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Baby girl name, French as I am French but that can work in UK

(105 Posts)
Oddiegirl3 Sat 27-Jul-13 19:00:29


I am a bit stuck with finding a name for our baby girl who is not meant to arrive before mid-October but due to complications could be there much sooner. We live in the UK, I am French and my other half is half-French and we're expecting a girl. We spend a lot of time between the two countries and gave our son a French name Henri but let people pronounce it Henry in the UK as we like them both and he responds to both and choose which one to use depending of who he is with!

We love the following names but are worried about them being mispronounced in the UK.
Bizarrely though, I am a teacher and I think sometimes the more obscure the name is, the more people make an effort as they ask you and then remember it. I am not talking about sales calls though as they always get my name wrong and I know straight away i have no interest in speaking to them.

So here we go with a shortlist

1. Garance
2. Jeanne
3. Jeanne-Rose
4. Emerance (accent on second e in French)
5. Elsa
6. Elisa
7. Alexandra
8. Margaux
9. Emilia

The first ones are the ones we like best because they have family connotations and we name our boy after his grand-father and great-grandfather.

Thank you in advance and it would help if you know some Garance and Jeanne as they are the 2 favourites but the most likely to be mispronounced!

Another thought is to put an easier second name so that if the first get really distorted, then when it is time to go to school she can choose the second one?!

So feel free to comment on the list and add names.

Billwoody Sat 27-Jul-13 19:11:40

Not sure about 1,4,8 in UK,

Theas18 Sat 27-Jul-13 19:11:56

they are all pretty. don't get hung up on pronunciation. people will learn:-)

" normal names" need explanation sometimes
ed sofia ( ia ut sophie-a, soph-eye-a etc)

so to know that Jeanne is jan with a Gallic j isn't that hard.

quite a lot of emilia/ Amelia/amilie names locally .

Theas18 Sat 27-Jul-13 19:14:46

margaux isn't hard to say though the Margot spelling or even the Scottish Margo spelling would simplify it.

Scruffey Sat 27-Jul-13 19:19:17

I would go with something simpler. I know a little French girl in the UK called Lucie and it works well. I would be unsure of the pronounciation of many names on your list.

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Sat 27-Jul-13 19:21:10


laracroft2001 Sat 27-Jul-13 19:23:53


IceNoSlice Sat 27-Jul-13 19:24:01

I love Garance, never heard it before and I think it's beautiful. I would go with that, and I agree that people are more likely to ask how to pronounce it and will remember.

I think the fact that you are French means you can use a French name and it will work. Like Scottish names on Scottish people.

Onyabike Sat 27-Jul-13 19:26:00

What a lovely short-list! I think I like Jeanne the best.

Thyeternalsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 19:26:21


TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 27-Jul-13 19:31:07

I think they are all beautiful.


crumpet Sat 27-Jul-13 19:31:30


maillotjaune Sat 27-Jul-13 19:47:36

I like Jeanne best - DH's family French and that was one of our choices along with Sylvie and Lydie.

Then had 3 boys! They have French names ranging from a similar choice to your Henri (something spelt the same but pronounced differently) to a Jean-something and people cope on the whole (and our sons learnt very early to correct people politelygrin)

MadeOfStarDust Sat 27-Jul-13 19:50:13

Clara, Amelia, Charlotte, Leonie, Therese - sorry they are the children of French parents local to me...

Branleuse Sat 27-Jul-13 20:11:32

if they get mispronounced you can just correct them. All of those names are lovely.
my dd has a french name that english people tend to get wrong at times but its beautiful so im happy to correct

Layl77 Sat 27-Jul-13 20:15:19

I love them all ;) just choose your favourite!

ch1134 Sat 27-Jul-13 20:17:45

choose your favourite. She will explain it a few times but as you say, then it will be remembered.

Oddiegirl3 Sat 27-Jul-13 21:09:44

Thanks for all the posting so far and the reassurance regarding pronunciation. I always found that in the UK, no matter what name you choose people always come up with a nickname. The 2 strong contenders are Jeanne and Garance so maybe we should keep to those and find an "easier' middle name or we could put the very french names of our mothers Paulette and Martine and make this baby girl 100% French!

For those who liked Jeanne, are you not worried that she would end up being called Joan or Jean? I am not worried but husband is. I tell him that i was puzzled with Siobhan and Niamh when I arrived but now i know how to say it but, saying that, Ruth is still hard to pronounce for me!

Thanks a million

qazxc Sat 27-Jul-13 21:19:51

I'm half french (mum english /dad french) and lived in france til I was an adult. Mum gave me a name pronounced the same but written english style, it always led to the same conversation when giving my name.
Me "Lucy, mais avec un y.
them -d'accord, L.y.c.i.e
Me -Non, L.u.c.y. C'est anglais"

One of the advantages of now living in an english speaking country is that they automatically know how to spell my name. grin

BOF Sat 27-Jul-13 21:26:43

Genevieve? Genny is a cute shortening.

squoosh Sat 27-Jul-13 21:28:32

J'adore beaucoup Garance et Margaux!

Garance reminds me of Garance Doré the fashion blogger and Margaux is just gorgeous though does remind me of Chateau Margaux which is not necessarily a bad thing smile

Onyabike Sat 27-Jul-13 21:30:18

No, I personally wouldn't worry whether people would confuse Jeanne with either Jean or Joan. To me, the pronounciation seemed obvious and I had never seen the name before.

Sunhasgothishaton Sat 27-Jul-13 21:36:41

How do you pronounce Jeanne?

I would pronounce it (esp thinking ah French parents blush) like Janine. But only because my mum's friend is Janine and French and I'm don't know how her name is spelt!

squoosh Sat 27-Jul-13 21:42:19

Jeanne is more like Jzzahn.

TalkingToTheWoodlice Sat 27-Jul-13 21:51:29

I went to school in London with a Jeanne. She did have to put up with lots of Jean and Jeanie. It's a beautiful name though.

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