"lame; enclosure"

Claude Origin and Meaning

The name Claude is a girl's name of French, Latin origin meaning "lame; enclosure".
Yes, we tend to think of Claude as a male name and Claudia and Claudette as the female, but this ancient clan name is used in France for girls as well as boys, and could make a distinctively chic boy name for girls here too. You may be surprised to know that Claude was in fairly regular use for American girls in the 1880's and nineties, reaching as high as 553 in 1880.

In her native country, there have been some famous female Claudes, including Queen Claude of France (1499 to 1524), daughter of Louis XII, and another sixteenth century Claude de France, daughter of Henri II.

Later Claudes include the daughter of Claude Debussy, Claude-Emma (called Chouchou), the leading female character in Tracy Chevalier's novel Lady and the Unicorn, French actress Claude Jade and photographer Claude Cahun, and the widow of French Prime Minister Georges Pompidou.

While the "lame" meaning is the most widely acknowledged, some etymologists theorize that the name may relate to the word for enclosure or clause, an alternate meaning that may appeal to a child with a form of this otherwise-appealing name.

20 Names Similar to Claude

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Lists containing Claude


Famous People Named Claude

  • Claude of France (14991524), Queen consort of Francis I of France and suo jure Duchess of Brittany, daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne of Brittany
  • Claude of France (1547–1575)Duchess consort of Lorraine, daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici
  • Claude de BectozFrench writer, abbess and correspondent of Francis I of France
  • Claude Jacqueline Pompidouwife of French President Georges Pompidou
  • Claude Jade (born Claude Marcelle Jorré)French actress
  • Claude GensacFrench actress
  • Claude NollierFrench actress
  • Claude Chiracpolitical adviser; daughter of former French President Jacques Chirac
  • ClaudeEmma "Chouchou" Debussy, daughter of composer Claude Debussy
  • MarieClaude Bourbonnais, Canadian glamour model
  • MarieClaude Pietragalla, French ballerina

Claude in Pop Culture

  • Princess ClaudeTV series Reign