Top French Names
French names in the US Top 200 for girls include Annabelle, Charlotte, Claire, Josephine, and Sophie. For boys, French names in the US Top 500 include Andre, Beau, Chase, Remy, and Russell. In France, popular names include Louise, Manon, Jules, and Bastien.
Unique French baby names attracting fresh attention in both France and beyond include, for girls, Capucine, Darcy, Delphine, Elodie, Maribel, Oceane, Ottilie, Quincy, Romilly, and Sylvie. For boys, Dion, Emilien, Florent, Julius, Lionel, Montague, Pom, and Quincy.
The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
The full roster of baby girls and baby boys continues below.
Origin:French, feminine diminutive of Charles
Description:Charlotte is the feminine form of the male given name Charles. It derived from Charlot, a French diminutive of Charles meaning “little Charles,” and the name of Charlemagne’s son in French literature and legend. The name was popularized by England's Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.
Origin:French variation of Russian Natalia
Meaning:"birthday of the Lord"
Description:Natalie is the French variation of Natalia, a name originally derived from the Latin phrase natale domini, meaning “birthday of the Lord.” It was historically given to girls born around Christmas for this reason. Nathalie is an additional, though less common, spelling of the name.
Origin:English from French version of German Alberic
Description:The unisex name Aubrey is scooting up the girls' popularity charts, along with the revived Audrey. After being a 100% male name, it tipped to female in 1974, and is now 98% girls, among the most popular girls' names starting with A.
Origin:French from German
Meaning:"man, free man"
Description:Charles derives from the Germanic name Karl, meaning "man" or "freeman", and is a royal name in multiple European countries. A famous early bearer is Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and then Roman Emperor in the 8th-9th centuries. The word for “king” in several languages came from Charles, including Slavic, Russian, and Polish.
Origin:French form of Clara
Description:Claire is the French form of Clara, a feminine derivation of the Latin masculine name Clarus. The French word for “clear,” Claire’s meaning, is clair, and was traditionally a male name. Now the spelling is used mainly for girls, along with Clare, and occasionally Klaire or Klare.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Charles
Description:Caroline is a perennial classic, in the Top 100 since 1994. Caroline is elegant, calling to mind the Kennedy Camelot years and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
Origin:Variation of Madeline
Meaning:"woman from Magdala or high tower"
Description:Madelyn is the most popular current spelling of this stylish name -- Madeline is the second most used -- but we prefer the least popular and most authentic French version, Madeleine. The advantage of Madelyn: It does clarify pronunciation and may be the best choice if you definitely want that last syllable pronounced as "lynn".
Origin:French variation of Sophia
Description:Sophie is the French form of the Greek Sophia, for which it is also commonly used as a nickname. Sophies are scattered throughout European royal history, including Sophie of Thuringia, Duchess of Brabant, Princess Sophie of Sweden, and in modern times, Sophie, Duchess of Wessex, the wife of Britain's Prince Edward. German-born Catherine the Great was born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, but changed her name to Catherine upon her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy.
Origin:French feminine variation of Joseph
Description:Josephine is the feminine form of Joseph, a name ultimately derived from the Hebrew Yosef, meaning “Jehovah increases.” In French it has an accent over the first E, which was omitted in the English, German, and Dutch translations of the name. Empress Joséphine du Beauharnais was born Marie-Josephe-Rose, but called Josephine by her husband, Napolean Bonaparte.
Origin:French, diminutive of Adele
Description:Adeline originated as a French diminutive of Adele, which came from the Germanic root adal, meaning “noble.” Adeline was introduced to England by the Normans in the eleventh century, was very common during the Middle Ages, then vanished until the Victorian Gothic revival. Common variants of Adeline include Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adelynn, Adelina, and Adaline.
Description:Though it sounds so modern, Brielle is, among other things, a traditional Cajun contraction of Gabrielle, but it has now spread far beyond that community. Brielle is also the name of a historic seaport in the western Netherlands.
Origin:French variation of Isabel
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Isabelle is the French variation of Isabel, which emerged in the Middle ages as an Occitan form of Elizabeth. Medieval queens Isabella of Angoulême and Isabella of France helped popularize the name in the United Kingdom. Isobel is the Scottish version, Isabella the Italian, and Izabel is used in Brazil.
Origin:French and German variation of Louis
Description:Luis has long been one of the most popular Hispanic names in America -- it was in the Top 100 every year from 1980 to 2014, though it's dropped a bit in popularity. It's familiar, yet would add an exotic touch to an unexotic surname.
Description:Chase, with its sleek and ultraprosperous aura, is redolent of the worlds of high finance and international banking. Chase has been well used during the last few decades, seen as a character on 24 and on several young-audience shows.
