50 Beautiful French Baby Names to Name Your Little One
The French have long been considered the epitome of chic and graceful style. Their flawless rituals of grooming, fashion and epicurean tastes can make even the most glamorous outfits and home interiors look effortlessly compiled.
You don't have to be French to share this gift. Whether parents are of French origin, have visited France, or simply have a curiosity and passion for French music, books, arts and the many varied regions of the country, naming your boy or girl one of these unique French baby names is sure to imbue them with innate style, grace and elegance.
Ermen, from the German meaning "whole" or "universal," is considered the basis for the name Emma. It is also considered to be an abbreviated version of Emmeline, Amelia and any other names beginning with "Em." As of late, it tops the list of French girl names and is also extremely popular in the United States and England.
Jezebel reported that Emma has been one of France's most popular names for six decades, with about a zillion 9-year-old girls named Emma currently. Famous Emmas include actresses Emma Stone and Emma Watson.
In Hebrew, Gabriel means "God is my strength," and it tops the list of popular baby names for boys in France. The Bible introduced Gabriel as an angel depicted in art, music and poetry over many centuries, while in the Hebrew Bible, Gabriel is an archangel considered the guardian angel of Israel.
He appears in the Book of Daniel, Gospel of Luke and also in the Jewish ancient text, the Book of Enoch. Gabriel also appears in the Quran, where he is sent to various prophets with rare knowledge and words of truth.
Famous examples of the name include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian Nobel Prize-winning novelist, and Gabriel Byrne, the Irish actor.
As with Alice, the name Louise is thought to be of Old German origin, translating to "famous warrior." Louise is the feminized version of Louis and the French name Ludwig.
Louise has been a commonly used name since the mid-19th century, ranking in the top 100 girls' names in France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and Wales over recent years.
Louise Brooks was a famous American silent film actress, famous for her dramatic dark, bobbed hair. Louise Bourgoin is a famous French actress, and Louise Compain, a French feminist author.
Since Louise is so popular for girls, it’s no surprise that Louis makes the top 10 list for French boys.
A French name that ultimately derived from the Old German "Chlodowig," Louis has been adopted by the French royal family for centuries. The name means "famous in battle" or "famous warrior" when translated from Old German.
Apart from the many kings who have borne the name, celebrated inspirations include jazz musician Louis Armstrong and the famous French fashion designer Louis Vuitton.
Jade is an ornamental stone used commonly in jewelry and art that is still highly valued in Asian countries. In fact, Chinese emperors were once buried in this stone in the belief it would grant them eternal life.
As a name, Jade is quite unique for girls as well as boys. In England and Wales, it was in the top 25 names through the mid-1990s and amongst the top 100 names in Scotland, France, Canada, Australia and Ireland in more recent years.
With no obvious French connection, the name is actually considered to be of Spanish origin. Famous inspirations include Jade Jagger, the designer and daughter of Mick Jagger, and Jade Carey, an American gymnast.
Of Hebrew origin, Raphael translates to "God has healed." While a common and beloved name in France, it is also popular in Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal.
Raphael was an archangel in the Christian, Judaic and Islamic holy texts. The name has befitted holy men, artists, entertainers and athletes for centuries.
Raphael of Brooklyn was a Christian Orthodox saint. Raphael Lakafia is a French rugby union player, and Raphael Rouquier, a French mathematician.
Meaning "noble," the Germanic name Adalheidis evolved through Adalheid, which the French adopted as Adelaide. The Old French name Aalis, which is an abbreviated form of Adelais, was the origin of the names Alia, Alix and — via English influence — Alice.
The ancient Greek word "Aletheia" means "truth" and is also considered to be the foundation for the name Alice, which can also mean "truthful one." Popular in France and England in the 12th century, the name continues to be commonly used across both countries to this day.
Famous namesakes include Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, and Alice Walker, a celebrated American author.
