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French girls names

(180 Posts)
sarah30000 Wed 27-Nov-19 07:53:48

We want to honour a family member who is french but we don't like their names! We thought maybe we can choose a nice French girls name instead. It needs to be one syllable, or at most a very short two. I've looked at various lists but nothing is jumping out at me. Any suggestions? Preferably not ending in A. Thank you!

elQuintoConyo Wed 27-Nov-19 08:00:33

Belle
Jeanne
Fleur
Barbe
Raine

elQuintoConyo Wed 27-Nov-19 08:01:05

more here

Shhhhh223 Wed 27-Nov-19 08:04:40

My French ancestor was called Celeste also Amelie

ChaosisntapitChaosisaladder19 Wed 27-Nov-19 08:06:50

Celeste
Amelie
Adele

Ellmau Wed 27-Nov-19 08:30:12

Anne
Fleur
Claire
Gaelle
Louise
Charlotte
Helene
Lucie
Laure
Sophie
Aimee
Elise
Colette
Coco
Corinne
Suzanne
Yvette

MrsNoMopp Wed 27-Nov-19 08:36:27

Manon
Elise
Nicole
Celine
Sylvie
Marie
Ines
Esme
Celeste
Hélène
Claire
Monique
Belle

CAG12 Wed 27-Nov-19 10:18:11

Love the name Manon, PP

floffel Wed 27-Nov-19 10:23:51

Capucine - it sounds so pretty and I think it is French for the flower nasturtium.

puds11 Wed 27-Nov-19 10:28:34

Cecile
Marion

MikeUniformMike Wed 27-Nov-19 10:41:49

Use a name that is easy to spell and pronounce. If in doubt use it as a MN. Use a name you love.

What names does the family member have?

I would avoid any mainstream names like Amelie or Elodie because they sound meh in an English pronunciation.
I would avoid Gisele because it'l l be Jizzelle, Gizzle or Jizzle.

Isn't Barbe a beard?

paap1975 Wed 27-Nov-19 10:46:00

Pascale, Dominique, Claude, Annabelle, Adélaïde, Margaux..

ilovetofu Wed 27-Nov-19 10:47:33

Lois
Adele
Chloe
Danielle
Eloise
Camille
Amelie
Delphine
Elodie
Vivienne
Elise
Margot
Verity

AntiStuff Wed 27-Nov-19 11:17:55

Amandine
Colette
Celeste
Delphine
Camille
Mathilde
Sylvie

motortroll Wed 27-Nov-19 11:36:39

Josephine

auditoryhallucinations Wed 27-Nov-19 11:43:16

Barbe and Raine are not french names.

I personally love Coco
Violette / Vivienne shortened time Vivi
Émilie
Lucie
Marie
Héloïse
Sylvie
Genevieve
Sophie

Sorry some are a little longer than you want but bon courage with your choice anyway smile

PsychosonicCindy Wed 27-Nov-19 11:57:32

Claudine
Estelle
Rochelle
Renee
Angelique
Bijou
Odette
Odile
Germaine

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Wed 27-Nov-19 12:00:55

Claire
Marianne
Manon
Carine
Clara
Helene

These are names of French women I work with and their daughters.

PhilomenaButterfly Wed 27-Nov-19 12:01:45

Charmaine

Practicalmagico Wed 27-Nov-19 12:02:43

Marceline
Angeline
Madeleine
Anne
Clothilde
Louise

MountainDweller Wed 27-Nov-19 12:32:08

Both 2 syllables but Florence and Celine are pretty (and Florence works in French and English, bonus).

I also like Amandine but had ruled it out as too long!

sarah30000 Wed 27-Nov-19 12:35:13

Oh so many lovely suggestions. I love Celeste and capucine but I think they're too long/flouncy with the rest of the name.

Really like Manon, Jeanne, Coco, Helene, Ines.

sarah30000 Wed 27-Nov-19 12:36:22

Camille and Delphine also lovely. Yes I like amandine too but I think too long!

