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French names - Page 2

post #21 of 60
Originally Posted by Sandrine View Post
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
Nope -- didn't even know he HAD a hyphenated name! Still, he is definitely not a child.

Is it different up there? Do more kids have hyphenated names? It's quite rare here -- I can only think of one kid at DS' garderie out of about three dozen.
post #22 of 60
I don't know. Most of my girls' friends have only one name, that I know of. lol
post #23 of 60
post #24 of 60
Originally Posted by Plaid Leopard View Post

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.
Yes, thank you. It's annoying to come back to this thread to see what new names have been added and see hyphenated names being described as out-of-style and a burden.
post #25 of 60
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
Yes, thank you. It's annoying to come back to this thread to see what new names have been added and see hyphenated names being described as out-of-style and a burden.
: I can understand being put out that they are described as a burden, but not for them being described as out of style. That is simply a fact, at least in every French community I know. Like I said above, at DS' garderie, there are dozens of kids and only one has a hyphenated name.

Of course if someone wants to give their child a hyphenated name, that's fine, but especially if they don't know a ton about modern French culture and are just looking to give a nod to their heritage by using a stereotypically French name, they might want to be aware that that particular custom is no longer followed in most places.

Of all the names you listed, are those current children or adults? If they are children, you clearly live in a place where the custom persists.
post #26 of 60
My daughter is Remy but considred Renee, Lisianne, Laure, Camille, and Solene. Robin is nice for boy as well as Jean-Luke.
post #27 of 60
Not trendy, I'll agree with, or quite rare these days, but out-of-style is a bit impolite.

On my list, two are children, the rest are mostly people in their 30s, but these are people I know or used to know, not a kid at the playground (where I occasionally hear a kid with a double prenom) etc. I know when we did a parent-child gym class there was a little boy with a hyphenated name but I cannot remember what it was. I also know an Italian 4 yr old with a hyphenated name.
post #28 of 60
I don't really understand how a hyphenated name would be a burden. If the child really doesn't like a long/double name they can shorten it or go by a nick-name. I suppose hyphenated names could be a marker of a certain social status or religious affiliation, but I still don't see that as a burden. Anyway, if the child in question is not even living in France, then most people won't have whatever cultural references for those "burdensome" names, and will simply think the child either has French heritage or parents who like French names.

Old fashioned names are coming back in fashion anyway. In the US we see lots of out-of-style names making a comeback. In France as well. Of course, there are a lot of new names in France since they changed the law regarding what people could name their babies, but the classic names are still being used.
post #29 of 60
I love Etienne, Lucas, Luc, Julien, Adrien, Lucien, Alexandre, Louis, Simon (altough that might turn into semen in eng., so), Florian, Olivier, Nicolas.

(My dear speaks french, so we have used some french names. And I haven't read the whole thread.)
post #30 of 60
hmm... I guess a lot of people here in Québec are out of touch with "modern French culture"...

A few names of kids that I know (under 5) are


I do agree that there are less hyphenated names now then when I was a kid, but there are still quite a few... here is the top 500 names here in Quebec for 2008... there are not that many especially because hyphenated names can be used in so many combinations and are often more unique, but they are there and they are given quite a bit...


and there are also quite a few great names on that list!

Also, often when someone has a hyphenated name on of the names often gets dropped, especially later on... For example My friend Philippe-Armand goes only by Phillipe, or Louis-Frédéric goes only by Louis, but both write their full names or at least an initial (Philippe-A.)

Both DH and I are Québecois (french-canadian) but I speak english with the kids and we want a name that works both in English and French so many of the more French names are crossed off our list even though we like them...
post #31 of 60
Well, OP, I guess that was more debate than you were anticipating. If you are planning to stay in Germany, go ahead and name him something really Frenchy and over the top, as people will "get it". If you are American and planning to return, just get ready for a lot of mispronouciation and maybe a little mockery from some ignorant kids.
FWIW to the pp, you do realize that Quebecois culture and the contemporary culture of France diverged some 300 years, right?
post #32 of 60
Originally Posted by mommyshoppinghabit View Post
FWIW to the pp, you do realize that Quebecois culture and the contemporary culture of France diverged some 300 years, right?
The OP¨asked about French names and Francophone moms and didn't mention France...

Both "French and Francophone" are valid here in Quebec as much as they are in France, though I admit, the accents and general attitudes are quite different.
post #33 of 60
post #34 of 60
It's just a fact, hyphenated names are not in fashion right now in France. There are a lot of men with hyphenated names who are above age 50. My doctors all have them.

I met a family who gave hyphenated names to all their children and they actually made a point of it. She started the intros with the fact, which begs the point that it's something unusual here.

Really old fashioned names are the hot trend though. Just one lol! Digging into the family tree is often the inspiration.

Having the name "Jean" is annoying for my son but luckily, we can kind of ignore the middle name. I do have religious friends who have given the middle name "Marie" to their two sons, and the mom is American.

But make sure that the name doesn't have a strong association, like Jean-Marie le Pen.

