara and the daughter of King Louis XII who supported the Reformation in France and Italy.

Simone

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: A good listener
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Simonne, Simmone, Symone, Simona, Simonette,
  • Famous Namesakes: Gymnast Simone Biles, ocean explorer Simone Melchior Cousteau
  • Peak Popularity: Simone was a top 1,000 name from 1937 to 1941 and from 1960 on. It reached a rank of 311 in 1988.

Fun Fact: Simone Deveaux is one of the main characters in the first season of the TV series and sci-fi drama, Heroes.

Suzette

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Pretty and graceful like a lily
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Susette, Suzie, Suzanne, Suzannah, Suzan, Susene, Suze, Suzy
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Suzette Haden Elgin, actress Suzette Charles
  • Peak Popularity: Suzette was a top 1,000 name in 1943 and then from 1946 to 1978. It was most popular in the 1960s and reached number 341 in 1967.

Fun Fact: Crêpes Suzette is a famous French dessert consisting of crepes with a liqueur and citrus sauce served on fire or flambé.

Violet

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: A purple-blue flower
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Violette, Viole, Vyolet, Vyolette, Violete, Violeta, Viola, Violia, Violyne, Violin, Violene,
  • Famous Namesakes: Pilot Violet Milstead, writer Violet Needham
  • Peak Popularity: Violet is a vintage name that is new again. It was number 109 in 1900 and very popular until the 1960s when it began to drop. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 1975. It briefly returned in 1981 but disappeared again in 1982. It made its way back in 1998 and has since exploded with newfound popularity. It is now in the top 100 and reached number 43 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Violet Beauregarde is the competitive, gum-chewing character who turns blue and swells up like a blueberry after disobeying the rules in Ronald Dahl’s classic story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Yvonne

  • Origin: French, English, German
  • Meaning: An archer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Yvone, Evonne, Ivonne, Yvonna, Yvette, Yves, Vonnie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Yvonne DeCarlo, actress Yvonne Strahovski
  • Peak Popularity: Yvonne has been a top 1,000 name for over a century. It was number 358 in 1900 and reached a rank of 77 in 1937. It began a sharp decline in use in the 1990s and dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2002.

Fun Fact: Miss Yvonne was “the most beautiful woman in Puppetland” and one of Pee-wee’s regular visitors on the Saturday morning children’s TV show Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

Zoe

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Vibrant and full of life
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Zoë, Zoey, Zoee, Zoie, Zooey, Zowey, Zoelle
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Zoe Saldana, actress Zoe Kravitz
  • Peak Popularity: Zoe is a trendy name. It's classic but saw a big boom in the 1990s. It's been in the top 100 since 2000 and reached number 30 in 2012.

Fun Fact: Zoe is a young orange Muppet and one of Elmo’s friends on the long-running children’s program Sesame Street.

Popular French Baby Names for Boys

Here are some popular and unique French baby names for boys along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information.

Antoine

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Praiseworthy and priceless
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Antone, Antwan, Antwanne, Antwon, Antuan, Antoino, Anton, Antoan, Antony, Anthony, Tony, Ant
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Antoine “Fats” Domino, scientist Antoine Lavoisier
  • Peak Popularity: Antoine was on the top 1,000 list for boys in the early 1900s but dropped off in 1912. It popped back up in 1957 and was most popular in 1985 when it hit 262. It dropped off the list again in 2014. 

Fun Fact: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French pilot and writer whose most famous work was Le Petite Prince or The Little Prince.

Armand

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: An army soldier
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Armande, Armond, Armonde, Armondo, Armando, Arman, Armon, Armanie, Armani,
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Armand Assante, painter Armand Doré
  • Peak Popularity: Armand is an old name. It was number 625 in the U.S. in 1900 and remained a top 1,000 name until 1971. It then began to bounce on and off the list until 1997 when it fell off for good. Armand ranks in the top 200 in France. 

Fun Fact: Armand Peugeot was a French engineer and early developer of the automobile. 

