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French names

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
We've used names from pretty much every ethnic group in our background. But we've never been able to settle on a good french boys' name. The first name we picked, Quinn is very short and very NOT french :LOL. So I'm looking for something a little over the top and stereotypical, and hyphenated.
I like Andre-Denis
Any good ideas from Francophone moms?
post #2 of 60
Sorry, I don't speak French as my native language but my friend Alix's fiance's name is Jean-Baptiste, they call him JB for short (in french "gee bae)". Before my first was born, was considering some French sounding names, Yannick and Bruno were on the short list. Or what about Laurent. I've heard that Ludovic is kinda popular over in France, even though it sounds slavic. And then theres Jerome (I don't have the keyboard for putting in accents over the letters), although that's also in English and would sound very common if pronounced in English.
post #3 of 60
Dh is French and our three boys are Axel, Felix (pronounced fayleex) and Yann, hmm guess those don't really work well hyphenated.


My FIL is Jean-Pierre

Jean-Loup (loup means wolf, pronounced lou) is a nice one.
Jean-David
Jean-Claude
Jean-Francois
Jean-Yves
Guy-Francois
Yves-Francois

Typical French names are Baptiste, Antoine, Stephane, Etienne, Dominic, Franck, Serge, Gregoire, Laurent, Frederic, Lucas, Loic (low-eek), Ludovic...
post #4 of 60
I agree with pp. Jean-something will make it sound very French, IMO.

I like Jean-Luc. Also Jean-Philippe or Jean-Pierre could be J-P (with French pron.) for short. Jean-Yves, Jean-Jacques.

We used Julien (I know- not hyphenated) which is pretty popular, although less traditional than the names pp listed. If we'd had another boy, I would have used Adrien (or Hadrien). I like that Julien and Adrien both translate well to /french and English.
post #5 of 60
if you read french, that book
http://www.amazon.fr/c%C3%B4te-pr%C3.../ref=pd_cp_b_1
called la cote des prenoms 2008 (in case the above quotation "doesn't work")
is super fun read
(with a sociological aspect to comment on the statistical data about frequency ... according to location/social status/timeframe ...)

another option is "Pierre-Yves"
not very common and definitely not lower social class

some english/irish/american names are very very popular in France, some of them typically lower class (like Jordan or Kevin ...)

it's funny to see the flux of "in fashion" and "out of fashion" names ....
post #6 of 60
I'm not Francophone, but DH (French) and I had planned to name any boy baby Lucien-Jules.
post #7 of 60
My father's family is french so I will go through boys names in our family and others I have heard and liked:

Jean-Philippe
Hugo (love that one! The H is silent)
Jean-Francois
Alain
Alexandre
Louis-Joseph
Simon (see-mohn)
Jean-Louis
Alaric
Guillaume (hard G Gee-ome)
Maxime
I also like Felix, already mentioned.
post #8 of 60
Jean-Baptiste is my all-time fave. We also considered naming our DS1 Charles-Louis. Denis is terrific, hyphenated or not.
post #9 of 60
Here are some hyphenated names of people I know or have known:
Jean-Luc
Jean-Claude
Jean-Loic
Jean-Christophe
Jean-Patrick
Jean-Philippe
Jean-Michel
Pierre-Baptiste
Paul-Henri
Marc-Henri
Paul-Eric
Pierre-Louis
Yves-Marie (I don't recommend this one!)
Marc-Antoine

I like Marc-André but don't know if it would sound really weird to French ears or not.
post #10 of 60
I forgot about Hugo and Henri. I wanted to name our first Henri but DH nixed that.
I love the name Hugo too.


our boys' middle names are
Thomas (To-mah)
Leo (lay-o)
and Xavier Arthur (xzahveeay Ar-tuhre)

Then there's

Vincent (van sahn - nasally French - n-sound at the end)
Victor (veek-tore)
Emile
Emmanuelle
Rene
Girard
Robert (ro-bear)
Ulysse
Philipe
Richard -(ree-chahre)
Christian
Michel
Armand
Jose (jhozay)...
post #11 of 60
This is a fun thread, OP, you have to update us and let us know what you name your little one! I like Leo and I cannot remember where, but I remember a Leo-Paul at some point...
post #12 of 60
Too bad you aren't having a girl....i have a great name....*points to her screenname*
post #13 of 60
Thread Starter 
We've got a few great girl's names, but we keep having boys! We're running out of names, and French girls' names just work so much better in English than boys'!
Thanks for all the great suggestions! DH and I definately have some discussing to do!
post #14 of 60
I've been living in France since 1996 and I became a French citizen in 2002.

I'm going to beg, BEG, BEG you not to name him "Jean". My dh insisted on the middle name being after his dad, since our son's first name is after my father. Well, guess what it is?!?

It really bothers my son that his middle name is a "girl's" name in the U.S. even though he's born and raised in France. He's still American and it still bugs him. He really hates having to correct people in the States.

