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French Names

French Names

French names include many classic names that have ranked highly in the US for its entire history. These classic names with French origins include Anne and Louis, Charlotte and Charles, and Josephine and Curtis (though it may surprise you to learn that Curtis is not only French, but perennially popular!).

French names in the US Top 200 for girls include Annabelle, Charlotte, Claire, Josephine, and Sophie. For boys, French names in the US Top 500 include Andre, Beau, Chase, Remy, and Russell. In France, popular names include Louise, Manon, Jules, and Bastien.

Unique French baby names attracting fresh attention in both France and beyond include, for girls, Capucine, Darcy, Delphine, Elodie, Maribel, Oceane, Ottilie, Quincy, Romilly, and Sylvie. For boys, Dion, Emilien, Florent, Julius, Lionel, Montague, Pom, and Quincy.

If you're exploring French names for your baby, you may also want to consult our complete lists of French girl names, French boy names, and popular names in France.

Or search beyond French names on our page of Name Origins.

  1. RoyalHeart
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "royal"
    • Description:

      Even less subtle than Duke or Earl, this name shot up the popularity charts in 2013, the same year young Prince George was born and the craze for all things royal (and Royal) began. Today, it's a leading boys' name on Nameberry's own popularity charts. While Royal ranks on the US Top 1000 list for both girls and boys, It's rising more precipitously for boys. The gender count of baby Royals is currently running 2 to 1 in favor of boys. Pop culture references: the hit Lorde song "Royals.", the Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums (in which the paterfamilias was named Royal), and most recently, the Amazon Prime series Outer Range, a supernatural neo-Western starring Josh Brolin as Royal Abbott. The name's resemblance to the more classic Roy doesn't hurt either.
  2. EloiseHeart
    • Origin:

      French and English variation of Heloise
    • Meaning:

      "healthy; wide"
    • Description:

      To some, Eloise will forever be the imperious little girl making mischief at the Plaza Hotel, while the original version Heloise recalls the beautiful and learned wife of the French philosopher Peter Abelard, admired for her fidelity and piety.
  3. ElodieHeart
    • Origin:

      French, variation of Alodia, German
    • Meaning:

      "foreign riches"
    • Description:

      Elodie derives from Elodia, the Spanish variation of Alodia, a gothic German name associated with Saint Alodia. Saint Alodia was a child martyr in 9th century Spain, along with her sister Nunilo. In France, Elodie is spelled Élodie, with an accent over the E.
  4. EsmeHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".
  5. CharlotteHeart
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlotte is the feminine form of the male given name Charles. It derived from Charlot, a French diminutive of Charles meaning "little Charles," and the name of Charlemagne’s son in French literature and legend. The name was popularized by England's Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.
  6. OttilieHeart
    • Origin:

      German, French
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in battle"
    • Description:

      Ottilie and its diminutive Ottiline are a pair of names heard among the British upper crust, but have rarely been seen here since the 1880's. Ottilie does have a few cultural references: She is a key character in Goethe's Elective Affinities, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a poem called To Ottilie, Franz Kafka had a sister named Ottilie, and it is the name of the protagonist in the John Wyndom sci-fi story Random Quest.
  7. GenevieveHeart
    • Origin:

      English from French
    • Meaning:

      "tribe woman"
    • Description:

      Genevieve is derived from the Germanic medieval name Genovefa, or Kenowefa, which consists of the elements kuni, meaning "kin", and wefa, meaning "woman." The medieval saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, defended the city against Attila the Hun through her rational thinking, courage and prayer.
  8. ClementineHeart
    • Origin:

      French feminine version of Clement, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "mild, merciful"
    • Description:

      Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that has finally broken back into the US Top 1000 after more than half a century off the list. Still, its style value may mean there are more Clementines than you might guess in your neighborhood—it may be a name that raises Mom's eyebrows, but it won't surprise your friends.
  9. JosephineHeart
    • Origin:

      French feminine variation of Joseph
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah increases"
    • Description:

      Josephine is the feminine form of Joseph, a name ultimately derived from the Hebrew Yosef, meaning "Jehovah increases." In French it has an accent over the first E, which was omitted in the English, German, and Dutch translations of the name. Empress Joséphine du Beauharnais was born Marie-Josephe-Rose, but called Josephine by her husband, Napolean Bonaparte.
  10. LouisHeart
    • Origin:

      German and French
    • Meaning:

      "renowned warrior"
    • Description:

      Kate and William shocked the world when they announced that they'd named their third child Louis -- Prince Louis Arthur Charles, to be more precise. But we've been predicting a comeback for this classic name for a long time.
  11. RemyHeart
    • Origin:

      French from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "oarsman"
    • Description:

      The name of a fifth century saint and one of a new generation of French names being discovered in the US, Remy sounds particularly modern and attractive. The name Remy is being revived for both boys and girls, sometimes as Remi. It entered the popularity list in 2009 and has quickly become one of the fastest-rising names on the list.
  12. AdelineHeart
    • Origin:

      French, diminutive of Adele
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility"
    • Description:

      Adeline originated as a French diminutive of Adele, which came from the Germanic root adal, meaning "noble." Adeline was introduced to England by the Normans in the eleventh century, was very common during the Middle Ages, then vanished until the Victorian Gothic revival. Common variants of Adeline include Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adelynn, Adelina, and Adaline.
  13. ClaireHeart
    • Origin:

      French form of Clara
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Claire is the French form of Clara, a feminine derivation of the Latin masculine name Clarus. The French word for "clear," Claire’s meaning, is clair, and was traditionally a male name. Now the spelling is used mainly for girls, along with Clare, and occasionally Klaire or Klare.
  14. MargotHeart
    • Origin:

      French, diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margot originated as a French pet form of Marguerite, a name that ultimately derived from the Greek margarites, meaning "pearl." Other spellings include Margo and Margaux. Margaux Hemingway was originally Margot but changed the spelling to honor the wine from the French village of Margaux that was drunk by her parents on the night she was conceived.
  15. SophieHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of Sophia
    • Meaning:

      "wisdom"
    • Description:

      Sophie is the French form of the Greek Sophia, for which it is also commonly used as a nickname. Sophies are scattered throughout European royal history, including Sophie of Thuringia, Duchess of Brabant, Princess Sophie of Sweden, and in modern times, Sophie, Duchess of Wessex, the wife of Britain's Prince Edward. German-born Catherine the Great was born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, but changed her name to Catherine upon her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy.
  16. BeauHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "handsome"
    • Description:

      Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
  17. JulietHeart
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful or sky father"
    • Description:

      One of the most romantic names, the lovely and stylish Juliet seems finally to have shaken off her limiting link to Romeo. In Shakespeare's play, it was Juliet who said "What's in a name?"
  18. EliseHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of Elizabeth
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Elise originated as French diminutive of Elizabeth but is now most commonly used as self-contained name. In English and French speaking countries, Elise is pronounced with two syllables, but in countries with Germanic or Scandinavian languages it is pronounced with three syllables, closer to Elisa.
  19. CarolineHeart
    • Origin:

      French, feminine variation of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Caroline is a perennial classic, in the Top 100 since 1994. Caroline is elegant, calling to mind the Kennedy Camelot years and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
  20. EmmelineHeart
    • Origin:

      Old French form of archaic German Amal
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Emmeline is an Emma relative and Emily cousin that is destined for greater use in the wake of the megapopularity of those two names. A recommended Nameberry fave, Emmeline hopped onto the US Top 1000 in 2014 for the first time ever. While it is genuinely an old name, it was rarely used a century ago; only 17 baby girls were named Emmeline in 1915, the same number as were named Ernie!