Latin for "lion," and fittingly, the zodiac sign associated with the lion, Leo is the name of many Christian saints and popes. It can be a standalone name or an abbreviated version of Leonard, Leopold or Leonardo.
Famous rulers named Leo include the six Byzantine emperors, each named "Emperor Leo," as well as an innumerable amount of kings.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio really brought this name back into the spotlight, while other famous Leos include Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy and, of course, painter Leonardo da Vinci.
Chloe, from the ancient Greek Khloe, means "blooming." The name is thought to be an epithet of the Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility, Demeter. Chloe was the most popular name in Northern Ireland from 1997 through 2002. It was also the fourth most popular name in Australia in 2013.
The name Chloe appears in the New Testament, in reference to "the house of Chloe.” Chloe is a Christian woman in Corinth, Greece.
Famous inspirations are French actress Chloe Lambert and Chloe Sevigny, an American actress and regular muse to fashion designers for her idiosyncratic dress sense.
From the Greek Loukas and Latin Lucas, this name means "man from Lucania," referring to the southern region of Italy. The region was so named to translate to "bright" or "shining."
Closely related to the names Lucio and Luke, the popularity of Lucas can also be attributed to Saint Luke the Evangelist, considered to be the inspiration for the name's popularity in the Middle Ages.
Lucas Jackson was the fictional character played by Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke.” And “Days of Our Lives” character, Lucas Roberts, and Lucas Scott, a character from “One Tree Hill,” may inspire this next generation of parents to name their newborns this popular moniker.
Lea originated from Biblical times, wherein Hebrew, the name Leah meant "wearied." This may have been due to Jacob's wife in the Old Testament, Leah, giving birth to seven sons to her husband who only married her under duress.
That said, the name translates to various meanings across several cultures. In Irish, Leah means "the light of the sun," or the name means "glad tidings" in Greek or "mistress, or ruler" in Assyrian.
It has remained in the top 500 baby names for girls in the United States since 1880, peaking at No. 24 in 2010. It has also proven popular in Britain, Ireland and Norway.
Lea Seydoux is a French actress born in 1985, or for those less interested in the modern age, Saint Lea was a third-century Catholic saint.
A unique baby name that starts with J, Jules is the French version of "Julius," a Latin name, and it has been a popular moniker for both males and females for centuries. Many famous examples, from athletes to entertainers and great leaders, may inspire parents to adopt this name.
Jules Bianchi is a French Formula One driver. Jules Breton was a French Realist painter. Jules Verne was a famous French author, and Jules Charles-Roux, a French businessman and politician.
The French version of Madeline, Manon is considered to mean "wished-for child," though it has also been posited that Manon is a diminutive of Marie. The name has proven most popular in France and Belgium, though the names Marie and Madeline (to which it is closely related) are more broadly popular across the United Kingdom and other European countries.
Common in the 18th and 19th centuries, this name has not proven consistently popular since. But famous Manons include Manon Arcangioli, a French tennis player, and Manon Andrew, a French rugby player.
Literary types may recall Manon Lescaut, the titular character of Abbe Prevost's 1731 novel, titled “Memoirs and Adventures of a Man of Quality,” which was translated into an opera by both Puccini and Massenet.
With roots in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic languages, the name Adam is most commonly thought of in relation to the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve. According to the creation myth, and also in the Quran, Adam was the first man alongside Eve as the first woman.
Famous men named Adam include Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5, as well as actor and comedian Adam Sandler.
A common name in Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, Lina has Persian, Greek, German and Arabic roots. Not only is it one of the most popular names in France, but it is also popular in Germany where it was used as an abbreviated form of Karolina, Nikolina, Adelina and Paulina. In Greek, Lina translates to "sunlight,” while in Persian it simply means "light," and in Arabic, it means "tender."
Famous Linas include Swedish singer Lina Hedlund and Lina Basquette, an American silent film actress. Of course, actresses Lena Headey (of “Game of Thrones” fame), and Lena Dunham also carry the name with a different spelling.