My dh is Alsatian so they tend to pick really "frenchy" names to make up for the really Germanic surname they usually have. It's hard here to identify as "French" since the culture here is something else so my kids don't have a strong "French" identity. They think of themselves as more Alsatian/American-Jewish.
post #35 of 60
When naming our children we named them something that we liked and suited the baby/child, we really did't care about trends and whats in or out. We have been here for just over 7 years, dh is Algerian and I'm Scottish we tended towards more northern european names rather than anything else because that's what appealed to us, I guess I just prefer going with the moment for this sort of thing - but then again that's just a personal thing!!
post #36 of 60
DH is from Montreal

one of my faves of his friends' son is
Marc-Olivier (a 9 yr old)
post #37 of 60
I think noone in the francophone world would be surprised at a hyphenated name, even if they are less popular now than 20 years ago.

I think it's tough to generalize and say that hyphenated names are going out of style across the entire francophone world. Maybe in some places, less in others. In my generation (born 1977) it was super common. I think it'll probably make a comeback, but they never really went away. When I go back to France (mostly Paris), they are still a lot of hyphenatedly-named people running around, both young and old.

Also, I agree with pps who said just name the kid what you want to name them. My son is named Rufus and he is probably the only Rufus in the Czech Republic. Never has anyone made fun of the name to his face or to my face, he doesn't feel embarrased introducing himself even though people usually ask him to repeat himself since they're not used to hearing that name. And I was warned up and down and told I would ruin his life by giving him an unusual name. Kids'll make fun of kids, unfortunately, for lots of reasons, not just the name and it's often the super common names that get are made fun of and rhymed about the most.
post #38 of 60
Here in France, double barrelled names are especially common with people aged 50 and older. Not so common with young children and once in awhile I'll see someone my age with one, but even that's kind of rare.

Originally, in France, all children had to a have a saint's name off of a list. Luckily they got rid of that rule awhile back but if parents wanted a name that was not on the list, they had to hyphenate it with a saint's name. Short names like "Anne" and "Jean" were easy to tack on to the first name the parents really wanted.

It's also popular with religious Catholics who might want to honor more than on family member or saint.

I also see it with super-common last names. I think the parents meant to not have their son be one of the 100 Pierre Martin's in the phone book by adding on another name they liked. Also, it's obvious when you see a super popular first name paired with another (like Emilie-something, or Theo-something else). Just in case there are several other Theo's and Emilie's in the class! Chances of another Emilie-Marie are less...

In all of my kids' classes, the only hyphenated name is Mohammed-Yassine. He's 8 years old and has a French-Alsatian (convert) mom and Algerian dad. I've known other mixed families who have hyphenated their children's names with one from mom's culture, one from dad's, one of which is usually French. I'm sure that means fewer questions about the child's background, when they see a name like that and perhaps less explaining.

So it can serve a purpose here. Now, the rule is that the name can't cause the child harm or damage ("porter mal" I believe is the term used). Children can now have ethnic names (especially important since France has both the highest Jewish and Moslem populations in Europe). They also took away some of the local authorities' power. Suspect names have to simply be reported to higher authorities, when then decide if the name is "damaging". They can no longer reject the name at the local level.

This came up where I live because of the popular name "Connor". This was refused for an Irish child born here (whose parents were planning to return to Ireland and did soon after the birth). Another expat American family who named their child that later on were left alone. "Connard", said almost the same way, means "idiot" or "bastard" in French. You hear it shouted from cars a lot here!

When my dh saw Conan O'Brian on T.V. for the first time, he gasped and thought it was a joke lol!

So we here in France don't have complete carte blanche to name our kids what we want but at least it's a better situation than 40 years ago!
post #39 of 60
Originally Posted by IsaFrench View Post
some english/irish/american names are very very popular in France, some of them typically lower class (like Jordan or Kevin ...)
This just reminded me of this summer when my sister brought her teenage niece with her from France to visit. DH found out she had been IMing with her boyfriend and was gently teasing her, asking what his name was.

She told him to guess, he asked if it was a French name, and she said yes.

After guessing all the French names he could think of, he finally gave up and she blushed and then said, "Kevin."

Poor thing, we all laughed so hard and it took a while before we could catch our breath long enough to tell her that Kevin was an English-language name long before it became popular in France and certainly not a name we think of as French.

Anyway, back to the OP-- I second Pierre-Yves. My sister's kids are not hyphenated, but their names are Emile, Louis Pierre and Timothee.
post #40 of 60
My dad grew up in Quebec, Canada, his name is Raymond. I lived in Quebec for a while. One of my favourite French names that is hyphenated and works well in English is Jean-Francois. I had a friend by that name and when he moved to Toronto for a time he went by "Jeff" because the letters of this name, when pronounced in French were "Jhae-Eff" = "Jeff". Fun non? lol

Interestingly about the whole "Jean" thing. My mil (English speaking, American) is named Jean. She once remarked feeling self concious about having a name spelled "the men's way". Apparently she was named for a French great uncle or something. Jeanne, even in English, is the women's way. According to her self-conciousness anyway! But she's a pretty with it person, so I imagine she'd had at least some opportunity to look into this.

I love French names.

Remy sounds good!

The "Connor" story is pretty funny, actually.
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