Arthur

  • Origin: French, Celtic
  • Meaning: Courageous and strong
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Arther, Arthor, Artor, Artur, Aurthur, Aurther, Artair, Arturo, Artie, Art
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Arthur Miller, athlete Arthur Ashe
  • Peak Popularity: Arthur is a traditional name that is centuries old. It was number 15 in the U.S. in 1900 and a staple in the top 100 until 1970. Arthur is a favorite in France and was in the top 10 in 2017.

Fun Fact: The story of King Arthur, Camelot, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table is fictitious, but historians continue to debate whether or not Arthur is based on a real person.

Brice

  • Origin: French, English, Latin
  • Meaning: Speckled
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bryce, Bryse, Brye, Bri, Bricius, Bricio
  • Famous Namesakes: Athlete Brice McCain, actor Brice Beckham
  • Peak Popularity: Brice was consistent top 1,000 name from 1959 to 2015, but has now fallen from the list. It was most popular in 1988 when it reached a rank of 458. The variant Bryce is more popular, ranking in the top 100 from 1998–2002. It remains in the top 200 but is falling.

Fun Fact: Saint Brice was the Bishop of Tours in France from 397 AD until his death in 444 AD.

Charles

  • Origin: French, German, English
  • Meaning: Strong and manly
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Char, Charlemagne, Charlton, Charlot, Charleston, Charlie, Charley, Char
  • Famous Namesakes: Scientist Charles Darwin, writer Charles Dickens
  • Peak Popularity: Charles is a popular, classic, age-old name. It has been in the top 100 in the U.S. for well over 100 years. It was number 5 in 1900 and number 52 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Charlemagne, also known as Charles I and Charles the Great, is one of the most famous leaders of all time. He was King of the Franks and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages.

Claude

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Lame, crippled, and limping
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Klaude, Claud, Klaud, Claudie, Claudio, Claudien, Claudius
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Claude Akins, athlete Claude Giroux
  • Peak Popularity: Claude was very popular in the first half of the 20th century. It was a top 200 name until 1953, but it slowly decreased in use over the next 40 years until it dropped out of the top 1,000 in 1994. 

Fun Fact: Claude Monet was a French impressionist artist whose famous paintings include Woman with a Parasol; Impression, Sunrise; and the Water Lilies series. 

Denis

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Devoted to the wine god, Dionysius
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dennis, Dennes, Denys, Denni, Denny, Den
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Denis Leary, writer Denis Johnson
  • Peak Popularity: Denis is a very old name. It was most popular in the U.S. in 1952 when it ranked 277. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 1992 and is now less common.

Fun Fact: Saint Denis was a Bishop of Paris who lived in the third century. He is the patron saint of France.

François

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: A man from France or a free man
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Francis, Francisco, Frank, Frankie, French, Fran
  • Famous Namesakes: Former Prime Minister of France François Fillon, director François Truffaut
  • Peak Popularity: François is unique in the United States, but it is more common in France.

Fun Fact: François Holland is a recent former President of France who held the office from 2012 to 2017.

Frederic

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: A peaceful ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Frederick, Fredric, Fredrick, Fredrich, Frederik, Freddy, Fred, Ric
  • Famous Namesakes: Composer Frédéric Chopin, artist Frédéric Bach
  • Peak Popularity: Frederic was in the top 1,000 in the U.S. until 1979. Its best year was 1915 when it reached the rank of 343.

Fun Fact: The French artist Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi is the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty as a gift for the United States.

Gabriel

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is the strength and hero
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gabreal, Gabriele, Gabryel, Gabe, Gabin
  • Famous Namesakes: Athlete Gabriel Obertan, comedian Gabriel Iglesias
  • Peak Popularity: Gabriel has been around for thousands of years, and it was in the top 25 from 2008–2016. It is a top 10 name in France.

Fun Fact: Saint Gabriel is one of the three most recognized archangels along with St. Michael and St. Raphael.

Gaston

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: From Gascony in southwest France
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gastawn, Gastone, Gasten, Gastan, Gastun, Gascone
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Gaston Paris, philosopher Gaston Bachelard
  • Peak Popularity: Gaston is an old name. In 1900, it ranked number 635 in the US, and it was a top 1,000 name until 1936. It is uncommon today.