MikeUniformMike Wed 27-Nov-19 13:27:41

Victorine, Claudine, Francine.
Morgane

MikeUniformMike Wed 27-Nov-19 13:28:22

Mirabelle
Miraille
Colombe
Anouk

CroissantsAtDawn Wed 27-Nov-19 13:38:27

Cécile is pretty.

I dont like coco and its incredibly rare in France.

I know
Prudence, Constance, Florence
Alice, Iris, Blanche, Brune, Charlotte
Abelia, Diane, Clemence, Christelle
Delphine, Leonie, Elise, Hortense, Eva
Lucie, Clara, Louise, Apolline, Olivia, Leonor

Jeanne is pronounced "jann" which isnt so pretty.

MrsBertBibby Wed 27-Nov-19 14:00:48

Ines is lovely but it's not French, surely?

Wheresthebiffer2 Wed 27-Nov-19 14:55:15

Aude (French version of Audrey)
Anais
Anne

FreebieMum Wed 27-Nov-19 15:38:54

I'll be naming my girl Darcey not because it's French I just love it.

Different ways to spell it Darcy, Darcie, Darcey

Lobsterquadrille2 Wed 27-Nov-19 15:59:00

I love Celine.

icecreamsundae32 Wed 27-Nov-19 16:02:20

Jacqueline

Laska2Meryls Wed 27-Nov-19 16:03:05

Jacqueline

Laska2Meryls Wed 27-Nov-19 16:04:05

Snap icecream! ..seemed so obvious to me wink

lovemypussy Wed 27-Nov-19 16:06:05

Floriane

sarah30000 Wed 27-Nov-19 16:45:54

Oh Aude is great! That's going in the list.

Jacqueline is nice but too long!

Thinkingsticks Wed 27-Nov-19 16:47:52

My friend has an anais she spells it anàe.
Pronounced anay. I think that is very pretty.
Her sister is called Vienne x

Laska2Meryls Wed 27-Nov-19 17:11:54

Jacqui ?

MikeUniformMike Wed 27-Nov-19 18:15:53

Ines can be considered French, from Agnes.

Snooper22 Wed 27-Nov-19 18:26:02

Florine, Lèa, Marion these are some French girls names we know. Most girls seem to be called Marie!

Lucylivesinamushroomhouse Wed 27-Nov-19 18:26:14

I recently met a baby Odette which I thought was just lovely!

Noemie?
Lucie?

MikeUniformMike Wed 27-Nov-19 18:30:31

Florine looks too much like Fluorine

CocoLoco87 Wed 27-Nov-19 18:32:24

Cecelia or Cecily with Cece for short?

sarah30000 Wed 27-Nov-19 19:51:07

Cece, Léa, and Anàe are great suggestions!

HeavyDeuty Wed 27-Nov-19 20:16:04

I think aude is actually the French version of Dawn. Anais is lovely but not pronounced anay. I'm rubbish at spelling things phonetically (someone help!) but it's more like ana-ee-ss

Changedname81 Wed 27-Nov-19 20:28:24

Laure
Sophie
Lilou
Agnes
Adele
Heloise
Lucie
Elle
Maude
Odile
Aurélie
Juliette

TheCatInAHat Wed 27-Nov-19 20:31:39

Florence
Manon

33goingon64 Wed 27-Nov-19 20:40:22

Manon

TatianaLarina Wed 27-Nov-19 21:15:00

Manon et Capucine are my fav French names, but they’ve been covered.

Agnès
Aurore
Anouk
Gisèle
Mathilde
Maëlys
Aurélie
Violette
Sigolène
Celestine
Mirabeau

Snooper22 Wed 27-Nov-19 21:51:20

@Mike isn't fluorine a chemical element??

