Help with franco-british names!

(43 Posts)
anaotchan Thu 29-Aug-13 11:10:49

I am French but my baby will likely grow up in the UK, so I would need a French name that also works in English.

Right now I am liking Lucie. I think it is a lovely name, but reading through past threads I got the impression that a lot of British people found the -ie ending too twee, or too nicknamey, or too pretentious. (it is the normal and only spelling for the name in French, though.)

Does my French passport give my bi-national child a pass? Or should I avoid the name altogether? ("Lucy" is not an option, because I really want a French name)

If anyone has other suggestions for two-syllable names that are classic but not too popular in either country, I am all ears! I considered Louise, but DH vetoed it. Sophie is nice but way too common in the UK for my taste. Names starting in "E" (Emma, Elise) are also out because DH thinks they do not work with our last name. *sigh...

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 29-Aug-13 12:04:23

Anything that needs spelling out is generally a pain - she won't be called "Lucie" she'll actually be called "Lucie with an i-e" at least the first time she introduces herself to anyone and whenever anyone is inputting her details etc. and will spend her life being annoyed that birthday cards and emails are sent to her as Lucy.

I would be inclined to pick something that sounds French but is also easily spelled in English like Amelie (is that French?!) but then you'll have a better idea of which French names are 'acceptable'.

clearsommespace Thu 29-Aug-13 12:06:44

How about Lucille?

OldRoan Thu 29-Aug-13 12:09:56

Agathe
Camille (but if people don't know she has French roots I suspect this would become "ca-meel")
Helene
Margot

I think the "ine" names would work in England, because they are pretty phonetic (Claudine, Amandine) but they would certainly be 'French names'.

I agree something like Amelie would be lovely and nobody would bat an eyelid.

OldRoan Thu 29-Aug-13 12:12:39

Sorry, for Camille I meant with the emphasis on the MEEL, whereas the French girls I know are either "Cammy" or "Ca-meel" but almost swallowing the 'meel' bit. I didn't explain that very well blush.

Vella Thu 29-Aug-13 12:14:55

I'm British and my husband's French and our daughter is called Lucie. With an ie. We live in France but when I say her name people often ask if it's -y or -ie. I think Lucy is becoming more popular here. We went with the traditional spelling but I suppose if she lives in England one day then they will end up spelling it Lucy, but that will be up to her to correct or not as she wishes!

Otherwise how about Charlotte, Emilie, Alice... ? They are names of some of Lucie's friends at nursery.

anaotchan Thu 29-Aug-13 12:23:34

thanks for the responses!

"Amélie" is pretty, but comes with an accent (same with Hélène), so that's a whole different set of problems... smile

I like Camille and Margot!

I also really like Lucil(l)e, but DH thinks it's an old lady's name (Lucille Ball?..).

Interesting to hear about your experience, Vella - in my view English spellings look pretty bad in French (for some reason they have lower class connotations), but then if the child is British surely it's fine!

ohmymimi Thu 29-Aug-13 12:28:44

Celeste?

Vella Thu 29-Aug-13 12:32:35

Anaotchan - my husband said there was no way we could spell it with a -y as names in France like Lucy remind him of trashy American tv series! ;) I think both spellings are nice but obviously have a preference for Lucie now!!

anaotchan Thu 29-Aug-13 12:38:08

"there was no way we could spell it with a -y as names in France like Lucy remind him of trashy American tv series!"

haha, that's exactly it!! ;)

OKnotOK Thu 29-Aug-13 12:40:17

Lorraine or Jacquline (me & my sis).

No idea why we both ended up with French names, but there you go!

Bythebeach Thu 29-Aug-13 12:48:09

I love Agnes the French way ... would that work?

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 29-Aug-13 12:50:31

Nicolette?

EldritchCleavage Thu 29-Aug-13 12:51:49

Laurence is a favourite of mine, but would it work here?

Claire

Caroline

Nicole

Miriam

Stephanie

Julie

macthecatsmum Thu 29-Aug-13 12:53:47

Madeleine-but I'm biased. DD is the only one in our school. Celeste? Marguerite?

amandine07 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:10:12

Amandine? wink

Elodie is another one I like

As for Lucile I know a successful, dynamic & young one! I know what you mean though, it's hard to get connotations or associations out of your mind!

LillyNotOfTheValley Thu 29-Aug-13 13:10:27

I am in a fairly similar situation OP, I do sympathize, naming a baby is hard enough like not to have those kind of issues.

Biblical names work fairly well in an international context, maybe you could look that up.

Other ideas:
Charlotte
Claire (hyphenated or not: Anne-Claire, Claire-Marie)
Esther
Adele
Beatrice
Gabrielle
Anna/Annabelle
Clarisse
Ines
Elise
Alix, Alice
Leonie
Lise, Lisa
Marielle
Rose
Pauline
Julie, Julia, Juliette
Iris
Adelaide
Gaelle
Faustine
Zelie
Nina
Laura, Lauriane
Alexandra
Segolene

You can also look up the "figaro names" and make your DH read them to see if they work.
I included names with different spellings/pronounciations in French and English but I think that if there are no major changes it is not a eeally big deal.

I am French too btw and both DCs have English names that are easy to live with in France (Alec and Antonia).

Good luck!

amandine07 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:14:19

I quite like Manon, this would work well in UK- no awkward spelling or pronunciation!

Also- Gabrielle, Silene, Cecile, Celine, Anais

EnjoyEverySandwich Thu 29-Aug-13 13:38:07

Martine
Judith
Colette
Diane
Nicole
Renée
Denise

Layl77 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:30:47

I like Anais, Nicole, Lucie, Maelle, Madeliene

toobusytothink Thu 29-Aug-13 15:38:13

I went to school with a Genevieve. Always thought it was a beautiful name. Otherwise Stephanie. But think lucie with ie is very pretty and not twee at all.

LeBFG Thu 29-Aug-13 15:40:02

Having done this one to death - twice for mine - my best advice is just choose a name YOU like. The country will adapt (even with accents). If you choose a very franco name it'll just give your DD an exotic appeal.

hetsto Thu 29-Aug-13 15:40:27

I had an Anglo-French friend called Leonore, which I think is gorgeous! She got 'Leo' as a shortened version, which was pretty cool too. I also really like Ariane.

aftermay Thu 29-Aug-13 15:43:23

Sylvie
Eloise
Clara

QisforQuestion Thu 29-Aug-13 15:44:23

I absolutely love 'Solenne'. Although its French English people can pronounce it easily. It's such a sweet and classy name.

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