French female names

(111 Posts)
Rororowmeboat Wed 20-Mar-13 11:03:27

I like Madeleine and Cecile but not 100% happy with them - does anyone have any suggestions for similar?

Branleuse Wed 20-Mar-13 11:04:57

Mathilde, Anais, Elodie, Amelie, Isabelle, Juliette

Wildwaterfalls Wed 20-Mar-13 11:10:13

Celeste

Wildwaterfalls Wed 20-Mar-13 11:10:40

Or Sabine

wannabeEostregoddess Wed 20-Mar-13 11:11:03

Coralie

ThePavlovianCat Wed 20-Mar-13 11:30:24

Francoise

deXavia Wed 20-Mar-13 11:35:10

Aude, Sabine, Vivienne, Isabelle, Constance, Odile, Agnes, Celine, Laetitia, Cecile .... I have a lot of French female friends wink

Rororowmeboat Wed 20-Mar-13 11:46:31

Thanks folks - keep them coming

I love Odette but I don't think it goes with my surname which ends in -nett as I think there are too many Ts going on.

i do like Cecile but worry it would get shortened to Cissy

Keep the suggestions coming

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 11:48:54

Simone?

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 11:49:27

Oh and Pascale. I know both a Simone and a Pascale.

NanoNinja Wed 20-Mar-13 11:51:08

DC1 was going to be Elodie, before being identified as DS1! Also liked Delphine and Dominique.

WormCanner Wed 20-Mar-13 13:30:49

Jacqueline
Claudine
Josiane
Joelle
Marianne
Valerie
Sandrine
Mirabelle
Myriam

AlisonClare Wed 20-Mar-13 13:33:17

I've always liked Marie Claire

Bonsoir Wed 20-Mar-13 13:39:15

The names on this thread are all incredibly dated - the equivalents of Maureen, Karen, Pauline, Susan...

Xiaoxiong Wed 20-Mar-13 13:40:04

Anouk
Claudine
Claudette
Brigitte
Perrine
Nolwenn
Maryse
Maëlle

(I know some people from Brittany. And like French films from the 60s!)

LillianGish Wed 20-Mar-13 13:47:06

Magalie, Eva, Elena, Fleur, Olivia, Sophie, Emilie, Giselle, Mathilde, Constance, Luna, Heloise, Maud - that's a random selection of girls in my dd's class over the years.

HazleNutt Wed 20-Mar-13 13:52:16

Have you checked french babyname sites?
top 100 names in France:
www.infobebes.com/prenoms/top-prenoms-filles

In 2011, the most popular names were
•Emma
•Jade
•Zoé
•Chloé
•Léa
•Manon
•Inès
•Maëlys
•Louise
•Lilou

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 13:54:02

I like how Sarah is number 8 shock

WormCanner Wed 20-Mar-13 14:02:06

Bonsoir It's natural that our suggestions may be "dated", as in many cases we are thinking of people we know or have met. Unless OP lives in France, I can't see that it matters. I assumed that the OP is looking for a name she likes, and is not particularly concerned with being "on trend".

Viviennemary Wed 20-Mar-13 14:07:38

I like Cecile, Violette or even Vivienne.

monal Wed 20-Mar-13 14:10:28

I know a French Celeste who's one and a half, so there grin. Although then again I know two baby Hortenses so my social circle may be a poor frame of reference. Adèle? Anaïs? Manon is pretty as well.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 14:12:47

According to that list HazleNutt linked, Sarah is very on trend, like I said grin

Bonsoir Wed 20-Mar-13 15:53:08

I beg to differ and think it does matter if you call a child a name from another country that is really dated and frumpy.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 16:02:46

I don't think it matters unless the child is going to live in France. Similarly names like Milo and Kai are a joke in NZ. It doesn't matter unless you think you or your child will live in Oz or NZ. The chances of a Brit moving to down under is higher than to France isn't it? Yet I see Milo being fairly popular on mumsnet.

