Tiago and Thibault: the latest French name trends
French baby names are a rich source of inspiration, whether you need a name that works in multiple languages or just want something with a fresh, sophisticated sound.
But what names are parents using on the ground in France? The official statistics for the top names in France 2018 were released last summer, but we can get an even more up-to-date glimpse into the names in use right now. At the start of each year, the news is full of local stats and trends from cities across France, with some places even sharing every name registered in the last year.
Meanwhile, here are the hottest names and trends from our favorite hexagonal country.
There’s no quelle surprise that the top names nationally also appear on local lists. At the top of the rankings in many towns were angelic Gabriel and Raphaël, classic Rose, Alice and Jules, international Emma and Adam, and the L-gang: Louise and Louis, Léa and Léo, Lina and Lucas. Gemstone names Jade and Ambre, as well as being widely popular, were also the most-searched girls’ names on Google.fr last year.
One of the most popular unisex names is Camille. In the city of Angers, for instance, it was given to 16 boys and 15 girls in 2019. Russian-influenced Sacha and Sasha also appear among the top names for both boys and girls.
Having said that, there is also local variation. For example, in Avignon, which has a large Muslim population, Mohamed and Nour are Top 3 names.
Old is new again
One of the most noticeable trends is girls’ names ending with A and boys’ names ending with O. Not traditionally French, these show the influence of other cultures on French naming style to create a cosmopolitan mix.
Popular A-ending girl names include Anna, Clélia, Julia, Lola, Louna, Mila, and Arya. Speaking of Game of Thrones, there was at least one Daenerys and Calissie (pronounced like Khaleesi) born in France last year.
The boy name to watch is Tiago. Its popularity is the result of several things coming together: Brazilian footballer Thiago Silva, who plays for a Paris team; a 2018 single by pop singer Kendji Girac; and a reality couple naming their son Tiago in 2018. Add in that cool O ending, and it’s no wonder it’s among the top names in several cities. Other popular O-ending names include Elio, Enzo, Hugo, Malo, Timéo and Théo.
There’s no denying that the English-speaking world has an impact on the French naming landscape. Some babies in 2019 got straightforward imports like Cayden and Miley, while others have English names adapted to French spelling, such as Cheldon (from Sheldon) and Wayatt (from Wyatt).
Just as English-speaking parents sometimes use French word names like Fleur and Boheme, so some French parents are inspired by English words. Birth registers in France last year included babies named April, Delight, Destiny, Fox, Joy, Success, Testimony and Winner.
Just like in English, some names gather many alternative spellings, such as Emmy / Emmie / Emy / Emye / Aimy for girls, and Timéo / Thymeo / Tymého / Tyméo / Tymëo for boys. The most remarked-upon spelling trend is replacing I with Y, to create names like Amélya, Elyana, Gabryel, Lyvia, Mélyna and Thylian.
Daring double names
You may be familiar with traditional French double-barreled names like Jean–Pierre and Marie–Claude. Nowadays, anything goes: the double names recorded last year show a vast creative mix of styles and cultures. They include:
The best of the rest
Here are 60 more of our favorite names given to babies in France in 2019, 30 for girls and 30 for boys. They include word names, international influences, and a hefty sprinkling of names from literature and history.
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on January 18th, 2020 at 2:19 am
Wow, I love all these names! I can’t decide which ones I like most. French names are some of my favorite names.
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