AutumnColours9 Thu 28-Nov-19 00:02:44

Leonie
Eloise

Bananablueberry Thu 28-Nov-19 00:08:17

Anouk and Manon are my favourites

TurquoiseDress Thu 28-Nov-19 00:28:36

Celeste
Amelie
Chloé
Manon

Chocmallows Thu 28-Nov-19 00:31:46

Morgan (but with French pronunciation).

raspberrymolakoff Thu 28-Nov-19 00:44:43

Claudine
Annique
The little daughter of a French mother I know is Sascha but I'm not sure how the feminine form is spelt.
Others I know are Dominique, Corinne, Lise and Fabienne but some may be too long for you.

Getoffmylilo Thu 28-Nov-19 00:54:02

Babette
Collette
Anouk
Mireille
Maeva
Joelle

HeadlessGummyBears Thu 28-Nov-19 03:25:58

Margot
Marie
Juliet
Gabrielle
Genevieve
Danielle
Celeste
Claire
Corinne
Blanche
Amelie

LeGrandBleu Thu 28-Nov-19 04:00:25

Barbe? Verity? That’s not French! And Coco is a name you would give to a parrot ! Yes I know Coco Chanel , but that was a nickname.
Eloise is usually spelt with an H and a ï, so Héloïse, the combination of an é with accent, the H and the ï would be an administrative nightmare.
Please run your choices through the French MNetters first!!
Dominique is a name for both girls and boys , Camille also but I find Camille for girls beautiful. Inès is very French and Inès de la Fressange is an icon of style !!

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Thu 28-Nov-19 04:25:36

Aude does not mean dawn. That's "aube" (which isn't a name)

Anais is pronounced "An-eye-ees"

daisypond Thu 28-Nov-19 07:38:28

Anàe is not a name in French, or any language. It is a random set of letters stuck together. Vienne means “come” in French. Barbe means “beard”.
Marie
Nicole
Louise
Claire

LeGrandBleu Thu 28-Nov-19 07:57:38

If you like Coco, call her Colette, which you can then cut to coco without her having a name that means coconut in French ( noix de coco, huile de coco, ...) . Colette is also the name of a very famous French author, highly regarded.

You will find people in France or elsewhere giving a “ name “ to a child that is not a name, and the same happens in English with celebrities giving “ names “ such as North to a child. This doesn’t mean it is actually a name.
In the same way, people sometimes inverts syllables to make a name sound more original but it sounds so wrong in French. It is , I believe , more common to do so in the English language.

SusanJillianHorn Thu 28-Nov-19 07:58:52

Snail
Baguette
Cheese
Patrica
Frog legs

Verily1 Thu 28-Nov-19 08:02:34

Chantal
Mathilde
Francine
Madeleine
Virginie
Anna
Clothilde
Camille
Francoise
Celine
Celeste

TatianaLarina Thu 28-Nov-19 08:06:06

Vienne means “come” in French.

It’s also a river in SW France and the French version of Vienna.

daisypond Thu 28-Nov-19 08:07:16

Yes, fair enough, Tatiana, but would it ever be used in France as a name for a girl?

fernandoanddenise Thu 28-Nov-19 08:07:37

Audrey?

PetitsGateaux Thu 28-Nov-19 08:10:51

Yes, the majority of these names are French, but they’re also not particularly current for the majority, too.
My daughter’s name has been mentioned above - Charlotte; it’s lovely both in French and in English.
A friend recently called her daughter Constance, which I thought was sweet. I also love Alice or Alice, but it didn’t go with our surname!

PetitsGateaux Thu 28-Nov-19 08:12:02

Ah, autocorrect changed my ‘Alix’ to a second ‘Alice’ 😆

TatianaLarina Thu 28-Nov-19 08:14:08

I was agreeing with you Daisy it’s not girl’s name.

imnotarunnerivetried Thu 28-Nov-19 08:23:48

Beatrice has French origins I believe

Gallivespian Thu 28-Nov-19 08:27:11

Please do not call your child ‘Beard’.

And honestly, if she’s going to grow up in the UK, most people’s French pronunciation is poor, and anything you want to pronounce with a nasalised French ‘r’ or a terminal sound like the last syllable of ‘Manon’ or ‘Marion’ will be horrible.

