French Baby Names: Trends and Predictions 2014

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 meilleurspré 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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5 Responses to “French Baby Names: Trends and Predictions 2014”

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SadieJames Says:

December 25th, 2013 at 4:27 am

I’m surprised that Matteo isnt in the boys list since it’s been given a lot for several years – much more than Matthis.
Also, Baptiste is missing from the same list.

These list dont suprise me – i’m frnehc and indeed, these names have been very popular in the past few years and people dont seem to be very original as they still give their kids these very (too much?) popular names. Honestly, i’m tired of hearing all these Léa, Léo, Mattéo, Enzo and Lilou being called at the park or in the shops. In classrooms, there is Lilou M? LIlou D, Enzo G, Enzo P…. A real nightmare.
I would NEVER give my kid a very popular name, even if i love them, because being 5 kids with the same firstname in a classroom is ridiculous.

tori101 Says:

December 29th, 2013 at 7:49 am

I admit to lacking knowledge when it comes to French naming styles.

From the names mentioned above I love…


: )

R_J Says:

December 31st, 2013 at 9:36 am

Love the girls’ list. The names seem short, but pretty; feminine, but not frilly. My favorite! I’ve had enough of frosting-covered five syllable names over here.

Web 2.0 Fairytale | Jennie Davison Says:

February 16th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

[…] As Facebook would not let me use “Prince Charming” as a name and he was never named in any of the tales told, I looked for famous french modern names to match the style of the time period and still staying true to it’s French origin. […]

Bonus (pseudo) consultation, and happy Thanksgiving! | Sancta Nomina Says:

November 24th, 2015 at 6:00 pm

[…] Even though it was written in December 2013 (so not totally current), I really liked this article: French Baby Names: Trends and Predictions 2014. Of the author’s top twenty list, I really liked Lilou, Maëlys, Juliette (yay! One of the […]

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