French Baby Names: What’s next in Nice
In the past few weeks, you’ve seen our predictions for the rising names in the US, and Eleanor Nickerson’s forecast of what will be 2013’s most popular in the UK; today we look to France’s upcoming stars.
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 . 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.
When it comes to trends, one outstanding factor is that French baby names have never been shorter in length than they are today. In 2013, I see few names having more than five letters and a profusion of names containing only three, such as Léa and Léo, Zoé and Tom.
Sounds are another major component of French naming style. Girl’s names ending in “a,” not surprisingly, dominate the scene, with nine of them holding the top twenty ranks. More interestingly, the “éo” sound is bouncing back for boys, thanks to Léo and the newcomer Timéo.
Baby names from the nineteenth century (Emma, Louise, Rose, Zoé, Louis, Jules, Léo) are riding a wave as they are internationally, and Old Testament names are on the rise, especially for the boys (Adam is new in France, Aaron, now in the Top 50, was unheard of before 2000, and both are rising fast. Nathan and Raphaël are relatively new and already in the Top 10.
Here now is our projection of what to expect in the Top 20 for 2013:
|1. Emma||1. Nathan|
|2. Lola||2. Lucas|
|3. Chloé||3. Léo|
|4. Inès||4. Enzo|
|5. Léa||5. Louis|
|6. Jade||6. Gabriel|
|7. Manon||7. Jules|
|8. Louise||8. Timéo|
|9. Zoé||9. Hugo|
|10. Lilou||10. Arthur|
|11. Léna||11. Ethan|
|12. Sarah||12. Raphaël|
|13. Camille||13. Maël|
|14. Maëlys||14. Tom|
|15. Lina||15. Noah|
|16. Éva||16. Mathis|
|17. Louna||17. Théo|
|18. Clara||18. Adam|
|19. Alice||19. Nolan|
|20. Romane||20. Clément|
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on December 27th, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Of the shorter names I like Chloe and Jade. I tend to like the older and longer French names like Lucienne, Francine, Arianne, and Angelique much better.
on December 27th, 2012 at 1:17 pm
on December 27th, 2012 at 5:38 pm
I think there is a retro name trend on the horizon when it comes to names in France, the current top 20 like the names here are considered overused by a lot of people the same way we’re starting to see backlash on Sophia, Jackson, Lily, etc…
on December 27th, 2012 at 5:49 pm
This is a top 20 of up and coming names for 2011 from http://www.plurielles.fr and I’d say it’s pretty accurate for 2012.
Sorry for the lack of accents, not sure how to do this on my sister’s laptop!
on December 27th, 2012 at 6:17 pm
I love Jade!
on December 27th, 2012 at 9:48 pm
How do you pron. maelys? May Lees?
on December 27th, 2012 at 9:58 pm
@GHostetler, I believe it’s “May-lee” … it’s one of my favorite names!
on December 27th, 2012 at 9:58 pm
I like the idea and sound of Timeo but cannot get past the fact that it means “I am afraid” in Latin.
on December 27th, 2012 at 10:38 pm
I love a lot of those 🙂 Though Jade and Manon don’t seem French to me, since French girls’ names have a reputation as being really ultra-feminine. I lived in France briefly last year and names that I remember on girls 13 and younger were:
Emeline (Fits the super-feminine french category ;))
Soline (Interesting, had never heard it before, but liked it)
Adele (x2, though before the singer)
Lea (Only one on the popularity list)
Vittoria (Though she wasn’t originally from France)
Annabelle (Nice and traditional)
Estelle (Again, surprisingly traditional)
Emma-Louise (Made of 2 popular names, makes a nice combination)
Nathan (Popular name, and he was soooo sweet so has a great connotation 😉
Found Tristan kind of cool pronounced in french
I also knew a french girl named APOLLINE. Isn’t that pretty?
on December 27th, 2012 at 10:46 pm
@GHostetler: it’s more like MY Leese
on December 27th, 2012 at 11:03 pm
Anyone know how they’re pronouncing Nathan? My high school boyfriend was named Nathan and we had a running gag about the lengths our French teacher would go to to avoid having to pronounce the TH in his name…
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on March 5th, 2013 at 1:36 pm
[…] I saw an interesting article on Nameberry by Stéphanie Rapoport that included the top 20 most popular names in France so far in […]
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