With Celtic origin, the name Arthur was formed through a combination of "artos," meaning bear, "viros," meaning man, and “rigos," meaning king. Arthurian legend posits that a 6th-century king of the Britons led the resistance against Saxon invaders, though whether he actually existed is still up for debate.
The name became popular in England in the Middle Ages in relation to the Arthurian legend, with Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes novels) and Arthur Schopenhauer (German philosopher) providing literary and philosophical inspiration for worldly parents.
Originating in Eastern Europe, the name Mila is an abbreviated version of names beginning or ending in "Mila" (Milada, Milena or Ludmila). The name Ludmila is formed by the elements "lud" meaning "people" and "mila" meaning "dear, love."
Ludmila of Bohemia was a 10th-century princess, a Roman Catholic saint and martyr. Other famous women who may inspire you to name your little girl Mila include actress Mila Kunis and Mila Nikolova, a Bulgarian mathematician.
Derived from the Hebrew verb "gave," Nathan originated from the Hebrew name Natan, Yiddish Nussen or Tiberian Hebrew Natan. It may translate to "he has given" or "he will give."
An ancient and historied name, it bears semblance to Nathaniel and Elnathan, or Jonathan. Also known in sacred history, Nathan the Prophet was an adviser to King David. Nathan was also the son of David and his wife Bathsheba in the Bible.
Rose was commonly used as a name in England, Italy and France in the Middle Ages. The name of the flower derives from the Old English and the Latin "rosa."
In France, both Rose and Rosalie are popular names, while the name is related to Rosalia and Rosa in Spanish, Roisin in Gaelic, Roze in Latvian, Roos in Dutch, Rosaria and Rosalia in Portuguese, and Rozalia in Slovak.
Rose of Viterbo was an Italian saint, Rose Leslie is a Scottish actress (also of “Game of Thrones” fame), and Rose McGowan is also an American actress and feminist activist.
Though a popular name in France, the name Hugo actually has a Germanic origin, meaning "mind." The name is one of the most popular throughout Europe, also ranking among the top 10 in Spain and Belgium in the last decade. Hugo translates to the English Hugh or Italian Ugo.
There have been many genuine and fictional Hugos to inspire parents seeking a name for their boys. Hugo Baskerville was a classic Sherlock Holmes character in the fictional detective novels, while Hugo Black was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and Hugo Koblet was a champion Swiss cyclist.
Elodie is a variation on the Gothic name Alodia, and Saint Alodia was a ninth century martyr.
The name is popular in France, with many actresses, performers and sportswomen given this name, including actress Elodie Bouchez and middle-distance runner Elodie Guegan.
The Old French name Henri was originally derived from Heimeric, an Old Frankish name. In its Old High German, or Old Frankish, the name is recorded as far back as the eighth century as Haimirich, Haimerich and Hemirih.
The English version, Henry, has been among the top 100 most popular names for boys in the US, U.K. and Australia.
Camille is a French take on the name Camilla. It is also thought to have been inspired by the word “camillus,” referring to a young acolyte in ancient Roman religion, and its Arabic meaning is "the perfect one."
Music lovers may be aware of the French performer, Camille.
The name Remy derives from the Latin name Remigius. It is both a given name and a surname, sometimes used as a nickname for the full name Remington.
Famous Remys include Saint Remy, King of the Franks, and Remy Belleau was a French Renaissance poet.
Translating as "nasturtium," the flower, Capucine (no last name) was the adopted name of a well-known French actress and model. She was best known for her role in “The Pink Panther” and “What's New Pussycat” in the 1960s.
Not her original name, she was born Germaine Helene Irene Lefebvre in Saint-Raphael, France.
A common boys' name in France, Pascal translates as Pasquale in Italian, Pascual in Spanish and Pasqual in Catalan. The name has origins in the Latin word "paschalis" meaning "relating to Easter."
