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Gender: M Meaning of Francis: "Frenchman or free man" Origin of Francis: Latin Francis's Popularity in 2013: #506

Popularity: this week.

Now that this is the name that has been chosen by the current Roman Catholic pope, Francis has come into the spotlight.

In fact, this name, which was in the Top 10 at the turn of the last century, has been pretty much confined to Irish and Italian Catholics (think F. (Francis) Scott Fitzgerald, Francis Albert Sinatra, Francis Ford Coppola) for decades, and still has a somewhat starchy feel. But with its similarity to the increasingly popular female Frances, and its recent newsworthiness, we can see it making a possible comeback beyond those worlds..

Animal-loving parents might be inspired by the connection to Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni), who was said to be able to communicate with animals and was made the patron saint of ecology. Another Francis, Saint Francis de Sales, is the patron saint of writers and editors.

Famous People Named Francis

Pope Francis, the current pope
Saint Francis of Assisi
Francis Albert Sinatra, birth name of singer/actor Frank Sinatra
Francis Scott Fitzgerald, American author
Francis Scott Key, writer of the U.S. National Anthem
Francis II, King of France and spouse of Mary Queen of Scotts
Francis Fukuyama, American political scientist
Francis Taylor, American art dealer; father of Elizabeth Taylor
Francis Harper, birth name of American actor Hill Harper
Francis Jameson Parker Jr., birth name of actor Jameson Parker
Francis Bouillon, American hockey player
Sir Francis Galton, renowned English polymath

Pop Culture References for the Name Francis

Francis Jonathan (b. 2009), son of Ashley Jensen
Francis Bonnefoy, personification of France in "Axis Powers: Hetalia"
Francis Dolarhyde, antagonist of the book/movie "Red Dragon"
Francis, Malcolm's oldest brother in "Malcolm in the Middle"
Francis Gage, character on TV show "Walker, Texas Ranger"
Francis II, prince of France on the TV series "Reign" played by Toby Regbo
Francis Underwood, character on TV show "House of Cards"

Feri, Fran, Frank, Frankie, Franko, Franky, Frann, Frannie

Francis's International Variations

Frantz (Danish) Franciscus (Dutch) François, Franchot (French) Franz, Franzl, Franken, Franzen (German) Ferke, Ferenc, Ferko (Hungarian) Proinsias (Irish) Francesco, Franco (Italian) Franio, Franus (Polish) Fransen, Frans (Scandinavian) Franciszk, Franc (Slavic) Paquito, Panchito, Quito, Farruco, Curro, Pancho, Chito, Curito, Chico, Chilo, Chicho, Frasco, Francilo, Paco, Francisco, Cisco, Pacorra, Frascuelo (Spanish)