And I would hesitate to use names pronounced differently in French and English, like Prudence, Camille or Constance. Unless you’re happy to go with the English pronunciation.

graywall Thu 28-Nov-19 08:28:29

Currently living in France and most of the above names, whilst lovely, are what women aged 40 and above are called. In my daughter's class there are:

Manon
Marion
Chloe
Emma
Lea
Elise
Eolia
Aurore
Shana
Sasha
Charlotte
Alesia
Angele
Matilde
Leana
Oceane
Ludivine
Lila
Eva
Loan
Louane
Maeva
Maelle
Ines

Booboostwo Thu 28-Nov-19 08:30:17

A bit longer but lovely:
Clotilde
Sidonie
Clementine
Noemie
Manon
Juliette

Thinkingsticks Thu 28-Nov-19 08:53:22

I'm not sure what the the correct way of anais is, my friend got the name from the perfume, which was her mothers favourite.
Anyway they say it as 'anay'

I used to worked at a school and knew 2 little anais's, both pronounced it this way too. So I guess a lot of people pronounce it incorrectly where I live!

Right or wrongly, I think its nice!

And Vienne they actually got from the film chocolat.
The character is actually called 'vianne'

MikeUniformMike Thu 28-Nov-19 09:03:43

I agree with graywall - I've posted a few times about using names from other languages often resulting in using a name that is dated.

Agree with Gallivespian about the pronunciation. It needs to look and sound ok in both languages.

Check the spelling. Sometimes suggested names are misspelt or just bonkers.

Barbe, even if not a French girl's name, would be a cracking middle name if your surname is Dwyer.

MrsBJT2019 Thu 28-Nov-19 09:10:33

Amelie is my all time favourite French name xx

DontCallMeDaisy Thu 28-Nov-19 09:19:16

Magali
Could shorten to Maggie for two syllables
It's on my list

TatianaLarina Thu 28-Nov-19 09:20:53

French ‘r’ or a terminal sound like the last syllable of ‘Manon’ or ‘Marion’ will be horrible.

I’ve never encountered an English person who couldn’t cope with Manon. The only issue is some people on here think the last N is sounded. But that’s easily remedied.

TatianaLarina Thu 28-Nov-19 09:25:26

I agree with graywall - I've posted a few times about using names from other languages often resulting in using a name that is dated.

I think some people chase fashion and some don’t. The irony being that a name that is very now will result in being dated later on.

I’ve never met a Frenchwoman under 60 called Mirabeau but it’s a beautiful make so I wouldn’t give a stuff.

AntennaReborn Thu 28-Nov-19 09:30:01

@LeGrandBleu Verity? That’s not French! And Coco is a name you would give to a parrot ! Yes I know Coco Chanel , but that was a nickname

Thank you! I was about to say the same!

Vienne is also not a name. Barbe is, but is really ancient and never given anymore (think early Catholic martyr Saint), probably because it also means "beard" 😂

LeGrandBleu Thu 28-Nov-19 09:32:51

Thinkingsticks You have to stress the S at the end of Anaïs, here you can hear how it is pronounced in French www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeZdE6JCK0Y

As a general rule, with its exceptions, you don't usually pronounce these letters at the end of the words D P S T (think of the word DePoSiT to remember it) so the word " mots" which means words, would be pronounced mo.

Inès and Anaïs are one of these exceptions.

It is a bit risky to have a foreign name. I am so fed up of having to spell up my French name whenever I order a coffee that I have now an English Coffee name. (I live in Australia and they always ask for your name when you order coffee)

Booboostwo Thu 28-Nov-19 09:34:39

I live in France and know a few Anais, it's always pronounces A-naa-ees. A-na-y is, as far as I know, an English pronunciation of the name.

Booboostwo Thu 28-Nov-19 09:39:17

I have a bug bear with names from other languages as well. I am Greek and often have to correct people with respect to meaning and pronunciation.