One of the earliest-known men carrying a variation of this name is Antipope Paschal, and also the ninth-century Saint Paschasius Radbertus.
Meaning Pearl (derived from the Greek “maragon”), the name Margaux is both a version of Margaret and Margot. It can also translate to Margarid and Margarit (Armenian), Margarita (Bulgarian), Margareta (Croation), Margreet (Dutch) and Marjorie in English.
The most famous Margaux is the daughter of Ernest Hemingway, Margaux Hemingway.
Emil is a name deriving from the Latin, Aemilius.
Emil Fischer was a German chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1902, while Emil Camut was a French architect.
Not surprisingly, Oceane is a French name that ultimately means "ocean." It was the ninth-most popular name for baby girls in France and Quebec in 2006.
Famous namesakes include Oceane Dodin (a French tennis player) and Oceane Avocat Gros (a French skier).
A variant of the Latin name Sebastianus, meaning "from Sebaste" (in the Philippines), the name Sebastien also derives from the Greek Sebastos, meaning "venerable."
Famous sportsmen with this moniker include Sebastien Bassong, a French football player, and Sebastien Chabal, a French rugby union player. Plus, actress America Ferrera recently gave the moniker to her sweet baby boy.
Sabine is the French, German and Danish version of the more common name, Sabina. It possibly originates from the Latin word "Sabinus," referring to the Sabines who lived in northeastern Rome.
Famous Sabines include Sabine Lisicki, a tennis player, and Sabine Jemeljanova, a model.
The name Gaspard derives from a Persian word, “kaspur,” which means “treasurer.” The title was given to one of the three wise men who brought gifts to the birth of Christ.
The name has variations in Europe from Kasper, Kesper and Casper in Germany; to Jaspar, Jesper and Jasper in English; Gasperro in Italian; and Kaspar in Czech.
Commonly thought to be a French and Catalan take on the name Anna, others have theorized that Anais derives from the word Anahita, the Persian goddess of fertility.
This name has been a popular girl’s name in France since 1980 and means “grace.” The most famous Anais is author Anais Nin who is of Cuban-French origin.
With origins in the Greek Philippos, meaning "fond of horses," this name had validity in Ancient Greece where only the very wealthy could afford to own horses. The name, therefore, imparts a sense of being of the noble and upper class.
The Kings of France were fond of this name, with six King Philippes (or Philips) on the throne. Philippe Petit also was a French performer and tightrope artist.
Simply translating as “flower,” the name Fleur has been adopted by parents around the world regardless of its French origin. Another variation is the name Fleurine.
Famous Fleurs include Dutch politician Fleur Agema, British actress Fleur Bennett, American editor Fleur Cowles and New Zealand poet Fleur Adcock.
Common in the Romantic languages, including French, Didier has its origins in the Ancient Roman names Didius and Desiderius. The translation of Desiderius, from the Latin “desiderium,” means "longed-for."
Noteworthy people with this name include Didier Deschamps, a French international footballer and manager; Didier Pironi, a French Formula One driver; and Didier Van Cauwelaert, a French author.
With origins in the Latin name Delphina, meaning woman from Delphi, the name Delphine has been adopted by many prestigious French women as far back as the 1770s (Delphine LaLaurie was a New Orleans socialite).
Today, Delphine Arnault is the director and vice president of globally renowned fashion label, Louis Vuitton.
Derived from the German name "Theodoric," the name Thierry can most easily be translated to Terry in English, or even Derek.
Famous Thierrys include Thierry Ambrose, a French footballer, and Thierry Breton was the Minister of the Economy and a French businessman.
Mathilde derives from the German female name Mahthildis, meaning “mighty in battle.” The name is more commonly translated as Matilda in English, which actress Michelle Williams named her daughter.
Mathilde was in the top 10 most popular girls' names in Denmark in 2008 and amongst the top 200 girls' names in America between 1880 and 1910.