Description:Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
Origin:French variation of Valeria
Description:The name of a martyred medieval saint, Valerie has been on the popularity list since its earliest publication in 1880. Though it peaked in the 1960s, remaining in the Top 100 until 1988, it still doesn't sound terminally dated; the association with the word valor gives it a sense of boldness and makes it one of the special group of girl names that mean strong.
Origin:French and English variation of Heloise
Description:To some, Eloise will forever be the imperious little girl making mischief at the Plaza Hotel, while the original version Heloise recalls the beautiful and learned wife of the French philosopher Peter Abelard, admired for her fidelity and piety.
Along with many other names with the El- beginning and featuring the L sound in any place, Eloise is newly chic. Eloise jumped back onto the popularity list in 2009, possibly thanks in part to the Eloise Hawking character on the popular TV series Lost. Eloise was the name of Jennifer Aniston's character in Love Happens. Denise Richards named one of her daughters Eloise.
Origin:French, variation of Remy (a boys name)
Description:Adorable name that's fashionable but is gaining momentum: it entered the US Top 1000 in 2013 and has been rising since. Many parents prefer this spelling for a girl to the Remy spelling
Origin:English from French
Description:Genevieve is derived from the Germanic medieval name Genovefa, or Kenowefa, which consists of the elements kuni, meaning “kin”, and wefa, meaning “woman.” The medieval saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, defended the city against Attila the Hun through her rational thinking, courage and prayer.
Origin:Combination of Anna and Belle or French form of Amabel
Description:This is a charming name on the rise along with other-belle names, especially in this form, but also appealing in the more streamlined Annabel spelling, made famous by the Edgar Allen Poe poem Annabel Lee. Annabelle is saucy and stylish, a tad upscale, has a sense of humor, is melodious and lively.
Origin:French from Latin
Description:Juliette, pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllable, adds a little something extra to Juliet. In the past years it has been rising up the chart.
Origin:French variation of Amber
Description:Unlike Amber, which is in decline, this name still has a bit of a glow left -- though confusions between the two will inevitably arise.
Description:A couple of decades ago, nerdy boy Sidney morphed into a polished, poised, creative, elegant girl Sydney. Sydney's been on the rise since the nineties -- it was in the Top 25 from 1999 to 2003 -- but has recently dropped out of the Top 200.
Description:Amy is the English variation of the Old French name Amée—Aimée in modern French. Amée was a translation of the Latin name Amata, which derived from amatus, meaning “beloved.” Other spelling variations include Amie and Ami.
Origin:French variation of Elizabeth
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Elise originated as French diminutive of Elizabeth but is now most commonly used as self-contained name. In English and French speaking countries, Elise is pronounced with two syllables, but in countries with Germanic or Scandinavian languages it is pronounced with three syllables, closer to Elisa.
Origin:French variation of Latin Rosalia
Description:Rosalie hit its apex in 1938 and then slid straight downhill until it fell off the U.S. Top 1000 completely in the 1980s, only to spring back to life in 2009 as the name of a character in the Twilight series. The beautiful vampire Rosalie Hale has breathed fresh life back into this mid-century name, and the fact that the character is both sympathetic and relatively minor means Rosalie has the chance to thrive again as a baby name without feeling unduly tied to Twilight.
Description:Noelle is the feminine variation of Noël, a masculine given name derived from the French word for “Christmas.” As a word, Noël originated as a variant of nael, which evolved from the Latin natalis, meaning “birth.” Noelle and Noel have traditionally been given to children born around Christmastime, particularly in the Middle ages.
Origin:French feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Nicole was derived from Nicholas, the English variation of the Greek Nikolaos, composed of the compounds nike, meaning “victory,” and laos, “people.” The variation Nicole arose in the Middle Ages in France to honor St. Nicholas. Names related to Nicole include Colette, Nicolette, Nika, Nicola, and Nicolina.
Origin:Variation of Adeline
Description:Adeline in all its forms, including Adelyn, is rocketing up the list, but we do prefer the original to the variations. Or you might consider varying it yet further to Adelia, Adele, or Adelaide. Or lengthen it to Madeline/Madelyn.
Origin:German and French
Description:Kate and William shocked the world when they announced that they'd named their third child Louis -- Prince Louis Arthur Charles, to be more precise. But we've been predicting a comeback for this classic name for a long time.
Origin:French variation of Camilla,"young ceremonial attendant"
Meaning:"young ceremonial attendant"
Description:At one time just the sound of the name Camille could start people coughing, recalling the tragic Lady of the Camellias, the heroine played by Greta Garbo in the vintage film based on a Dumas story, but that image has faded, replaced by a sleek, chic, highly attractive one.
