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Gender: F Meaning of Frances: "from France or free man" Origin of Frances: Latin Frances's Popularity in 2013: #693

Popularity: this week.

Frances, a soft and gentle classic, last popular a hundred years ago, seems to be on the cusp of a possible revival, along with other such neglected quiet and serious names. It's been chosen in recent years by such stylish parents as Kate Spade and Amanda Peet (who nicknamed her daughter the spunky Frankie).

Frances was a favorite of the Tudor aristocracy after being given to Henry VII's granddaughter. Until the seventeenth century, the spellings Frances and Francis were used interchangeably for both sexes. St. Frances (Mother) Cabrini was the first American citizen to be canonized.

Someof the best known pop culture bearers of the name were known by diminutives--the Franny of J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey, Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Frankie in A Member of the Wedding, Baby in Dirty Dancing and Gidget in Gidget. Traditional nickname Fran feels a bit bland and Fanny, though possessing some eighteenth century charm, is still considered rude in Britain if not so much in the U.S.

Frances is the endearing badger in the childhood favorite Bedtime for Frances and other Frances books.

Among well known bearers are Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor in the Roosevelt era, actresses McDormand, Dee, Farmer and Fisher, journalist Fitzgerald, and writers Burney and Hodgson Burnett.

Frances was the abandoned first name of Judy Garland, Dinah Shore and Dale Evans.

Some attractive foreign versions are the increasingly popular Francesca, Francoise, Franca, Fanya and Francine.

There has been some speculation that the naming of Pope Francis could have some ancillary effect on the popularity of sister name Frances.

People who like Frances also like:

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Famous People Named Frances

Frances Ethel Gumm, birth name of American actress Judy Garland
Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love
Frances McDormand, American actress
Frances Fitzgerald, American journalist and author
Frances Mayes, American author
Frances Elena Farmer, American actress
Frances O'Connor, Australian actress
Frances Conroy, American actress
Frances Marie Burke, Miss America 1940
Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of "The Secret Garden"
Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk, mother of the Nine Days Queen
Eleanor Frances Callier, American actress
Frances Pen "Frankie" Benioff, daughter of actress Amanda Peet
Frances McKee, Scottish musician
Frances Hussey Sternhagan, American actress
Frances, Princess Diana's middle name
Frances Custis (1753-'57), child of Daniel Custis & Martha Washington

Pop Culture References for the Name Frances

Frances "Frankie" Heck, character on US sitcom 'The Middle'
Bedtime for Frances, children's book
Frances "Frankie", character in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
Frances 'Frankie' Addams, from Member of the Wedding
Frances, Hindley's wife in Wuthering Heights
Frances Midford, character from the anime/manga Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler
Frances "Frankie" Almond Smith, from movie "The Hole"
Frances Halladay, lead character from movie "Frances Ha" (2013)

Fan, Fancey, Fanchette, Fancie, Fancy, Fanechka, Fani, Fania, Fanni, Fannia, Fannie, Fanny, Fran, France, Franceen, Franci, Francie, Francille, Francina, Francique, Francis, Francys, Franki, Frankie, Franky, Franni, Frannie, Franny, Fransabelle, Franze, Franzetta, Franzi, Fronia

Frances's International Variations

Franette, Fanchon, Francine, Françoise (French) Ziska, Franziska (German) Proinséas (Irish Gaelic) Francesca, Franca (Italian) Franka (Russian) Fanya (Slavic) Paquita, Francisca (Spanish)