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French MNers I need your help!

(18 Posts)
Doozie Wed 23-Jul-08 16:34:57

*Ok, hand them over... your favourite French names please*

This should probably go under the Baby Names talk, but I thought posting it here I can call on the local expertise!

I’m due to give birth in Paris in a couple of months and we’re starting to think of names. We don’t know what sex we are having, albeit, we found boys names very easy going but we are really struggling with girls names.

Since the bub will be born here in France and will be spending the first few years of their life here (if not longer if we can make it happen!), I think it will be appropriate and not too 'try hard' (I hope) to use a French prenom (or maybe two – or even three as I hear that is common practice!).

My problem is I have no contact with French DC so I don't have my finger on the French naming pulse. I have no idea what is popular and what's not.

My idea of a lovely French name could be a little old fashioned, but not in a good way.

I thought those of you with DC at school and nursery will be in the know. So lovely French MNers, please educate me!!

Please, let rip with French names you love and those you loathe; What’s hot and what’s not; what names are considered posh/up and coming/best avoided/etc.. Is there a city v country difference? Finally what are those names that no one without a beautiful French accent can pronounce properly so are best avoided!!

Merci bien!

Anna8888 Wed 23-Jul-08 16:38:28

You need to look at www.bebe-prenoms.com and you will be able to extensively research baby name fashions in France.

When I was naming my half English half French daughter, I did a search on the 100 most popular first names in the past five years in England, US, Australia, Canada and France and discarded any that appeared smile.

Anna8888 Wed 23-Jul-08 16:40:30

Some half French half English children I know are called:

Emma
Lucie
Flora
Heloise
Olivia
Constance
Beatrice
Elisabeth
Zoe
Hugo
Thomas
A rthur

Doozie Wed 23-Jul-08 17:21:24

Thanks Anna! This website is fun. I've just done their little survey and it came up with Oceane as the no.1 name for me, followed by Lilou. Hmm, I'm not convinced, I'll fill out the survery again, choosing different answers and see what it returns.

I see English names are very popular - that's not very exotic!

In the meantime I did their 'prenom love affinity test' using mine and my husband's name - hilarious!

Anna8888 Wed 23-Jul-08 17:24:03

Le Figaro also does an annual survey of the most popular names in their birth announcement columns - if you want a more "traditional' take on names smile

Othersideofthechannel Wed 23-Jul-08 21:08:24

Lilou is typical of what is popular with little girls in DDs class - modern names which you have a hard time imagining a mature woman carrying off.

On the more classic side, Camille seems to be pretty popular.

As for French/English children we know: Lucie, Emilie, Charlotte, Elise, Amélie.

These are all children in rural France (apart from Amélie who lives in the UK).

Belgianchox Wed 23-Jul-08 21:39:33

Sophie and Louis also work well for half english half french children

farfaraway Wed 23-Jul-08 22:11:04

Ok reeling off what I can remember from DD1 class:
Mathilde, Clemence, Emma, blanche, louise, laura, florence, iris, veronique, corinne, chantal, sylvie, juliette.. Have to start thinking too hard now.

Califrau Wed 23-Jul-08 22:40:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Doozie Fri 25-Jul-08 13:37:37

Thanks for all these! I'll get thinking!

Rhubarb Fri 25-Jul-08 13:45:16

Corentin is an unusual French name, he was dd's best friend!

Baptiste is also one.
Florence.
Clementine.

I hate Claude, or anything beginning with Jean, it's just so common! Avoid Pierre too.

AuldAlliance Fri 25-Jul-08 14:09:45

The French-British kids I know are called: Alexander/Jonathan/Lucas/Paul/Leo
Emma/Sarah/Joanna
If you don't know whether you'll be staying in France long-term, a name like these that works in both languages would maybe be best.
I agree that many "in" names are fine for kids but hard to imagine fitting strapping adults (Lilou/Timothée/Valentin, etc.).

Belgianchox Fri 25-Jul-08 18:24:41

Constance?

lottien Fri 25-Jul-08 22:00:22

Clara - which I chose because it's multinational but also very popular are L names Loula, Lola, Lou. To make any name classically French stick Marie in front or after

lottien Fri 25-Jul-08 22:08:10

Othersideofthechannel (not an easy name to type after half a bottle of Chablis) Hello - totally off subject but I've just seen your remark about mature names which made me smile because the above mentioned Clara complained recently that she didn't know what we would call her when she's grown up because she's got a little girl's name! and there was me worrying that it was an old lady's name. Her cousin's called Ruby which my mum has never got used to because makes her think of an East End barmaid

scouserabroad Fri 25-Jul-08 23:00:46

Manon, Mathilde, Alice, Lucie, Juliette and about a million variations of Lilou, Lilouanne, Louanne, etc.

All the kids I've met called Marie - something have really religious parents, mass every week, etc. Don't know if that's a coincidence or not.

I don't know any British / French kids, apart from my own DDs Sarah & Sabrina but I chose those names because they fit in Britain, France & Algeria not because they are popular lol.

BriocheDoree Tue 05-Aug-08 09:40:13

My DS, born just outside Paris is Samuel Arthur Louis...all names that work in both English and French. I know lots of French kids called Ethan and Nathan (but you have to like the way they are pronouned in French). I toyed with Oscar and Thomas. I also like Romain and Alban, as they don't sound too daft in English.
For girls, I love the old fashioned French names: Clementine, Emmeline, Eleonore/Eleanor, Emma/Emily. Maya is popular with French/English families. However, I think I might draw the line at some of the girls in my DD's class - Albertine, Leopoldine and Ernestine!

Othersideofthechannel Tue 05-Aug-08 17:32:49

Eleanor was on my list. I love the way the French say it: eléanor rather than elina iyswim
But DH didn't like it.

Doozie, do you want something different from the others or to be trendy?

You don't get many little children called things like Christelle or Nathalie or Sandrine any more. They are all 30 somethings.

Lottie, I have been referred to as Otherside on here before. Now I know why !(Mmmmmmm Chablis envy)

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