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what girls' names do the French middle classes turn their noses up at?

(277 Posts)
NatureAbhorsAHoover Sun 01-Oct-17 18:55:28

What would the haute bourgeoisie think of as a tacky/trashy name for a baby girl? I speak french but have no idea what sounds déclassé to a French ear.

Not looking to vilify; am interested in the tonal sounds, themes and signifiers that surely exist just as much in France as here?

GaucheCaviar Sun 01-Oct-17 20:41:40

Imported American names would be the obvious candidates. Cindy and things like that. I'd say names ending in an -a too, like Sabrina, maybe (pure hypothesis here) because they're borrowed from languages of immigration (Arabic, Portuguese etc). anything from reality tv like Loana.

NotBurpeesAgain Mon 02-Oct-17 11:36:16

I agree about imported American names (Kimberley, Jennifer...).
Made-up names with lots of vowels (I have met a Liloé, a Maohé... and I would also include Loana in the list)
Lilou and all its alternative spellings (Leeloo, Lee-Lou...)
Alternative spellings of any name, really (Jainnyffer)
Names with Ks and Ys

ScrambledSmegs Mon 02-Oct-17 11:43:31

No idea, but I did overhear a french mother at the airport this year, talking to her son Chad (or Chett). It actually sounded quite nice in french, I wasn't immediately reminded of 'hanging chads' like usual.

pimmsy Mon 02-Oct-17 11:48:57

Brenda etc, If it's from American TV it's not great!

GaucheCaviar Mon 02-Oct-17 11:55:32

I'd disagree on Lilou etc, they're bobo not déclassé in my book. Déclassé would be little Beyoncé in my DS's school.

NotBurpeesAgain Mon 02-Oct-17 11:58:33

GaucheCaviar the OP was asking about the haute bourgeoisie. I agree that Lilou is a bobo name but I also think that the parents of Montaine and Quitterie would turn up their noses at Lilou.

GaucheCaviar Mon 02-Oct-17 12:37:43

Sure. I was going by the title (middle classes) not the first post (haute bourgeoisie).

thecatfromjapan Mon 02-Oct-17 12:41:01

What's 'bobo'?

GaucheCaviar Mon 02-Oct-17 12:45:55

bourgeois bohemian. The sort of people who, if they lived in London, would live in Hoxton with kids called Tallulah and Spike.

NatureAbhorsAHoover Mon 02-Oct-17 13:15:58

Fascinating... 'bobo' is like 'hipster', right? Rue Oberkampf and all that?

It's quite opaque to me what's "tasteful" (cringe) or not in french children's names, compared to english names.

Posh french children's names is a whole new thread...

GaucheCaviar Mon 02-Oct-17 13:36:51

Pretty much, though we also say "un hipster"... Hipsters would generally be younger and not have kids yet. They turn into bobos when they have kids and move to Montreuil wink. Tasteful would be anything ending in -ine.

HipppaHey Mon 02-Oct-17 15:11:36

Just out of interest, as it's my DD's name, how would the name Romilly be considered? I picked it because of the French connection.

GaucheCaviar Mon 02-Oct-17 15:31:31

Never come across it here as a first name, only a surname, so hard to say.

NatureAbhorsAHoover Mon 02-Oct-17 16:34:43

I didn't know Romilly was French blush
I know a baby Romilly in the UK.

HipppaHey Mon 02-Oct-17 18:48:09

There's a place in France called Romilly-sur-Seine, so I wondered if it was the French equivalent of naming a baby after a place, which is frowned upon by some - not me though!

GaucheCaviar Mon 02-Oct-17 19:02:17

The only reason i know it is there's a historian called Jacqueline de Romilly.

PattyPenguin Mon 02-Oct-17 22:11:00

There are five places in France called Romilly, or Romilly la ... , or Romilly sur...

There are also no end of parks, pub, schools etc with the name Romilly in the Cardiff and Barry areas, because of Sir Samuel Romilly who bought two estates in Barry. His grandfather was a Huguenot refugee from France.

Esker Mon 02-Oct-17 22:41:38

This is a really interesting thread... I don't have any particular knowledge to add, but was wondering whether anyone in the know can comment on what French people might think of the name Amelie, which is so popular here, presumably after the film?
Although I like the name, in and of itself, I find it a bit sickly due to the film and due to general over popularity in the UK.

Uhohmummy Mon 02-Oct-17 23:38:08

Purely out of interest, how would my favourite French name - Capucine - be perceived? I think it’s so beautiful but can’t use as neither DH nor I are French or have any French connections!

GaucheCaviar Tue 03-Oct-17 08:23:43

Amélie is a pretty ordinary name for someone who would now be in their early thirties or thereabouts. Capucine is pretty posh.

GaucheCaviar Tue 03-Oct-17 08:26:25

this is fun to play with:

GaucheCaviar Tue 03-Oct-17 08:27:02

Capucine means nasturtium BTW, you might know that already.

pimmsy Tue 03-Oct-17 17:35:09

I've met a little Tiki-Flore I thought that was peak bobo - they live in quartier Oberkampf as well!

Tealdeal747 Tue 03-Oct-17 18:07:23

I don't know how these are perceived but I like Francine and Chantal.

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