Fun Fact: Gaston is a good looking, self-centered character who falls for Belle and becomes the villain in the 1991 Disney animated movie Beauty and the Beast.

Gilbert

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Trusted and intelligent
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gilburt, Gilber, Gilberto, Guilbert, Gilbirt, Guillbert, Gil, Bert
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Gilbert Bécaud, comedian Gilbert Gottfried
  • Peak Popularity: Gilbert is a classic boy name. It was number 146 in 1900 and a top 200 name until 1969. It has since fallen in the ranks and dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2017.

Fun Fact: Gilbert and Sullivan are the songwriting team and genius duo behind operettas such as The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, and the Yeomen of the Guard.

Guy

  • Origin: French, Italian, German, Hebrew
  • Meaning: A warrior and leader
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Guye, Gye, Gui, Gai, Guido, Guyon
  • Famous Namesakes: Chef Guy Fieri, entertainer Guy Laliberté
  • Peak Popularity: Guy was very popular in the early 1900s. It ranked 99 in 1900 and stayed in the top 200 until 1968. It decreased in popularity over the last 40 years and fell off the top 1,000 list in 2007.

Fun Fact: “G.U.Y.” is the name of a Lady Gaga song from her 2013 Album ARTPOP.

Hugo

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Intelligence of mind and spirit
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hugh, Ugo, Hewgo, Hughes, Hue, Hew, Hughie, Huey, Hewy
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Hugo Weaving, former President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez
  • Peak Popularity: Hugo is a vintage name that has been in the top 1,000 for well over a century, and the top 500 since 1979. Hugo is trendy in France and has been a top 10 name since 1998.

Fun Fact: Hugo is one of the gargoyles in the Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Victor is another gargoyle, and their names honor Victor Hugo, the author of the original novel.

Jacques

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: The one that comes after or replaces
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jacque, Jaques, Jaque, Jock, Jacquard, Jacob, Jake, Jack
  • Famous Namesakes: Chef Jacques Torres, former President of France Jacques Chirac
  • Peak Popularity: Jacques had its most popular year in the U.S. in 1969 when it reached number 601. It is traditionally a more popular name in France.

Fun Fact: Jacques Cousteau was an explorer and researcher who taught the world about the ocean and its inhabitants.

Jean

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jeane, Jeann, Jhon, Jene, Gene, Jeanne, John
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Jean Reno, actor Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Peak Popularity: Jean is a classic boy name. It was number 499 in 1900 and remained in the top 1,000 until 2011. It is now a less common name for boys in the US, but in the top 100 in France.

Fun Fact: In the fictional world of Star Trek, Jean-Luc Picard is a Captain and commanding officer of the Federation starships USS Stargazer, USS Enterprise-D, and USS Enterprise-E.

Jules

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Forever young
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jewels, Joules, Jule, Joule, Jewel, Julian, Julien, Julius, Julieus, Julio
  • Famous Namesakes: Racecar Driver Jules Bianchi, World Cup founder Jules Rimet
  • Peak Popularity: Jules was most popular in the U.S. in 1911 when it ranked 422. It is now a unique name for boys in the U.S. However, Jules is extremely popular in France where it has been in the top 10 names since 2008.

Fun Fact: Jules Verne is the French writer and pioneer of science fiction whose famous works include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Leo

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Bold like a lion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lio, Lyo, Leoh, Lee, Leon, Leone, Leonn, Leonardo
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Leo Tolstoy, musician Leo Arnaud
  • Peak Popularity: Leo is a time-honored name for boys. It was number 46 in 1900, and it's just as trendy today. In 2010, it ranked 50 in the U.S. and has been in the top 10 in France since 2012.

Fun Fact: Leo is an old, royal, and religious name. There were six emperors, thirteen popes, and many kings and saints who went by the name of Leo.

