Question re names for people living in France

(21 Posts)
Nancy54 Tue 26-Jun-12 15:02:20


I live in france and am expecting twins - a boy and a girl.

One of the boy's names that i like is Joseph but am worried that it is a bit old man-ish in french. i don't want to accidently give my child an odd name! i worry that it may be equilvalent to calling a child in england 'cyril' or 'basil'!

i know old names are popular here at the mo so i'm thinking it's prob ok but v hard to judge. DP (who is french) thinks it's fine but i'm not sure i trust his judgement! i don't want to ask my french female friends here because i'd like to keep the names a surprise.

any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
Weta Tue 26-Jun-12 18:09:38

My French SIL called her son Joseph BUT her whole family hated it and thought it was terribly old-fashioned. Didn't gto down too well when her mum told her what she thought!

I like it smile but I just asked DH and he thinks it sounds really old-fashioned.

Superspudable Tue 26-Jun-12 18:16:40

There is a Joseph in my son's class - English father, French mother. I've never thought of it as old-fashioned but I'm not French...

surroundedbyblondes Tue 26-Jun-12 20:20:32

Not in France, but DH and I come from different countries and we wanted to make sure that the names we selected for our DDs worked in our own countries and the country that we lived in when they were tiny. Also that they could easily be spelled and pronounced in all three places.

We looked on 'top 100' type websites for all three countries to see where our shortlisted names figured. We wanted names that were contemporary to their peers. In the end I love the names we chose for our girls. We later moved to DH's home country and they fit in perfectly, which is what we wanted.

I had a name that my parents thought was original and I hated it. Haven't been called by it for over twenty years.

sommewhereelse Wed 27-Jun-12 08:09:19

Perhaps this could help. It's becoming steadily more popular since 1990 without being super popular. It seems like a good choice for you.
I don't know any but we know a Josephine. I don't think Joseph (or Josephine) sound odd and outdated in the way that Huguette and Paulette do.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Jun-12 08:11:20

Hello and congratulations!

Joseph is highly connotated as a Jewish name in France.

Nancy54 Wed 27-Jun-12 09:29:26

thanks everyone, it's good to have other people's views!! i've been on a french forum and read a thread of people discussing it and the opinions seem to be 'partagé'; some think it's lovely, others think it's old fashioned and too religious.

i'm not bothered about giving him a name that not everyone likes, just don't want to lumber him with a weird name!!

the other name we like is 'samuel' but think this may be too popular at the mo - mums with little ones, have you come across a lot of samuels?

OP’s posts: |


Nancy54 Wed 27-Jun-12 09:30:16

thanks foe the link somewhereelse

OP’s posts: |
kalidasa Wed 27-Jun-12 09:54:38

Funnily enough we are having exactly the same conversation (I am English, DP French, living in London but need names that work in both and don't seem too weird in either). Sounding Jewish is OK as DP's family is partly Jewish anyway. I really like Joseph but DP is worried it's too old-fashioned in French. I am hoping to convince him!

Nancy54 Wed 27-Jun-12 10:06:27

ha that's funny kali! i think it's better if you live in England because it is not old fashioned in England. although it's true that it's very important that names are nice in both languages and cultures. it's difficult, isn't it!!

i really like it and am starting to imgine him being called that but it is a bit of a dilemma!

OP’s posts: |
sommewhereelse Wed 27-Jun-12 20:38:29

I know five Samuels in France under the age of 9. Three are in families with both British and French ties. The other two in French families with no British links.

BriocheDoree Thu 28-Jun-12 08:10:56

I have a Samuel grin. There is only one other one in the whole school and he is 4 years older than mine. We chose it because it worked OK in both languages but the other one is totally French.
I love Joseph. I wanted to call DD Joseph (had she been a boy, obviously!) but DH vetoed it (he dislikes "Joe"). Have to say that I have never come across a little boy here called Joseph but I asked a couple of friends and they see nothing odd in the name.

jenpetronus Thu 28-Jun-12 18:05:27

I am exactly the same as Brioche! I had a Samuel here in 2008 - chosen specifically because it works in both - although the only other one I know here is a Dad, it isn't as common as the UK.
The other option was Lucas - which now he's here he is most certianly not a Lucas at all, much more Samuel-ey!
I knew one old man who was a Joseph (JoJo) no children around here that I know of.

Superspudable Fri 29-Jun-12 08:43:35

I was talking to a French mum friend yesterday who said that Joseph WAS considered old fashioned but it is coming back now and is getting more popular...

Nancy54 Fri 29-Jun-12 18:23:45

that's encouraging, superspud!

dp, having said he really liked it, has now decided that he's not sure about it being 'trop religeux'. is easily swayed though!

OP’s posts: |
natation Fri 29-Jun-12 19:39:32

There are quite a few sites showing which names are popular in France, Joseph is indeed not in the top 500. There is even one I've found previously which shows a name through time periods and popularity by departement.

natation Fri 29-Jun-12 19:41:28

Oops sorry that's surnames :-) here is a link for forenames, Joseph is 144th place.

Windandsand Mon 09-Jul-12 16:32:43

Cyril is a common name in France, Joseph has connotations as bonspiels has said, which may or may not affect you! Henri is considered old fashioned and although I loved it my mil was dead against- to bourgeoisie smile

eslteacher Mon 09-Jul-12 20:05:47

I know a couple here in France who just named their new baby Joseph! Mother was British, father was French. They both love the name.

It's weird though, thinking about it I don't think I have met any "Josephs" in my 3 years in France...I deal with lots of people aged 25-50 in my job, and I can't recall a single Joseph...I guess the name is nowhere near as popular as in the UK.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 11-Jul-12 13:56:39

My DH vetoed Joseph as a first name choice for being old fashioned.

There was one born in my village a few weeks ago though. If you like the name....

hereshegoesagain Wed 11-Jul-12 14:01:25

Joseph is absolutely not old fashioned, rather quite trendy in France I would say ( I'm french )..... and in my opinion, not as jewish as Samuel, if that bothers you?

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in