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French Baby Names: Trends and Predictions 2014

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To check out the latest trends in French baby names, we turn once again to our go-to expert, Stéphanie Rapoport, creator of the popular site meilleursprénoms.com and author of L’Officiel des Prénoms 2014 .  For anyone conversant in French, the site is filled with interesting lists, charts and analysis on French baby names. But for those whose high school French is as shaky as mine, we asked Stéphanie to give us a recap en anglais.

Here is the way I see the French baby names for girls shaping up in 2014.

1. Emma 11. Zoé
2. Lola 12. Lilou
3. Chloé 13. Camille
4. Inès 14. Sarah
5. Léa 15. Éva
6. Manon 16. Alice
7. Jade 17. Maëlys
8. Louise 18. Louna
9. Léna 19. Romane
10. Lina 20. Juliette

Emma could head the female popularity list for the tenth consecutive year, thereby beating by one year the record of Léa, the last title holder. Emma‘s long-running success engendered another series of successes, that of retro first names like Louise and Suzanne, which peaked in the nineteenth century in France. Louise and Alice overtook Zoé and both are soaring towards the top. I believe we won’t have to wait long to see Léonie and Lily join them.

The popularity of these retro names should not overshadow the fact that sounds are very important as well. In the table above, eight names out of twenty end in ‘a’ and seven begin with the letter ‘L’. If we add to this the factor of two syllables and five letters on average, then we have all the keys to this prize-winning list!

And here are the Top 20 estimates for boys in 2014 : 

1. Nathan 11. Jules
2. Lucas 12. Ethan
3.Léo 13. Adam
4. Gabriel 14. Nolan
5. Timéo 15. Tom
6. Enzo 16. Noah
7. Louis 17. Théo
8. Raphaël 18. Sacha
9. Arthur 19. Maël
10. Hugo 20. Mathis

Nathan reigns in first place for the third consecutive year and confirms the trend of Old Testament first names for boys. Laying in ambush very close to the summit, Gabriel, Raphaël, Noah and Adam are on the verge of the next breakthrough, and it’s only a matter of time before Old Testament Aaron joins them. This biblical group weakens the retro influence which, in spite of the efforts of Léo, Louis and Jules, is less obvious than what we have seen in the girls’s list.

At the same time, Théo is less popular than it was, but the ending of ‘éo’ still resonates thanks to the fifth place occupant Timéo.  Maël (from Brittany) is riding the wave of ‘el’-ending names, situating it one place in front of Mathis.

Of the rising stars, Nolan gained five ranks in one year, but the biggest surprise of all is created by Sacha jumping up into 18th place. This year again in French boys’ names, the most popular are comprised of two syllables and five letters on average.

Are there any French names new to you on these lists, names that you might consider?

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