PS DH has English parents and was saddled with a very popular working class boys name in the UK. Unfortunately it is a girls name in NZ.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 16:06:39

Oh and I bet no one here could guess my DH name as it is definitely a boy's name, not even gender neutral, in the UK. (Unless some smart kiwis are reading this and I just outed myself). grin

bedmonster Wed 20-Mar-13 16:07:58

Chantelle?

LemonBreeland Wed 20-Mar-13 16:10:05

Ottilie and Mathilde are my favourites.

Starfishkiss Wed 20-Mar-13 16:10:13

Berenice?

WormCanner Wed 20-Mar-13 16:46:22

Many of the names that are currently popular for babies in the UK sound "dated and frumpy" to me.

Everhopeful Wed 20-Mar-13 16:53:26

Ornelie and Collette

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 20-Mar-13 16:57:14

Bonsoir perhaps you could contribute some more up to date names then confused

Xiaoxiong Wed 20-Mar-13 17:04:59

Ha I was just thinking the same puds smile

happyhorse Wed 20-Mar-13 17:16:59

Don't the French have a glut of teenage Kevin's? They obviously don't care how names are thought of in other countries.

Manoodledo Wed 20-Mar-13 17:41:55

I also know of a little French Brian, which made me laugh...

MortifiedAdams Wed 20-Mar-13 17:42:44

Fabienne
Ariadne

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 17:46:39

Bonsoir, the french list is awful. lilou !? that is not as nice as names listed.

pollypanic Wed 20-Mar-13 17:50:01

The OP is free to chose any name she wishes, but at least it is good to know how it is perceived in the country of origin. Surely you'd be keen to know that if you are so fond of French names?

Anyhoo, my choices are

Jeanne
Agathe
Agnes
Clara
Mathilde
Camille
Juliette
Louise
Annie (it is dated)
Salome
Aurelie

* as spoken by the French!

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 17:55:20

After a quick look at the french list which includes marion and pauline, i would rather the names we think of as french.

sara11272 Wed 20-Mar-13 17:55:38

I've always liked Anne-Sophie

Umlauf Wed 20-Mar-13 17:58:14

Jade is number 2 in France? How do they pronounce that? Shaaaadde?

Dated and frumpy names are coming back in the UK so by the time the OPs DD visits France she will probably be thought of as modern and cool.

Not that it matters how she is perceived in France, or anywhere, as she will be a person not a name.

frozentree Wed 20-Mar-13 17:59:34

I have 3 daughters at school in France. Here's a selection of their classmates names...

Flavie
Amandine
Coline
Ludivine
Eva
Elsa
Louise
Chloe
Jade
Ines
Matilde
Julie
Segolene
Victoire
Loanne
Sarah
Claire
Emma

Hope this helps

NonnoMum Wed 20-Mar-13 18:03:06

Camille

pollypanic Wed 20-Mar-13 18:07:13

There are a lot of currently popular names in France that I think will really date (Lilou, Lou) and others that aren't very appealing to our ears.

More beautiful names...

Violette
Clemence/Clementine
Ines
Charlotte
Sylvie

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 20-Mar-13 18:12:02

DD2 is named for an ancient relative... her name is definitely an old lady's name in Germany, but seems to be seen as a "posh Mumsnet" name on here.

Badvoc Wed 20-Mar-13 18:12:05

Solange
Brigitte
Sophie
Clara
Manon

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 20-Mar-13 18:13:49

Chantal?

PipkinsPal Wed 20-Mar-13 18:17:48

I had a penpal called Corrine. Esmeralda is French isn't it? grin

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 20-Mar-13 18:18:37

The DDs' French friends are: Amytis, Sonia, Lisa, Julia (x 3), Zoe, Chloe, Serena (x 2), Ines, Rachel, Pauline, Nathalie (x 3) and Sophie.

Franup Wed 20-Mar-13 18:19:25

Bonsoir - ironically the names on the French list are dated UK names! But seem to have the cache we give to dated French names.

Two of the names on the French top ten list are names my mum had in reserve for me as a baby and I am nearly 40!

Tillylils Wed 20-Mar-13 18:34:27

How about Sidonie?