Maurice is a French name deriving from the Latin Mauritius. Mauritius was a saint, and the name was used in the Roman Empire period, referring to "one from Mauritania" (or "the Moor").
Saint Maurice was a Roman legionnaire and Christian martyr who died in 287. In other languages, the name translates to Mauricio (Spanish), Moritz (German) or Morris in English.
Coralie is seldom heard in the U.S., but we hope it starts gaining some traction. Coralie means, quite simply, coral. It sounds a little like the name "Coraline," but there's nothing creepy about it.
Coralie is a popular name in Quebec, Canada. It's a little long, so some people shorten it to Coral or Allie.
Babies named Coralie share their name with a famous French singer, Coralie Clement.
What did we say about classic names coming back into style? The name Beau has been around for over two centuries, but it's climbing up the charts again.
This beautiful French baby boy name literally means "beautiful," and it's become a favorite for celebrity parents. Spice Girl Emma Bunton named her son Beau, as did Jamie-Lynn Sigler from "The Sopranos."
There's also Beau Bridges and Beau Biden, of course.
The French baby girl name Charisse comes from Latin origins, and it has two meanings. Both of them are good, of course. It can mean both "dear" and "cherry."
It's not the highest-ranking name, but it's beautiful and comes with a built-in nickname: Cherie, like in the Stevie Wonder song "Ma Cherie Amour."
Damond is similar to the name Damon. It's a French name meaning "The World." Aw! How sweet is that? New babies do become their parents' whole world, so it totally fits.
Damond has always been a unique name, and it's currently ranked No. 963 in U.S. births. If you like that name, Donaido and Dante have a similar sound.
Once a Gaelic name, Bridget, the French baby name "Brigette" means "exalted one." What better name to empower a new baby girl with?
Brigette is an oldie but goodie, and it's fairly unique today. It was most popular in the mid-1950s and steeply declined in the past decade. Still, there are modern celebrities who love the name, like American actress Brigette Lundy-Paine.
Etienne is a French baby boy name that means Crown. It doesn't sound like it, but it's actually a French version of the American name Stephen.
It's not even on the charts of popular baby names as of 2021, so babies named Etienne will stand out from the crowd for sure.
Other similar options include Lucien, Emmett, and Eitan.
Eloise is a French baby girl name that speaks of power and poise. The name is a French version of the name Louise, and it means "famous warrior." Eloisa is a popular variation.
What we love about this name is that it's feminine and flowery without sacrificing grit. Just think of the spunky little girl Eloise from Kay Thompson's children's book series and Eloise Bridgerton.
Francois may have Latin origins, but it's about as French as a French baby name can get. It literally means "Frenchman."
The popularity of the name Francoise plummeted in the 2000s, but that just means it's more original.
The name Francois is like a classy sweater. It's not always trending, but it will always come back into style sooner or later.
Genevieve is a French baby girl name derived from a medieval name, "Genovefa." If you've never heard of that, don't feel bad.
Historians couldn't quite figure out where it originated either, but some believe it came from the Germanic roots "kuni" and "wefa," meaning kin and wife, respectively.
There are plenty of famous Genevieve's, including several French actresses and an American judge. Genevieve is also the name of the patron saint of Paris.
Pierre is probably the most well-known French baby boy name ever. The name means "rock," and it used to be ridiculously popular in France. It was popular for several decades in the U.S. as well, but its numbers have steadily declined since the 1990s.
Pierre may not be the most popular name today, but we think it's timeless. Babies named Pierre share their name with famous fashion designer Pierre Cardin and Pierre Bouvier, the lead singer of the band "Simple Plan."
There's even a famous TikTok star named Pierre Boo.
Why Should I Give My Baby a Popular French Name?
Whether you are of French origin or have only dreamt of standing below the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the popular baby names in France are entirely valid choices for all parents, worldwide.
Whether it’s a young Nathan, Manon, Mila or Hugo, you’re providing your little one with a name that gives them license to head into the world as adults, open to international cultures and inspirations.