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French Word Names

French Word Names
If you’re on a quest for truly distinctive French names beyond Charlotte and Charles, we recommend looking toward French words for inspiration. International word names combine two of today’s coolest trends and can give your child a one-of-a-kind identity. Of course, you could also go with a classic French word name such as Belle or Beau, which both mean "pretty" or "beautiful."

Along with Belle and Beau, other French word names in the US Top 1000 include Elle, Jolie, Maison, and Talon. In France, word names such as Ambre, Victoire, Baptiste, Basile, and Océane are among the top baby names.

We combed our own dictionnaires for French words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names. But no reason to stop here--consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.

Here, some French baby names fashioned from French words for your consideration:
  1. BeauHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "handsome"
    • Description:

      Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
  2. RueHeart
    • Origin:

      Botanical names or word name
    • Meaning:

      "herb; regret"
    • Description:

      Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.
  3. SoleilHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "sun"
    • Description:

      An attractive French word name known here via former child TV star Soleil Moon Frye, aka Punky Brewster. It started to be lightly used in the U.S. in the 1920s and is now attracting some attention as both a sunny nature and an international word name. It's currently in the Nameberry Top 500.
  4. ElleHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "she"
    • Description:

      Combine the charming heroine of the movie Legally Blonde with supermodel Elle Macpherson and the trend toward all names beginning with "el"—Ellie, Ella, Eleanor—and you have one hit name.
  5. BelleHeart
    • Origin:

      Short form of Isabelle or French
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Belle has nothing but positive associations, from "belle of the ball" to "Southern belle" to the heroine of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As if this weren't enough good things, Belle is also one of the most familiar and usable names that mean beautiful. Though it has been overshadowed by the Twilight-influenced Bella and longer forms like Isabella and Annabella, Belle has its own Southern charm and would make a pretty choice as a first or middle name.
  6. FleurHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "flower"
    • Description:

      Fleur is a generic, delicate flower name that emigrated into the English-speaking world when John Galsworthy bestowed it on one of the Forsytes in his celebrated saga. More recently, there was Fleur Delacour, a French witch and the Beauxbatons champion for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.
  7. AlouetteHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "lark"
    • Description:

      Alouette is a sweet Gallic twist in the stylish bird name genre made familiar via the charming French children's song, Alouette, gentile alouette.
  8. TalonHeart
    • Origin:

      French word name
    • Meaning:

      "large claw of a bird of prey"
    • Description:

      Despite its somewhat menacing meaning, this name has been widely used in recent years, probably due to the appeal of its trendy on ending.
  9. BlancheHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "white"
    • Description:

      Blanche, which originated as a nickname for a pale blonde and then became associated with the notion of purity, was in style a century ago, ranking in the double digits until 1920. She then had to fight the stereotype of faded Southern belle, a la Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Blanche Devereaux in TV's Golden Girls. Now all three of the Golden Girls--Blanche, Rose and Dorothy--could be ready for revival, with Blanche sounding like a stronger, simpler alternative to Bianca.
  10. RouxHeart
    • Origin:

      French from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "russet"
    • Description:

      Roux is the name of the dashing Johnny Depp character in Chocolat. Roux is French from a Latin word meaning russet or brownish red; it's also a cooking term for a mixture of flour and butter that forms the foundation of many gravies or sauces. Most of today's children with this name, pronounced roo, will actually spell it Rue, for the female character in The Hunger Games.
  11. JolieHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "pretty"
    • Description:

      Jolie is as pretty as its literal meaning; nowadays it is also seen as a girls’ name, via Angelina for whom Jolie was originally her middle name.
  12. ReverieHeart
    • Origin:

      Word name
    • Description:

      Reverie is a strong-sounding word for an ethereal, dreamlike state -- a perfect contrast and meaning for a word that intends to become a first name. Popular mommy blogger Rebecca Woolf of Girls Gone Child named one of her twin daughters Reverie, setting off a groundswell of interest.
  13. MirabelleHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "marvelous"
    • Description:

      If you're looking for a fresher belle name than Isabelle, Mirabelle is lovely, and we also like the extra flourish of Mirabella. And if you want a nature tie, Mirabelle is also the name of a delicate French plum.
  14. BijouHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "jewel"
    • Description:

      Bijou is a name that lives up to its definition -- a real jewel. Warning: not unheard of on poodles' dog collars. Actress Bijou Phillips is its best known bearer. It can also be spelled Bijoux.
  15. CielHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "sky"
    • Description:

      This simple yet evocative French word name was chosen for her daughter by model Niki Taylor. While Ciel may be pronounced in French with two syllables, many will pronounce it as "seal" and there may be confusion with Celia and sister Ceil.
  16. MaiHeart
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "coyote"
    • Description:

      Cross-cultural winner.
  17. VioletteHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "purple"
    • Description:

      Now that Violet is becoming more popular, parents may start exploring same-but-different options such as the French Violette, which would properly be pronounced with a long e sound in the first syllable and three syllables -- vee-oh-let -- as well as the operatic Italian Violetta.
  18. MauveHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "violet-colored"
    • Description:

      Mauve is an offbeat color name whose soft and sentimental Victorian spirit is conveyed by the name. One of the newer color names like Blue, Gray and Plum that are increasingly being used as novel middle names.
  19. ReineHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "queen"
    • Description:

      This regal French name is a descendant of the Latin Regina, as is the Spanish Reina. Reine is also a male name in Scandinavia.
  20. AvrilHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of April
    • Description:

      French Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne has put the spotlight on her name.