I would also urge you to avoid hyphenated names. They're out of fashion here in France and they can be a real burden for the child, especially if you wont be raising him in France.

I know a lot of French kids with a native English speaking parent. There are some names that don't work very well. Someone in an earlier post suggested "Emmanuelle". This is actually a girl's name. The male version is "Emmanuel" with "Manu" being the common nickname.

You may want to avoid names that are too similar with girl's names as some little boys I know have found the constant corrections and misunderstandings a headache. Other examples would be Emile (especially since Emily is so popular), Rene, Stephane (a friend was constantly mistaken for "Stephanie" in the U.S.), Gabriel, Michel, Dominique, Claude, etc. Philippe and Etienne have been confusing for English speakers too (guy or girl??) The "e" at the end of some boys' names can make it look girly.

I know a ton of Louis's, Alexandres, Vincents, Victor's, Paul's, Eric's and lately, a bunch of Elliot's. Sebastien is a name I've always liked (that's the French spelling).

We actually picked a Breton name, Ronan, since it works in both English and French well. You hear a lot of Breton names all over France, some are similar or the same with the Irish, another Celtic culture. He's named after my father, who was Ronald but I didn't want him getting stuck with McDonald's jokes and comments about immoral presidents! So we found something similar that wasn't a saint's name (we're not Christian, another criteria-although many are very nice!)

I tried so hard to avoid the "Jean" but I couldn't convince dh to change it to "Sean" or Johan or anything that wouldn't be mistaken for a girl! I'm very sensitive to this subject since my own name is unisex and I hated getting mail addressed to "Mr." and asked why I had a boy's name...
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntnmom View Post
I'm looking for something a little over the top and stereotypical, and hyphenated. I like Andre-Denis
Why hyphenated? I haven't met a French child with a hyphenated name in a really long time. (Not since I was a child, and even then, it seemed to be going out of style.)

Andre and Denis are both nice names on their own, and both work reasonably well in English, though Denis will be easier for most anglophones to get right on the first try.

I've found nymbler not bad for helping with French names, and you can also just google "french baby names" and get a ton of ideas.

Good luck!
post #16 of 60
One of my favourite French names is Remy. (there is an accent but I don't know how to put it in!) It works well hyphenated or not.
(Remy-Charles, Remy Pierre, Remy-Paul...)
post #17 of 60
I like Remy and Dh is Maurice
post #18 of 60
oops - I know there was something wrong when I typed Emmanuelle with the extra "le". Haven't gotten much sleep lately...

I don't understand why someone need have such a problem with Jean as middle name, especially if they are half French anyway. Why wouldn't he be proud to have not only their grandfather's name, but a marker of their French heritage? My kids are half French and are proud to have French names and be a little "different" when outside of France.

I met a woman in Germany who named her son Jean-Klaus (after Jean-CLaude Van Damme). He wasn't French or half French, his parents just liked the name, and mixed it with a German name. Nobody cared or made fun of him.


One of my sons is named Axel, pronounced Axelle - which is the same pronunciation as for a girl. A lot of people outside France have trouble pronouncing it and often just use the Brit/American pronunciation. IT doesn't bother him. No one has made fun of him for having a "girl's" name - in fact most people comment on how cool his name is.

My DH is named Pierre. When in the US he often gets called Perry or Pear or Pier. My name is Rachel. WHen I am in France I get called Ray Charles, Watchel, Rayshul. I usually just tell people my name is Rachelle because it's easier. When I lived in Germany people pronounced my name the German way. No big deal. You either correct it or let it go.

There are so many people all over this world with names that sound funny to other people, or could be a girl/boy name somewhere else, could mean something else in another language, are borrowed from another culture, or are just plain weird. So, if a parent likes a name from another culture, I don't see what the problem is. Lots of kids have Irish, Scottish, Hispanic, Italian etc names when they are not from any of those places. I don't think we should not use a name just because someone somewhere might not get it, or understand it or pronounce it wrong.
post #19 of 60
more names:

Quentin
Fabien
Florian (quite popular in Germany too!)
Mathis
Matisse
Nils
Olivier
Nicolas
Aime (with accent over the e)
Didier
Gaston
Gael
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~pi View Post
Why hyphenated? I haven't met a French child with a hyphenated name in a really long time. (Not since I was a child, and even then, it seemed to be going out of style.)
Didn't you meet my dh a few yrs ago? I think it's because we used his nickname and not his real name. oops

My dh's grandfather was Jean-Charles(soft ch sound like shhhh)
My fil is Jean-Pierre.

Jean does get misspelled and totally mis-said but you get used to it just like when the last name is french and english ppl try to say it or write it. Dh has a name, that starts with Jean-, but it gets massacred so much that we mostly only use his nickname instead of his full name. At work, his co-workers calls him by his full name.

I do know a few that are Marc-André, Phillipe-André, André-Alexandre.
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