There was a poster recently who wanted to give an Ancient Greek name to a girl and went with a pronunciation no longer used in Modern Greek but which means 'son' or 'maybe' depending on the stress. The actually Ancient Greek name has evolved to something she did not want to use. Bonkers.

YourOpinionIsNoted Thu 28-Nov-19 09:41:00

Celine? If you liked Celeste.

LeGrandBleu Thu 28-Nov-19 09:43:22

And please do not pick Sidonie !! she is a famous character in a comic series called Bob et Bobette - Spike and Suzy in English- the poor Sidonie is quite ugly and everyone makes fun of her - lack of - looks . She also has massive hysterical tantrums, a massive crush on another character who treats her like shit, and mostly cleans the house.

Every time I read or hear Sidonie, I think of the comics.

LeGrandBleu Thu 28-Nov-19 09:56:10

Before you pick Céline, it is the name of a sadly famous author Louis-Ferdinand Céline (which acts as the surname in this case, even if his real surname was another) .
I can believe we had to endure his books at school when he was a proven pro-nazi, nazy spy, antisemite, racist and misogynist. No matter how innovator he was, he was une merde.

I am not sure Céline as a girl name can ever be separated from Céline the racist novelist for my generation (50ish)

MikeUniformMike Thu 28-Nov-19 10:04:58

Tatiana, A 60+ yr old's name would probably be safe, but a pop star/celebrity might not.

Does it really matter? If you are happy to have a child named Beyonce or Katniss or Jon-Snow or whatever. It is the child who will have to live with the name.

Yika Thu 28-Nov-19 10:25:00

Lou
Leila
Nadège
Solange
Aurore
Zoe
Elsa
Garance

Booboostwo Thu 28-Nov-19 10:47:06

Zoe is Greek, it means life grin

Yika Thu 28-Nov-19 10:49:37

Sibylle
Clémence
Romane

sarah30000 Thu 28-Nov-19 11:29:23

@graywall that's a really helpful list, thank you

sarah30000 Thu 28-Nov-19 11:31:22

I also like Lilou and Odile, are these appropriately french? Seems a bit of a minefield!

Yika Thu 28-Nov-19 11:34:46

Lilou is trendy, Odile is old-fashioned (I would say) - albeit very French.

AntennaReborn Thu 28-Nov-19 11:49:22

Leila is not French, it's Arabic (lovely though)

Lilou isn't really a name, more of a nickname, but seems to be cropping up as a first name quite a bit recently

Odile is old-fashioned but could probably come back

Booboostwo Thu 28-Nov-19 12:43:29

I've met one Lilou at creche, there is one in our school and one in DD's riding club, so it seems popular at the moment.

SillyUnMurphy Thu 28-Nov-19 12:48:16

Gabrielle
Aurelie
Laurence
Armelle
Alinne
(I don't know how to put accents on the relevant letters)

IHeartKingThistle Thu 28-Nov-19 13:11:41

No one suggested Simone yet? Gorgeous.

I think using Manon in the UK is daft, sorry. Odette is amazing.

Gallivespian Thu 28-Nov-19 18:17:57

I’ve never encountered an English person who couldn’t cope with Manon. The only issue is some people on here think the last N is sounded.

That's my point, they pronounce it 'Man-on', as in 'There's a man on fire, get the fire extinguisher'.

MikeUniformMike Thu 28-Nov-19 18:24:48

Manon is also used as a Welsh name. MAN-on

@SillyUnMurphy, search for Alt codes for whatever device you use.

YourOpinionIsNoted Thu 28-Nov-19 18:30:14

That's my point, they pronounce it 'Man-on', as in 'There's a man on fire, get the fire extinguisher'.

🙋 Guilty! I have never come across this name before, best guess would have been Man-ONN.

I promise I'm not overly stupid or uneducated, honest.

soupforbrains Thu 28-Nov-19 18:32:02

Elodie and Aurélie have always been my favourites.

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