Category: French names
French names are perennially popular in the US, but there is still a host of undiscovered gems on the French popularity list. So today, the boys follow the girls we looked at the other day: 10 of the best possibilities for an unusual name taken from the popular names of France—all in the Top 100, including some imported from other cultures.
By K. M. Sheard, Nook of Names
During a month spent in France a little while back, I came across quite a few interesting names.
These are some of the zestiest:
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.
Paging through the fat new issue of Vogue the other night, I found myself riveted not by the gorgeous models, not by the fabulous clothes, but by – mais oui – the names.
The French names, in particular, which seemed to jump out at me everywhere from the magazine, attached to chic grownup women as well as charming little girls and boys.
But there’s a whole new group of French names coming up, along with a raft of classic French names never widely used among English speakers which sound fresh and chic right now.
While international names such as Hugo and Luna, Old Testament choices like Sarah and Noah, and even English names such as Emma and Tom may dominate the French baby name popularity list, authentically French choices are fashionable too, in Pittsburgh as well as Paris.
Here, French names that are chic for your own little fille or garcon.
In Hollywood’s Golden Age, there was nothing that would make an actress (before they were called actors) seem more chic and sophisticated than a French-sounding name, especially one ending in ‘ette,’ as in the cigarette they often smoked in a long, ivory holder.
And so Pauline Levy became Paulette Goddard, Lily Chauchon (who actually did have French roots) was renamed Claudette Colbert, Ruby Fabares morphed into Nanette Fabray, and Jeanette MacDonald remained Jeanette MacDonald.
These and other glamorized Gallicized names caught on with the baby-naming public, which led to a lot of little Annettes and Nanettes. Many of these names sound terminally dated at this point due to their era-stamped ending and being overly obvious feminizations of male names. But there are also some less familiar ‘ette’ names that aren’t necessarily Grandmas. And so here are two lists: those ette names that may have been overexposed in the past, and those that sound somewhat fresher.