Springtime in Paris: A New Generation of French Names
There’s a new generation of names popular in Paris, all fresh and chic-sounding beyond the French borders. Will they translate to the English-speaking world? The Francophiles among us might like to try.
Capucine – Once associated with a hypersexy French actress, this ancient name is newly chic.
Maelys – The feminine form of the Breton saint’s name Mael, Maelys usually takes a dipthong over the e – which can be challenging to enforce. The first syllable may be pronounced like mail or can be forced into two syllables – mah-el – and the dominant second syllable may end with either an s or a z sound: mayl-EESE, mah-el-EEZ, or something in between.
Thibault – Cool but pronunciation challenged: It’s tee-bo.
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on May 28th, 2013 at 2:11 am
Bastien/an will always be Neverending Story to me. It is a sweet name, though.
on May 28th, 2013 at 3:14 am
I love Lilou! – but as a nick name. I like Bastien as well, but yes, I’m of the Neverending Story generation too!
on May 28th, 2013 at 4:34 am
Maelys is beautiful. Adding it to the list!
on May 28th, 2013 at 4:37 am
I love Clemence and Maelys for the girls. I think is Clemence is usable in English tongues but I’m not sure if us English-speakers could get away with Maelys.
Corentin and Mathis are stunning for the boys. I feel two new additions to my list coming on!
on May 28th, 2013 at 6:01 am
I’ve loved Maxence for so long now, nice to see it get some recognition!
on May 28th, 2013 at 7:18 am
Lilou is so cute.
on May 28th, 2013 at 7:39 am
This is a nice list, but I must note that your pronunciations are a bit off. Faustine would be pronounced by a French person with the same sound as the word faux, not like foster. I actually think an American might be more inclined to pronounce it like foster, because the first few letters might recall the word faucet. You got it right with Thibault –
there’s that ‘au’ vowel combination again.
Romane is pronounced ro-MANN, not ro-men. The A sound might be a bit different spoken by a European vs. an American, but basically it rhymes with Anne or Suzanne, however you pronounce those names.
I think many of these could (and should!) become more popular in the English-speaking world, although I think Capucine would be a tough sell. Glad to see my son’s name on the list!
on May 28th, 2013 at 7:47 am
I’ve been in love with Apolline for years. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to use it, but I think it’s so lovely.
on May 28th, 2013 at 11:45 am
I actually prefer most of these names to their usual counterparts (much more sophisticated) but I think non-French speaking people would struggle to pull off pronouncing these names. An English, American or Australian person for example would pronounce the names differently. Having more than one way of pronouncing the names would be frustrating to the parents and child too. People pronounce my name three different ways even though mine is pronounced and spelt the most common way.
on May 28th, 2013 at 11:46 am
Oooh! I love Amandine, Apolline, Capucine, Solene, Victoire, Lilou, Corentin, Mathis, and Maxime/Maxence.
on May 28th, 2013 at 2:38 pm
I’ve been in love with the name Apolline since I have joined the site.
on May 28th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
I think I like the ghastly unfashionable -ette names more than most of this girl list.
on May 29th, 2013 at 2:02 pm
I had a little girl named Faustine in my nursery not too long ago, very different!
on September 14th, 2014 at 3:57 pm
I love Capucine! In my opinion, she was the most beautiful actress ever! She was more of an Italian beauty then Sophia Loren, in my opinion.
on January 25th, 2020 at 10:50 am
I love Solene and Jules!
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