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 20-Mar-13 18:40:25

The top 10 girls' names in Paris all begin with "A"!

CotherMuckingFunt Wed 20-Mar-13 18:43:15

My dd has a Chelsea in her (French school) class.

PORRIDGEANYONE Wed 20-Mar-13 18:44:47

Fabienne is a lovely name

Fleur is my personal favourite smile

pinkhousesarebest Wed 20-Mar-13 18:55:00

Why would you pick a dated French name though.....muses.
My (40 year old or so ) friends are called Fabienne, Stephanie, Valerie, Virginie, Magali, Isabelle, Delphine, Carine (millions of these).
In my dds class there is Lola, Hermence, Garance, Domitille, Camille (loads of), Margaux (ditto), Julie (!), Capucine, Anne Charlotte. And a Maelys, Lila, Clara and Luna.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 18:58:53

Magaly is lovely. Magaly, Virginie, and Stephanie sound beautiful to me.

Maelys, Lilou, manon Hermence! shock .......... those don't appeal.

LillianGish Wed 20-Mar-13 19:01:35

I know a Fleur with sisters Clementine and Prune. I also know an Alistair - who is a girl.

TheRedQueen Wed 20-Mar-13 19:18:46

Nicole

girliefriend Wed 20-Mar-13 19:19:21

Josephine or Constance?

TrishkanOEUFak Wed 20-Mar-13 19:22:00

I love Lilou! Is it like the French equivalent of Doris or Edna or something?

Rororowmeboat Wed 20-Mar-13 19:27:24

Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I really don't mind if the names sound dated in France - these things often go in cycles. My DS name most people would say is very dated in the UK but I don't care because I like it and that is the most important thing.

Keep the suggestions coming - I have just shown this thread to DH and we particularly like
Delphine, Mirabelle and Agathe (but not sure how to pronounce Agathe).

laikalooo Wed 20-Mar-13 19:31:37

How about Adèle?

vitaminC Wed 20-Mar-13 19:45:32

Mirabelle is a fruit and not a particularly common name. a bit like naming your child "Damson" hmm

Agathe is pronounced ah-gatt

Some of my Dds' friends' names include:
Adèle
Garance
Chloé
Emma
Bérénice
Violette
Rosa
Théa
Elise
Marie
Camille
Estelle
Claire
Anaïs
Louise
Aurélie
Laure
Alix
Alice
Maëlys
Mélissandre
Anabelle
Eloïse
Ludivine
Lucie
Capucine
Juliette
Jeanne
Hélène
Valentine
Clementine
Clémence
Inès
Amélie

WormCanner Wed 20-Mar-13 20:46:47

Mirabelle is a fruit and not a particularly common name. a bit like naming your child "Damson"

Well, so is Clementine which you have listed!

Mirabelle (or Mirabel) is a known name in the UK, unusual but not unfamiliar, whereas the mirabelle plum is not very well known at all here.

vitaminC Wed 20-Mar-13 21:00:46

Hmm, Clémentine has been a pretty popular name here in France for the past 15-20 years and I know quite a few... I've never ever met a Mirabelle and it would sound pretty eccentric to me if I did !

BigSpork Wed 20-Mar-13 22:31:35

Mirabelle is an old Latin name rather than a French name. It's more popular in England (and more used in English speaking countries).

And I'm quite eccentric anyways, even without it being DD2's name grin.

jkklpu Wed 20-Mar-13 22:32:47

Odile
Margaux
Colette

ThePathanKhansAmnesiac Wed 20-Mar-13 22:45:14

How is capucine pronounced?

These names are so pretty.

I love Laure < spiral addict!>.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 22:45:56

like the monkey!?

caughtinagiggleloop Wed 20-Mar-13 22:53:52

Genevieve, Leah, Jocelyne, Aurelie, Chantal, Angelique, Marie, Nathalie, Celine, Martine, Stephanie, Sabine, Ombeline, Amandine, Claudine, Sophie.

