Not-so-secret confession: I am obsessed with all things French. If I see an article of children’s clothing with the Eiffel Tower on it, there’s no way I’m not buying it. Everything French just feels classy and sophisticated to me. If you feel the same way, you’ll love these French names for your petit bébé!
In the 18th century, French law dictated that first names must be Saint names, explaining the prevalence of traditional Christian names like Jean, Pierre, Marie, and Anne. Thankfully in 1966 liberties were given to parents to get more creative with their naming choices. Just like in the U.S., nowadays it is common for the French to name their children after international celebrities, objects found in nature, mythology, or whatever strikes them as beautiful.
French names for girls
Unlike traditional Italian girl names that tend to end in “a”, French girl names typically end in “e” which may work better with your last name, or just suit your personal taste. Here are some of the French girl names that are les plus belles!
Less cumbersome and more chic than the Italian Apollonia, the French Apolline also derives from the mythological Apollo and means “strength”.
It’s not just Beyoncé’s sister’s name, it’s also a gorgeous French name meaning “dignified”.
This lovely name meaning “mild” is even more beautiful when pronounced with a French accent, like this: Clay-monce.
This Classical Latin version of the Hebrew Naomi means “pleasantness”.
A very different sounding name (but at the same time easy to spell and pronounce) Lilou is a flower name meaning “lily”.
Now mainstream following the popular movie “Amélie” (which you need to see if you haven’t yet!), this is a charming variation to Emily or Amelia.
The diminutive form of Elisabeth, Lisette strikes the perfect balance between strong and feminine.
After Angelina Jolie chose it for her youngest daughter, Vivienne saw a spike in popularity but has yet to break into the top 100. Use it in its full sophisticated form or shorten it to the super cute “Vivi”.
Meaning “coral”, Coralie is popular in French-speaking regions of Canada but underused in the U.S.
A sweet and refined diminutive for Amanda.
This name is picking up speed in France and England, and with the current trend of “El” names for girls, will likely soon jump across the pond and be popular here too. It means “foreign riches”, which is perhaps a good omen for your daughter’s future.
If you’re a fan of Angelina but prefer fewer syllables, Angelique could be your winner! And like all these names, it’s even more beautiful with a French accent.
Like the name “Isabelle” but lesser known, more unique, and more French-sounding.
Meaning “light”, Lucienne is a sophisticated name reminiscent of the popular choices Lucy and Lillian.
Classic and beautiful, this French variation of Margaret has been used among French royalty.
Have you found the right first name? Finish it off with the perfect middle name! Guidelines for choosing the right middle name plus a list of inspiration found here: The Perfect Middle Name For Your Baby Girl
French names for boys
Move over, Claude and Jacques! The new wave of French boy names are super cool- perfect for your little beau.
Not just for the religious (while it does pay homage to John the Baptist), this name becomes adorable when you say it the French way: Bah-teeste. The “p” is not pronounced, which explains the alternate spelling “Battiste”.
A very handsome name that could become popular in the U.S. with the trend of “Ben-” names like Bennet, Benson, and Bentley. Just watch out that it doesn’t get butchered! It’s pronounced Ben-WAH.
Popular all over Europe, Théo is a short-and-sweet contemporary nickname for Théodore.
The modern and handsome Remy (alternate spelling “Remi”) is on the rise after Disney’s Ratatouille in 2007 and other movie and TV characters in the last 10 years.
This popular name in France means “red” and can be used for a boy or girl. Pronounced “roo”, you may find it spelled “Rue” in the U.S. due to the Hunger Games character.
An ultra-fashionable name in Europe, Bastien is more casual and cool than its longer form “Sebastien”.
Another unisex name, Maxime means “the greatest”.
A historical name with a modern feel. Just try not to be annoyed when people misspell it “Blaze”.
This Biblical name with French origins meaning “lowlands” started appearing on the U.S. baby naming charts in 2015.
The name of a French town, Dax has been made hip thanks to actor/comedian Dax Shepard.
A Latin alternative to Justice that still means “just”, Justus is growing in popularity both in France and the U.S.
Traditionally given to boys born around Easter, this makes a handsome name choice all year round.
An Old French name meaning “servant”, Lancelin is a more sleek version of Lancelot. Lance makes for an easy nickname.
A very cute variation of Matthew or Mathias, Mathis is pronounced like “Matisse” and means “gift of God”.
Handsome and cool (think Yves Saint-Laurent), this name has gained popularity thanks to the vampire from the Twilight series.
Ok so it’s basically the same as the regular American “Luke”, but somehow more stylish.
Do you have a favorite of these French names? Share in the comments!
Or if French baby names aren’t for you, browse these old-fashioned baby names or unique baby names for more naming inspiration.
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