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Can any French-English MNers help me name DD3?

(107 Posts)
Zaziedanslemetro Tue 19-Nov-13 19:36:07

We are a French/English family currently living in Germany, and have just found out I'm expecting a 3rd DD! We are having trouble finding another girl's name which "works" in both French and English, and is at least pronouncable for Germans.
DDs 1 and 2 are Esther and Madeleine, and we would like to continue with these sort of classic/traditional/not-massively-overused names.

We both really like Constance, but there is a dilemma re. our surname. It sounds like "No". Just that, one syllable. If you say "Constance No" out loud, does it sound silly in English? I think it's fine in French, and we are unlikely to go and live in England, but still... Would be interested to know what people think!

Also, I love Josephine, but French DH thinks it's a bit to "cutesy" with the -ine ending. Any other suggestions would be very welcome.
Thanks for any help!

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 18:23:37


Felix90 Thu 21-Nov-13 18:18:59

Me and OH are the least French people ever (although he does like to think he looks like a French man) but the only girl names we could agree on were French. We are now calling our baby girl Sylvie Beatrix. Some lovely names on this thread that are almost making me change my mind!

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 18:14:04


Yika Thu 21-Nov-13 18:10:29

I love Berenice! I didn't mention it because I thought it was too 'out there' but I'm obviously on the same wavelength as figaro readers (oh dear).

What about Lisa, lise, elisabeth?

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 15:53:42


Zaziedanslemetro Thu 21-Nov-13 15:28:12

True! Nice literary references all round for us then : Esther (Racine), Madeleine (Proust -and Jacques Brel!) and Zazie (Raymond Queneau)...

Just doesn't quite fit the English/German/Classic criteria grin

ProfondoRosso Thu 21-Nov-13 15:23:06

I can't believe you've not mentioned Zazie, Zazie! grin That's a great name!

Zaziedanslemetro Thu 21-Nov-13 15:21:13

Alix is my niece, so am ruling this out. Along with Alice, which is too similar for close cousins I think.

Marie I like, but not the English MarEE pronunciation.

Would love to know your choice NomDeClavier! Is it Cunégonde? or Zélie?

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 15:18:59

My entirely hypothetical DD2 is called Violette Clementine.

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 15:15:59

Yes, Joséphine is another OK -ine name.

You've got me guessing now!

Zaziedanslemetro Thu 21-Nov-13 15:14:18

OK, to be clear Apolline, Sixtine and Isaure are not going on the list!

Will have another look at saints names calendar (and possible Libé baby names, but will be too cool for me!)

Hmm, Clémentine quite pretty... Would have to be pronounced the French way, as opposed to ClemenTYNE though.

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 15:13:45

Alix is nice but I wouldn't give my DC a unisex name. Marie is a bit dull - like Mary in English.

NomDeClavier Thu 21-Nov-13 15:13:28

Ah it's not an -ine so there's some hope for me yet! I don't particularly like them either - they sound cute rather than elegant. I do make an exception for Josephine, which still sounds cute but more so in French than English, but that might be the soft J or the é sound. There's nothing you can do about Sixtine or Apolline to make them better in English.

mathanxiety Thu 21-Nov-13 15:05:08

Alix and Marie are nice imo...

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 15:01:07

I'm not keen on -ine names except for Clémentine (not sure why I can cope with that when my distaste for Sandrine, Sabine, Line, Martine, Laurine etc is so great).

NomDeClavier Thu 21-Nov-13 14:53:53

You'd hate what we're going to call DD then bonsoir wink Tisn't on the list and won't appear on any list any time soon and probably wouldn't appear in a historical fantasy novel but it's not sensible. Although our backup is Louise-xxxxx so that might pass!

I don't think Isaure is toooooo bad. Not a fan of Garamve personally but I guess it goes with Isaure which as they're twins is a consideration.

ProfondoRosso Thu 21-Nov-13 14:14:26

Is that list from a survey of Figaro readers? You could see if Libé does one, might be a bit cooler! wink
My name for my as yet hypothetical DD would be Lucienne – easily shortens to Lucie. But I love Severine, and am sad because it would never pass in Glasgow.
Have you had a look at the French name day calendar?

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 12:19:25

Sixtine, Apolline, Isaure are all frightful!

Zaziedanslemetro Thu 21-Nov-13 11:28:44

"Figaro" top 20 Filles :

1. Inès
2. Charlotte
3. Louise
4. Philippine
5. Alice
6. Alix
7. Bérénice
8. Mathilde
9. Clémence
10. Marie
11. Victoire
12. Victoria
13. Apolline
14. Isaure
15. Jeanne
16. Marguerite
17. Pia
18. Sixtine
19. Valentine
20. Pénélope

Not too pretentious!

ArabellaBeaumaris Thu 21-Nov-13 11:15:08

Clemence is beautiful.

I didn't get the problem with Constance until you explained it, so I think you could use that. You have lots of beautiful names here though.

mrswarbouys Thu 21-Nov-13 11:14:58

Emily ? Too English ?

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 11:05:35

Really? I don't covet them at all - a bit "trying too hard" in my opinion. The real bourgeoisie who are totally at ease with themselves use proper European classic names, not the pretentious unique historical novel fantasy names.

Zaziedanslemetro Thu 21-Nov-13 11:00:55

Funny we have just heard from friends who've had a baby Isaure. I agree that this wouldn't be easy for my English family, and similarly Iseult.

Bonsoir -I know what you mean re. social connotations, although I secretly quite covert the Figaro top 20 names! (Not that I read the paper, mind).

Elise is another nice classic, and Céleste is lovely but combined with DD1 (Esther) it would be too Est + Est I think.

We did have Odile on the list for DD2, maybe I should reconsider. (But perhaps not very German)

Bonsoir Thu 21-Nov-13 10:35:42

"Today's baby news brings us Isaure and Garance..."

Those names have very strong social connotations in French and don't work in English/internationally. There are an awful lot of those names - if you buy the Le Figaro guide (and there are other similar sorts) to prénoms you know which ones to avoid!

jkklpu Wed 20-Nov-13 22:48:06


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