Cremolafoam Wed 20-Mar-13 23:04:30

Isabelle
Marie-Luce
Cecile
Pascale
Denise
Francoise
Morgane
Manon
Noemi
Artemise

Cremolafoam Wed 20-Mar-13 23:04:58

Anouk

WormCanner Thu 21-Mar-13 00:25:02

Well I think it's a bit off to scoff at the name Mirabelle because it's a fruit, while fully accepting Clementine, which is also a fruit ....

As for Capucine, I could say it would be ridiculous to call a child Nasturtium which is what it means in English. But I won't. smile There was an actress called Capucine, wasn't there. She didn't use a surname, she was just known as Capucine.

Umlauf Thu 21-Mar-13 09:34:19

Oh I love Garance! Would love a Garance but we aren't at all Francophiles and it wouldn't suit us. But it's beautiful!

WormCanner Thu 21-Mar-13 11:37:39

I've never heard Garance before. Do they get called Gary for short?

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 11:40:56

I didn't know Mirabel was a fruit. I prefer it to Clementine. Mirabelle sounds nicer.

Honestly that #French list has some real howlers on it! Jade, Pauline, Marion, Hermence, Garance, Denise, capucine! ............ I wouldn't worry about what works in France.

I think my dc's name is dated in France but if we ever go there, or if she ever goes there, then I think people will cope with that because they won't be expecting her to have a name that is typical of her generation in france, because she is not french. so, go with what works in the UK.

HazleNutt Thu 21-Mar-13 11:58:59

I have a name not popular in my country of origin and popular, but old lady name in a neighbouring country. So whenever I meet someone from that country, there will be the inevitable "Oh my granny/great-aunt is called that!".

Doesn't bother me the slightest.

FossilMum Thu 21-Mar-13 12:07:24

How about Amélie?
Or Audrey?

abbyfromoz Thu 21-Mar-13 12:08:39

We have a list of names for DD's sister (should we ever conceive one)
They are:
Aureya/Aurelia
Eloise
Adele
Amandine
Adeline

Yes we like 'A' names but prefer those that end in 'a' (sounds somehow more sophisticated to me? No idea why)

Absy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:14:06

There is a weird trend in France at the mo (from what I've seen from DH's friends) to give your DCs names that were popular in the UK in the 70s/80s like Kim, Steve [puke] and now Lily is HUGELY popular. Lilou is also popular - i know two. One is in their 90s, the other is 4. hmm

I like Camille though, pronounced like "cah-mi"

pinkandyellowbutterfly Thu 21-Mar-13 12:56:48

Cherie
(pronounced she-ree) from the French name Cher meaning beloved.

Laquila Thu 21-Mar-13 13:55:06

Garance Dore (sorry can't do the accent on this keyboard) = popular but mildly irritating French beauty and fashion blogger. It's a lovely name, actually, but I think Gary would sadly be used as a nn in the UK.

I LOVE Ines and Sidonie. Whilst there are some names on this thread that sound fine in an English accent, though, there am definitely some that need a French accent to sound "right", so you may want to consider whether you're going to be moving to France or whether your daughter will have a lot of French friends!

GirlOutNumbered Thu 21-Mar-13 13:56:58

Laurianne and Emmanuel

Absy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:02:56

You can't name a child Cherie - Cherie Blair has pretty much ruined that name for eternity

INeverSaidThat Thu 21-Mar-13 14:03:09

I like Capucine. (Pronounced ca-poo-sin ) I also like Mireille and Lise

WormCanner Thu 21-Mar-13 14:03:41

Emmanuel is a boy's name, the feminine is Emmanuelle which sadly is tarnished for a generation by a series of soft porn films wink

Laquila Thu 21-Mar-13 14:15:49

I would have pronounced Capucine as Capoosheen, but also it makes me think of the Capuchin monks in Rome who decorated their crypts with the bones of their dead....sorry!

INeverSaidThat Thu 21-Mar-13 14:17:23

The Capucine I knew was a French Canadian if that makes any difference to the pronounciation.

TheRedQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 17:00:44

How about Marguerite?

