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Annette & Paulette: The ‘ette’ girls

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In Hollywood’s Golden Age, there was nothing that would make an actress (before they were called actors) seem more chic and sophisticated than a French-sounding name, especially one ending in ‘ette,’ as in the cigarette they often smoked in a long, ivory holder.

And so Pauline Levy became Paulette Goddard, Lily Chauchon (who actually did have French roots) was renamed Claudette Colbert, Ruby Fabares morphed into Nanette Fabray, and Jeanette MacDonald remained Jeanette MacDonald.

These and other glamorized Gallicized names caught on with the baby-naming public, which led to a lot of little Annettes and Nanettes.  Many of these names sound terminally dated at this point due to their era-stamped ending and being overly obvious feminizations of male names.  But there are also some less familiar ‘ette’ names that aren’t necessarily Grandmas.  And so here are two lists: those ette names that may have been overexposed  in the past, and those that sound somewhat fresher.

OLD-ETTES:

Annette

Antoinette

Babette

Bernadette

Claudette

Colette

Georgette

Jeanette

Juliette

Laurette

Mariette

Nanette

Nicolette

Paulette

Suzette

Yvette

NEWER-ETTES:

Alette

Aliette

Alouette

Ambrette

Arlette

Blanchette

Corette

Cosette

Doucette

Fanchette

Fleurette

Florette

Ginette

Henriette

Jacquette

Josette

Junette

Lisette

Lucette

Lunette

Musette

Ninette

Odette

Olivette

Pierrette

Sylvette

Toinette

Villette

Violette

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