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Etienne… for a girl?

(47 Posts)
hubbahubster Mon 14-Apr-14 13:51:36

Not sure if this is a crazy idea, but I do love the name! My own first name is actually a boy's name in Europe, although a girl's name in the UK, so not sure if it really matters… what do you think?

SavoyCabbage Mon 14-Apr-14 14:06:05

I think I would assume that you didn't know it was a boys name. And people will ask you about it all the time. And she might think that you wanted a boy.

squoosh Mon 14-Apr-14 14:09:05

I'd think you'd made a mistake too. Also, I find French names never sound half as nice when said in a non-French accent.

kelda Mon 14-Apr-14 14:10:19

It would sound like you wanted a boy. Also a bit hard to pull off if you are not french.

JuniorMint Mon 14-Apr-14 14:12:41

Pretty sure it's the French version of Stephen.

florascotia Mon 14-Apr-14 14:16:44

Well, as you know, Etienne is the French form of Stephen. It looks rather feminine but is pronounced differently from girls' names that also end in 'nne'. It is said Ay-tiyen or Eh-tiyen; but the girls' names Adrienne or Fabienne, both with a similar ending, are Ad-ree-enne or Fab-ee-enne. (In the same way, Michel (boy) = Mih-shel; Michele or Michelle (girl) = Mih-shelle).

People do call their girls by boys' names, but usually for family reasons. This means that they can explain why when asked, which they almost certainly will be.

There is also a difference between well-known names such as Jean (UK) and Jean (France), they sound the same by chance but there are clear male/female associations in both countries. There is not an English female name that happens to sound the same as the French boys' name Etienne.

GreatAuntDinah Mon 14-Apr-14 14:17:27

It would sound like you wanted a boy and / or got it wrong. There is a female version, Etiennette, if you prefer, though it's a bit heavy on the Es and Ts... or I once knew a girl called Etaïnn (et=eye=een), which is close.

hubbahubster Mon 14-Apr-14 14:21:59

I am a French speaker (although not French) so I'm aware of how to pronounce it… but you guys have pretty much said what I thought anyway.

I work for an Italian company and my own name is most definitely a boy's name in Italy, so that often causes a fair bit of confusion!

kelda Mon 14-Apr-14 14:24:42

But at least your name doesn't cause confusion in the UK.

Ettiene for a girl would cause confusion everywhere.

bouncingbelle Mon 14-Apr-14 15:34:20

I have always loved the idea of etienne for a girl!

What about Ottilie, it has the same sort of sound?

funnyoldonion Mon 14-Apr-14 15:35:38

I'm not feeling it!

NadiaWadia Mon 14-Apr-14 16:42:31

I'm guessing your name is Nicola, hubba?

showtunesgirl Mon 14-Apr-14 16:44:50

I'm betting it's Andrea!

phoolani Mon 14-Apr-14 16:52:05

I called dd a name which is considered by most to be a boy's name, to a certain extent in England and more so in Europe. I don't explain anything, it's nobody's business!

Martorana Mon 14-Apr-14 16:56:47

Only if you would call a boy Ottilie or Solange or Antoinette.........

DramaAlpaca Mon 14-Apr-14 16:57:54

I'm guessing it's Michele!

<<please don't out yourself by telling us, hubba!>>

Etienne does sound lovely, but I don't think you could give it to a girl really, for all the reasons above.

Tropicalchancer Mon 14-Apr-14 16:57:57

Boys or girls name it doesn't really matter, it's a very pretty name and would be lovely if you chose to use it x

Martorana Mon 14-Apr-14 17:11:24

"Boys or girls name it doesn't really matter, it's a very pretty name and would be lovely if you chose to use it x"

I'm assuming therefore, that if you thought it was a pretty name, you would call a boy Jennifer?

DogCalledRudis Mon 14-Apr-14 17:37:15

Etienne is a boys name

RabbitPies Mon 14-Apr-14 18:04:47

Surely Jean(UK) and Jean(Male French name) don't sound at all alike?

SugarcoatedPoisonApple Mon 14-Apr-14 18:24:30

Etienne is a boy's name.

The (rare) feminine forms are Etiennette and Etienna.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 14-Apr-14 18:37:31


LillianGish Mon 14-Apr-14 18:43:00

We used to know a girl called Alistair when we lived in Paris - her parents must have taken a similar view. If you like it use it but be aware some people will be a bit confused

JonathanGirl Mon 14-Apr-14 18:54:57

In my (French) family tree, there are loads of incidences back in the 19th century of females with boy's names and males with girl's names - sometimes it is hard to work out who is who. But, they did tend to have about 5 names each, and I assume the other gender names were for family reasons, rather than just because they liked the sound of them.

juneau Mon 14-Apr-14 18:57:22

I speak French and Italian, so I think I know what your name is and - no on Etienne. Yes, it sounds pretty to the English ear, but it's a boy's name. However, if Cameron can be used for a girl in English, when everyone knows full well that it's a surname and/or a boy's name, then you could just say 'Fuck it, I like it', and use it anyway.

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