Origin:French, Spanish and Portuguese variation of Joshua
Description:This variation of Joshua is rising in popularity.
Origin:English from Latin
Meaning:"youthful or sky father"
Description:One of the most romantic names, the lovely and stylish Juliet seems finally to have shaken off her limiting link to Romeo. In Shakespeare's play, it was Juliet who said "What's in a name?"
Origin:Variation of Elaine or Elena
Meaning:"bright, shining light"
Description:Sounds exotic; feels familiar.
Origin:French variation of Chauncey
Description:Once a cavalier Mississippi gambler type name, Chance has entered the mainstream since being endorsed by such celebrity dads as Larry King and Paul Hogan. Chance the Rapper has also boosted the name's popularity.
Origin:French variation of Michael
Meaning:"who is like God"
Description:Michelle is the feminine form of Michel, the French variation of Michael. Michael was derived from the Hebrew name Mihka’el, meaning “who is like God.” The alternate spelling Michele, with one “L,” was the original version of the name. Michelle appeared as a later Anglicization in the 20th century.
Origin:French and Portuguese variation of Andrew
Meaning:"strong and manly"
Description:One international form that's been familiar in the English-speaking world for decades yet still has not been Anglicized.
Origin:French variation of Latin Lucilla
Description:Lucille is a name that had long been overpowered by its link to Lucille Ball, with an image of tangerine-colored hair, big, round eyes, and a tendency to stage daffy and desperate stunts. But with the newfound craze for double-L names like Lily and Lila, Lulu and Luna, and as the choice of Lucille by hipster parents Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson, Lucille is breaking free from its old clownish image, moving rapidly up the charts over the past decade after a long nap.
Origin:French variation of Vivian
Description:Vivienne is an elaborated Gallic version of the name Vivian, chosen first by Rosie O'Donnell for her daughter and then catapulted to superstardom when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie used it for their twin daughter. An adult namesake is the British designer Vivienne Westwood. Rosie O'Donnell also has a daughter named Vivienne, known as Vivi.
Origin:French, diminutive of Margaret
Description:Margot originated as a French pet form of Marguerite, a name that ultimately derived from the Greek margarites, meaning “pearl.” Other spellings include Margo and Margaux. Margaux Hemingway was originally Margot but changed the spelling to honor the wine from the French village of Margaux that was drunk by her parents on the night she was conceived.
Origin:French occupational name
Description:Has a laid-back rural feel some would associate with country singer Travis Tritt; Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon chose it for their son. Travis Scott, born Jacques Webster Jr., a popular rap artist, is another famous Travis.
Origin:French variation of Ariel
Meaning:"lion of God"
Description:While not as popular as the Ariel spelling of Little Mermaid fame, this rendition has achieved popularity in its own right.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Gabriel
Meaning:"God is my Strength"
Description:The quintessentially elegant and worldly Gabrielle -- designer Coco Chanel's real name -- is on its descent after years on the rise.
Description:Paris, a one-time mythical and Shakespearean boys' name, peaked in 2004 at Number 157 at least in part due to the highly publicized Paris Hilton. Michael Jackson used it for his daughter.
Origin:English from French
Description:Long lingering in limbo, Warren suddenly seems to be on the cusp of revival. One of the oldest recorded English surnames, Warren's popularity in the U.S. dates back to the nineteenth century, and by 1921, reached its peak at Number 24.
Description:Combine the charming heroine of the movie Legally Blonde with supermodel Elle Macpherson and the trend toward all names beginning with "el"—Ellie, Ella, Eleanor—and you have one hit name.
Meaning:"one who looks after horses"
Description:Marshall is an occupational surname, not having to do with anything military or martial, but stemming from the Norman French for someone caring for horses. It's been used as a first name since the nineteenth century and has been on the Social Security list since it started to publish its data in 1880.
Origin:French variation of Magdalen
Meaning:"woman from Magdala or high tower"
Description:Madeleine is the French spelling preferred by parents who like to put the proper point on things, though the one used by the little girl who lives in the old house in Paris all covered in vines is Madeline.
Origin:French, feminine diminutive of Jacques
Description:Jacqueline originated as a feminine form of Jacques, the French variation of James, and therefore Jacob. Jacob was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov, and gets its meaning, “supplanter” from the story of Jacob supplanting his brother Esau as the first-born son in the Bible. Jacqueline was first used in France in the Middle Ages.
Description:One of many R- boys’ names that started as a nickname for a redhead, Russell had a measure of popularity from the early twentieth century through the 1950s. But it's now lost much of its color -- except for a few dynamic bearers, actors Russell Crowe and Russell Brand and sports stars Russell Westbrook and Russell Wilson.