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Gender: Male Meaning of Francis: "Frenchman or free man" Origin of Francis: Latin Francis's Popularity in 2017: #461

The name Francis is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "Frenchman or free man". Francis is ranked #461 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Middle Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "Elimination CAF".

From the experts:

Since this was the name chosen by the current Roman Catholic pope, Francis has come into the spotlight.

The 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. And in fact, the name has risen a bit in the charts since its all-time low of 680 in 2009.

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.

Find other names based on Francis using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Francis

Francis I and II, Kings of France
Francis I (Francis Stephen) and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors
Francis I (Francesco Gennaro Giuseppe) and Francis II (Francesco d'Assisi Maria Leopoldo), Kings of the Two Sicilies
Saint Francis of Assisi
Francis Xavier, Spanish cofounder of the Society of Jesus
Francis Rous (1579-1658), Puritan, hymnist
Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva
Francis Nash, American Revolutionary general
Francis Scott Key, American poet; writer of the U.S. National Anthem
Francis Minden Knollis (1815-1863), hymnist
Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, Irish writer, activist and pacifist
Francis Taylor, American art dealer; father of Elizabeth Taylor
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra, American pop singer and actor
Francis Crozier, Anglo-Irish officer of the Royal Navy, polar explorer, and researcher
Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio), current Pope
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, American novelist
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, English philosopher and statesman
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc, French composer
Francis Harry Compton Crick, English scientist who discovered DNA structure
Francis Ford Coppola, American film director
Francis Fukuyama, American political scientist
Francis "Hill" Harper, American actor
(Francis) Jameson Parker Jr., American actor
Francis Bouillon, American hockey player
Francis Galton, English polymath
Christopher Francis "Frank" Ocean, American musician
Francis William Aston, English chemist; winner of the Nobel Prize
Francis Peyton Rous, American virologist; winner of the Nobel Prize
Francis "Coyote" Shivers, Canadian musician/actor
Francis Jonathan (b. 2009), son of actress Ashley Jensen

Pop Culture References for the name Francis

Francis Abernathy, character in Donna Tartt's "The Secret History"
Francis Bonnefoy, personification of France in "Axis Powers: Hetalia"
Francis Dolarhyde, character in book/movie "Red Dragon"
Francis, Malcolm's oldest brother on TV's "Malcolm in the Middle"
Francis Gage, character on TV's "Walker, Texas Ranger"
Francis, Prince of France on TV's "Reign"
Francis "Frank" Underwood, character on TV's "House of Cards"
Francis the Talking Mule, character in several films
Francis Griffin, Peter's dad on TV's "Family Guy"
Francis Ray Ottoman, character in webcomic PvP
Francis, character in video game "Left 4 Dead"
Francis, character in movie "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over"
Francis, main cat character in "Felidae" by Akif Pirinçci
Francis, ladybug character Pixar's "A Bug's Life"
Francis Freeman, character in movie "Deadpool"
Francis "Frank" Delfino, character in "How to Get Away with Murder"
Francis "Frank" Moses, character in "RED"
Francis Farewell Starlite, musician and producer of "Francis and the Lights"

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

Francis's International Variations

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


Sarah Says:


My beloved grandfather's name. I will be naming one of my son's Francis (Frank) after one of the best men I've ever known. Francis was empathetic, moral, kind, compassionate, intelligent and worldly

deusvult Says:


It irritates me that the description says "Roman Catholic Pope". No. He is the Pope of all the Catholics, not just the Latin Rite ones. Anyway, this name is one that I would sort of like if it were on someone else, but I would never give it to anybody. It sounds a bit too goody-two-shoes for my liking.

Cassandra Jean Fortino Says:


I'm having the same dilemma. Thinking about Michael, Isaiah, or Joshua. Or might just go with Francis as a first name.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Frank works fine as an independent name, and I also love it. It's a strong name, and one of my favourites.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I love Francis and Frank. I also love the female Frances, but am very particular about the boy version being used for boys, and the girl version for girls. I knew a female Francis, and it always bothered me. I know it sounds silly these days because almost every name is now viewed as unisex, but I guess I am old-fashioned and traditional.

EmpressAlexa Says:


I need a first name to go along with the middle name Francis. Robin is not sitting well as we thought...:(

LV51sfan91 Says:


I love Francis on a boy! Frank Sinatra is one of my all time favorite singers!

Lena_Aline Says:


I would like this name if I didn't have a negative association with it.

luella_madison Says:


It's a solid name, and there are many other associations, but all I think of is the character in "To Kill A Mockingbird".

headintheclouds Says:


I have the same thoughts on Francis as I do on its female counterpart Frances- I don't really like it (find it outdated and tired), but also kind of like it when I see the name at certain angles (seems fresh and handsome and revivable).

I much prefer the nickname Frank to the full name Francis- Frank sounds much more straightforward, frank and open (haha no pun intended) than Francis, which can sound stiff and stuffy. If I had to choose between Frank and Francis, I'd name my son Frank, since I'd call a Francis Frank anyway.

Catastroffy Says:


I see it the same way. I know a horrible Francis, too, which doesn't help.

Fading Says:


Don't forget Frances the badger! Known two guys by this name, both are great people.

AnonymousPerson Says:


I have never liked this name. It makes me think of a snobby and greedy kind of person. I don't know why.

MaryKathryn Says:


I love this name on a boy, but the only reason I would ever use this name would be as a tribute to Frank Sinatra, who was born Francis.

raevynstar Says:


Stately and cool!