Louis

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Brave warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Luis, Lewis, Lue, Luie, Luiz, Luisito, Louie, Lou
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Louis Armstrong, inventor Louis Braille, designer Louis Vuitton
  • Peak Popularity: Louis is a centuries-old name that has withstood the test of time. It was number 26 in 1900 and number 263 in 2018. It is currently a favorite in France where it has been a top 10 name since 2006.

Fun Fact: Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who developed pasteurization and vaccines for rabies and anthrax.

Luc

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: The light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Luke, Luca, Lucca, Luces, Lucas, Lukas, Lucian
  • Famous Namesakes: Director Luc Besson, athlete Luc Longley
  • Peak Popularity: Luc is an uncommon name in the United States, but it did make the top 1,000 in 2002 with a rank of 933. Luc is a much more popular name in France.

Fun Fact: Luc Jacquet is the writer and director of the Oscar-winning documentary film March of the Penguins. 

Marc

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: A dedicated follower of Mars
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mark, Marque, Marq, Marx, Marcus, Markus, Marcas, Marco
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Marc Anthony, designer Marc Jacobs
  • Peak Popularity: Marc has been popular in the U.S. since the 1940s. It reached its highest rank of 60 in 1970 but has been declining since, but hanging on in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: The modern artist Marc Chagall is well known throughout the world for his abstract style.

Marcel

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: A little warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marcelle, Marcell, Marsel, Marsell, Marciel, Marceau, Marceaux, Marcelin, Marcello, MarcelinoMarceli, Marcellus
  • Famous Namesakes: Mime Marcel Marceau, artist Marcel Duchamp
  • Peak Popularity: Marcel has been a top 1,000 name for over 100 years. Its most popular year in the United States was 1925 when it hit number 500.

Fun Fact: Marcel is the name of the pet Capuchin monkey that belonged to Ross on the TV series Friends.

Martin

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Warlike
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Martine, Martyn, Marteen, Martene, Marten, Marton, Maarten, Martino, Martinus, Marti, Mardy, Marty
  • Famous Namesakes: Former U.S. President Martin Van Buren, director Martin Scorsese
  • Peak Popularity: Martin is a traditional name. It was number 70 in 1900 and was in the top 100 until 1971. Martin is a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: Marin Luther was a 14th-century monk who was part of the Reformation where Christians broke away from the Catholic church. Followers of his teachings are Protestants who belong to the Lutheran Church.

Maurice

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Having dark skin
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maurisse, Maurise, Morice, Murice, Mauro, Mauricio, Morris, Maury, Mauri
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Maurice Sendak, singer Maurice Gibb
  • Peak Popularity: Maurice is a name that goes back centuries. In the last 120 years, it was most popular in 1914 with a rank of 94. It is still on the top 1,000 list, but it has lost some steam in the last 20 years.

Fun Fact: Maurice Koechlin was one of the engineers behind some major designs including the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and the Garabit viaduct.

Nicolas

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: A victory of the people
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nicholas, Nicolas, Nikolas, Nicolus, Nichol, Nicholaus, Nicola, Nico, Niko, Nick
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Nicolas Cage, athlete Nicolas Mahut
  • Peak Popularity: Nicolas is another name that has been around for centuries, and it's been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. for over 100 years. Its best year was 1998 when it ranked 132.

Fun Fact: Nicolas Sarkozy was the President of France from 2007 to 2012.

Noel

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Born on Christmas Day or at Christmastime
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Noël, Noelle, Noell, Noele, Nowelle
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Noel Clarke, athlete Noel LaMontagne
  • Peak Popularity: Noel has been a top 500 name for boys for most of the last century in the United States. It was most popular in 1938 with a rank of 267.

Fun Fact: Père Noël is Father Christmas and the French name for that famous gift-giver, Santa Claus.

Orville

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: From the gold town
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Orvil, Orvelle, Aurville, Orvalle, Orvylle, Orvele, Orv
  • Famous Namesakes: Inventor Orville Wright, entrepreneur Orville Redenbacher
  • Peak Popularity: Orville was most popular in 1913 with a rank of 120. It was a top 1,000 name in the U.S. until the 1970s, but it has not returned to the top 1,000 since 1975.