FossilMum Thu 21-Mar-13 20:25:10

Janique
Michelle
Nicole
Sylvie
Lucie

hemel07 Thu 21-Mar-13 21:34:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hemel07 Thu 21-Mar-13 21:50:29

DD1, sorry!

SizzleSazz Thu 21-Mar-13 21:56:44

Emmeline, Elise, Beatrice, Lucie, Aurelia

twinklestar2 Thu 21-Mar-13 22:17:28

Amelie
Elise
Anaia

FossilMum Thu 21-Mar-13 22:20:28

Aline
Gabrielle

anonymosity Thu 21-Mar-13 23:50:44

Clarice
Agnes (Onyez)
Jean
Claire

georgettemagritte Fri 22-Mar-13 00:32:19

Aurelie
Clemence
Albertine
Garance
Mireille
Laure

LOVE Aurelie and Albertine - was nearly brave enough to give one if these to DD. If only she was French! (Sorry, my accents not working on phone ATM)

raisah Fri 22-Mar-13 02:20:33

Valerie - fab song by The Zutons before being spoilt by Amy Winehouse
Anicee
Vivienne

MidnightMasquerader Fri 22-Mar-13 04:20:07

OneLittletoddleTerror - Peter?!

MidnightMasquerader Fri 22-Mar-13 04:24:54

Some people really aren't bothered about whether a name is dated - some even go for such names.

I was given a dated name in the 70s and now you can't move for babies being named it. I now have an on-trend ( :-/ for want of a better phrase) name in my 30s.

DS has a dated name.

Dated names can be a very refreshing change.

ElegantSufficiency Fri 22-Mar-13 23:51:53

I'm not bothered, as one of my children has a name that is dated. Although I think it works today.

One woman I know told her Nanny Fanny to introduce herself as Annie grin as Fanny is just not workable here. Good advice imo. Now if a name was that unusuable in a close or neighbouring country I'd probably rule it out. But the fact that it's dated, in another country.... so what really (just my opinion)

EldritchCleavage Sat 23-Mar-13 00:49:28

Laurence
Agnes

cuillereasoupe Sat 23-Mar-13 07:49:23

If you think Mirabelle is bad, I know a Myrtille grin. Most of the little girls around where I live are called Fadhila and Fatoumata... though there is a Beyonce at nursery smile

vitaminC Sat 23-Mar-13 08:35:49

Heh. I know a hamster called Myrtille.
And I actually know someone who named her daughter Prune! hmm

Worm Well I think it's a bit off to scoff at the name Mirabelle because it's a fruit, while fully accepting Clementine, which is also a fruit ....

By that reasoning, you could say "well, Poppy, Lily, Daisy etc are flowers which are commonly used as names, so why shouldn't I call my daughter Rhododendron or Crocus?"

I really wasn't scoffing - just pointing out it would sound rather eccentric...

cuillereasoupe Sat 23-Mar-13 08:48:33

I know a Prunelle... double hmm...

WormCanner Sat 23-Mar-13 11:56:53

vitaminC
But Mirabel(le) doesn't sound eccentric, because it has been used as an English forename for many years. The examples you have given have not.

sleepy78 Sat 23-Mar-13 12:14:25

At DD1's creche there are:

Azalice (I don't know how it's spelt but it sounds like that)
Manon
Clothilde
Lucie

I like Aurelie and Amelie and Faustine. But when we names our DD1 we looked for a name which sounded more or less exactly the same in England and France - I didn't want her to have to spell and pronounce her name for the rest of her life! So we chose Marianne..

fussychica Sat 23-Mar-13 16:31:39

Inez

chaya5738 Sun 24-Mar-13 11:48:21

I am nuts about Sabine and Simone. I like Ines too.

CruCru Mon 25-Mar-13 12:06:08

Thing about choosing a French name is you need to be absolutely sure of how it is pronounced - which I am not for quite a few of these. It would be awful to name your kid something and then find out it's pronounced quite differently.

Shewhojuggles Mon 25-Mar-13 14:23:54

I think Noémie (sp?) is beautiful, or Noelle is lovely too. Good luck with your DD x

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