Fun Fact: The USS Orville is the name of the spacecraft in Seth MacFarlane’s futuristic science fiction TV series, The Orville.

Pascal

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Born at Eastertime
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Pascale, Pascalle, Pascual, Paschal, Pasqual, Pasquale, Paskal, Pasco
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Pascal Obispo, athlete Pascal Dupuis
  • Peak Popularity: Pascal is an uncommon name in the United States. In the last 120 years, it did make the top 1,000 list one time in 1910 when it ranked 851.

Fun Fact: Pascal is a popular boy’s name in French-speaking countries. It tends to be more common for boys born on or around Easter or those born on May 17 which is the feast day of Saint Pascal.

Paul

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Little one or small
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Pawl, Paolo, Pol, Paulo, Paolo, Paulus, Pauly, Paulie
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Paul McCartney, actor Paul Newman
  • Peak Popularity: Paul is a classic name that dates back thousands of years. It was number 19 in 1900 and a top 20 name in the U.S. until 1969. It was in the top 100 until 2000 and held the rank of 234 in 2018. Paul is a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: Paul is the name of a chain of pâtisseries or bakeries in France and 33 other countries that specializes in bread, pastries, and other sweet treats.

Percival

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Piercing
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Peceval, Persival, Purcival, Parsival, Percivale, Perce, Percy, Perci
  • Famous Namesakes: Scientist Percival Lowell, writer Percival Everett
  • Peak Popularity: Percival is an old name, but unique in the United States. It appears on the top 1,000 list twice. In 1901 it held the rank of 925, and in 1902 it was 914.

Fun Fact: Sir Percival was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. 

Philippe

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: One who loves and befriends horses
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Phillipe, Philip, Felipe, Felippe, Phellipe, Filipe, Phil
  • Famous Namesakes: Athlete Philippe Blain, tightrope walker Philippe Petit
  • Peak Popularity: Philippe is not a common name in the U.S. and does not show up on the top 1,000 list of boys names in the last 120 years. Philippe is more common in France.

Fun Fact: Philippe is Maurice and Belle’s horse in Disney’s animated film Beauty and the Beast.

Pierre

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Strong and solid like a rock
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Piere, Pyerre, Pier, Piero, Peter, Pietro, Piero, Pierce, Piers
  • Famous Namesakes: Designer Pierre Cardin, scientist Pierre Curie
  • Peak Popularity: In the last 120 years in the United States, Pierre had its most popular year in 1986 when it reached its highest rank of 389. In 2014, Pierre dropped off the top 1,000 list in the US. In France, Pierre is a very common name.

Fun Fact: Pierre is the capital city of South Dakota, but it’s not the state’s largest or most populated city.

Quentin

  • Origin: French, English, Latin
  • Meaning: The fifth one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Quintin, Quenten, Quenton, Quinten, Quenelle, Quentel, Kwenten, Qwinten, Quent, Quincy, Quenn, Quinn
  • Famous Namesakes: Director Quentin Tarantino, explorer Quentin Keynes
  • Peak Popularity: Quentin is a well-established name. It has been a top 1,000 name in the U.S. for the last 100 years. It was most popular in 1919 with a rank of 220. It ranked 545 in 2018. 

Fun Fact: Quentin Blake is an artist and writer who illustrated many children’s books including works by Dr, Seuss and Roald Dahl.

Raphael

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Healed by God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rafael, Raffael, Raphaele, Raphaelle, Rafaelle
  • Famous Namesakes: Athlete Raphaël Jacquelin, musician Raphael Saadiq
  • Peak Popularity: Raphael is an ancient name that dates back thousands of years. It was number 527 in the U.S. in 2018. In France, Raphael is currently a trendy name, and has been in the top 10 since 2015.

Fun Fact: Raphael is the name of an archangel, an Italian Renaissance artist, and a Ninja Turtle.

René

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Born again or reborn
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Renee, Renne, Rennee, Ranee, Reney, Ranay, Renato, Renie, Renney, Reni
  • Famous Namesakes: Producer René Angélil, pilot René Fonck
  • Peak Popularity: Rene is a traditional boy name that has been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. for well over a century. It was most popular in 1983 with a rank of 256.

Fun Fact: René Descartes was a mathematician, scientist, and the father of modern philosophy. He said, “I think, therefore I am” and made many important contributions to algebra, geometry, and physics.

Richard

  • Origin: French, English, German
  • Meaning: Strong and powerful ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ricard, Richerd, Rickard, Ritchard, Ricardo, Richardo, Ritchey, Rico, Richie, Richey, Ricky, Rich, Rick
  • Famous Namesakes: Businessman Richard Branson, former U.S. President Richard Nixon
  • Peak Popularity: Richard is an ever-popular, long-lived name. It has been a top 200 name in the U.S. for well beyond 100 years. It reached its highest rank of 5 in 1930 and stayed there for 18 years. Richard has also been consistently popular in many other countries including France and Canada.

Fun Fact: Richard Adams is the author of Watership Down, a novel about the adventures of a group of rabbits looking for a new place to call home. 

Roy

  • Origin: French, German, English
  • Meaning: A king, royal
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Roi, Roye, Royle, Royal, Royalton, Roycell, Royce
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Roy Orbison, actor Roy Rogers
  • Peak Popularity: Roy is a traditional name. It was number 21 in 1900 and a top 100 name until 1969. It has slowly decreased in popularity and ranked 542 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Roy Oliver Disney along with his brother Walter Elias, are the co-founders of The Walt Disney Company.

Russell

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Having red hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Russel, Rusell, Rusel, Rousell, Roussell, Ruscel, Ruscell, Russon, Russo, Rusty, Russ
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Russell Crowe, music producer Russell Simmons
  • Peak Popularity: Russell is another well-established name that has been around for a long time. It was number 62 in 1900 and was in the top 100 until 1983. It held the position of 413 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Russell is the Junior Wilderness Explorer who accidentally joins Carl Fredricksen on his trip to Paradise Falls in Disney Pixar’s Up.

Sacha

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Defender of humankind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sasha, Sascha, Socha, Sosha, Soscha, Sache, Soche, Sancha, Sassa
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Sacha Distel, director Sacha Bennett
  • Peak Popularity: Sacha is not a common name in the United States and is not part of the top 1,000 list for the last 120 years. However, Sacha is very popular in France where it was in the top 20 in 2017.

Fun Fact: Sacha Baron Cohen is an actor and comedian famous for creating funny characters such as Borat and Ali G.

Samuel

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: The name of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Samual, Samuele, Samoule, Samuole, Samelle, Samel, Samwell, Samwel, Sammie, Sammy, Sami, Sam
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Samuel Clemens, actor Samuel L. Jackson
  • Peak Popularity: Samuel is a time-honored name. It has been in the top 100 in the United States for well over a century. It was number 33 in 1900 and reached its highest rank of 21 in 2017 and 2018. Samuel is also a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: Samuel Morse is the inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. 

Sébastien

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Revered, respected and adored
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sebastian, Sabastian, Sebastion, Sebastyn, Sebastyen, Seb, Bashtian, Bashie
  • Famous Namesakes: Painter Sébastien Bourdon, athlete Sébastien Toutant
  • Peak Popularity: Sébastien is unique in the United States and not on the top 1,000 list for the last 120 years. However, the alternate spelling, Sebastian, is currently very trendy and ranked number 18 in 2018. The name Sébastien is more common in France.

Fun Fact: Sébastien Érard was a harp and piano manufacturer who made improvements and obtained patents that are still in use on today’s modern versions of the instruments.

Simon

  • Origin: French, Hebrew, Greek
  • Meaning: God has heard
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Simeon, Symon, Simen, Symen, Simone, Simmon, Si, Sy
  • Famous Namesakes: TV personality Simon Cowell, singer Simon Le Bon
  • Peak Popularity: Simon is a very old name. It was number 236 in 1900 and number 254 in 2018. In France, Simon is a top 100 name.

Fun Fact: Simon was one of the twelve apostles, but Jesus changed his name to Peter. He became Peter the Apostle and then Saint Peter.

Sinclair

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: From Saint Claire
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sinclaire, Sinclare, Synclair, Synclarie, Synclare, Sinc, Clare, Clair
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Sinclair Lewis, singer Sinclair
  • Peak Popularity: Sinclair is an uncommon name that is not in the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: The USS Sinclair was a Navy ship that sailed from 1919 to 1926. It was named for the decorated naval war hero, Arthur Sinclair.

Théo

  • Origin: French, Greek, German
  • Meaning: Gift and blessing from God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Theeo, Theos, Theodor, Theodore, Theodoros, Theon, Ted, Teddy
  • Famous Namesakes: Athlete Theo Bos, painter Théo van Rysselberghe
  • Peak Popularity: Theo was popular until 1946 when it fell out of the top 1,000 in the US. It showed up again in 2010 and has risen quickly in the ranks. It was number 243 in 2018, while Theodore was at number 44. Theo is very popular in France where it's a top 100 name.

Fun Fact: Theo LeSieg is one of the pen names used by Theodor Seuss Geisel, but his most famous pen name is Dr. Seuss.

Thomas

  • Origin: French, Greek, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Twin
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Thomes, Tomas, Tomaso, Tomaz, Thomaz, Tomasso, Tomaro, Tomio, Thom, Tommy, Tomie, Tom
  • Famous Namesakes: Inventor Thomas Edison, former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson
  • Peak Popularity: Thomas is a classic name. It has been a top 100 name in the U.S. for a very long time. It was number 8 in popularity 17 times in the last 100 years. It is also a top 100 name in France.

Fun Fact: Thomas the Tank Engine is a character in the children’s TV series Thomas & Friends.

Travis

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: To cross over at the crossing or the crossroads
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Traviss, Traves, Travus, Travys, Travers, Traver, Trevis,
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Travis Scott, TV doctor Travis Stork
  • Peak Popularity: Travis has been a top 1,000 for over 100 years. It was most popular in 1979 with a rank of 36. It ranked 313 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Travis Coates is the young boy in the classic story and Disney movie, Old Yeller.

Tristan

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Sad and full of sorrow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Trystan, Tristen, Trysten, Triston, Tristin, Tristien, Tristian, Triste, Tristam,
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Tristan Bernard, composer Tristan Murail
  • Peak Popularity: Tristan hit the top 1,000 in 1971. It had its best year in 1996 when it reached number 68. It remains in the top 125.

Fun Fact: Tristan Ludlow is the main character in the 1994 film Legends of the Fall.

Valentin

  • Origin: French, Latin, Russian
  • Meaning: Healthy and valiant
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Valantin, Valentyn, Valentine, Valentino, Valente, Valenti, Valient, Valiant, Valen, Valin, Vali, Val
  • Famous Namesakes: Painter Valentin de Boulogne, painter Valentin Serov
  • Peak Popularity: Valentin has been on and off the top 1,000 list in the U.S. since 1934. Its best rank was 614 in 2007. In France, Valentin is a popular, top 100 name.

Fun Fact: The name Valentin also honors the 3rd-century martyr, Saint Valentine whose celebration day is February 14.

Victor

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: The winner or victorious one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Victoir, Victoire, Victore, Victer, Viktor, Vikter, Victorien, Victoriano, Victorio, Vico, Vick, Vic
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Victor Borge, director Victor Fleming
  • Peak Popularity: Victor is a long-standing name that has been in the top 200 in the United States for a very long time. Victor is also prominent in France where it is a top 100 name.

Fun Fact: Victor Hugo is one of the most celebrated French writers whose well-known works include The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables.

Yves

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: An archer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ives, Eves, Yve, Eve, Yvo, Ivo
  • Famous Namesakes: Poet Yves Bonnefoy, actor Yves Montand
  • Peak Popularity: Yves is not common in the United States and does not appear in the top 1,000. It is a more common name in France and the Netherlands.

Fun Fact: Yves Saint Laurent was a fashion designer and one of the founders of the luxury fashion company by the same name. 

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