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Unique French Baby Girl Names

Unique French Baby Girl Names
French baby girl names aren't limited to the same old noms — the Michelles and Danielles and Gabrielles. These days the most popular French names for girls are Charlotte — which despite its French origins may feel more English, thanks to the connection to the Princess of Cambridge — and the unisex name Aubrey.

Unique French girl names do not rank in the US Top 1000. French names for girls that are rare in the US but rank in the France Top 100 include Louise, Ambre, Manon, Agathe, Jeanne, Romane, Leonie, and Margaux. Stylish French names that are uncommon in both France and the US include Ottilie, Isabeau, Odette, and Solange.

Whether you have French heritage, are a Francophile, or just love French names, consider one of these unique French baby names for girls. For even more unique choices, you might also want to check out our master list of French girl names.

OttilieHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of German OTTO,
  • Meaning:

    "prosperous in battle"
  • Description:

    Ottilie and its diminutive Ottiline are a pair of names heard among the British upper crust, but have rarely been seen here since the 1880's. Though it has German roots via Otto, Ottilie has a distinctively delicate French feel.

ElodieHeart

  • Origin:

    French, variation of Greek Alodia
  • Meaning:

    "foreign riches"
  • Description:

    Elodie derives from Elodia, the Spanish variation of Alodia, a gothic German name associated with Saint Alodia. Saint Alodia was a child martyr in 9th century Spain, along with her sister Nunilo. In France, Elodie is spelled Élodie, with an accent over the E.

OdetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, from German
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy"
  • Description:

    Odette is the good swan in Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, a role for which Natalie Portman won an Oscar ---and it would make a particularly soigne, sophisticated yet upbeat choice, unlike some of the more dated other 'ette'-ending names.

DelphineHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dolphin"
  • Description:

    Delphine is a sleek, chic French name with two nature associations—the dolphin and the delphinium, a bluebell-like flower, a well as to the ancient city of Delphi, which the Greeks believed to be the womb of the earth. It is definitely a fresher choice than over-the-hill Danielle.

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.

InesHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, Portuguese, Slovene and Croatian variation of Agnes
  • Meaning:

    "pure, virginal"
  • Description:

    This form of Agnes, Ines has always been popular since the true story of the thwarted lovers Queen Ines of Castro and King Peter of Portugal. This has to be one of the most heartbreaking and bloody true romances in history!

LouiseHeart

  • Origin:

    French and English, feminine variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Louise has for several decades now been seen as competent, studious, and efficient—desirable if not dramatic qualities. But now along with a raft of other L names, as well as cousin Eloise, Louise is up for reappreciation—sleek and chic, stylish in Paris, and starting to become so in the US as well. Louisa is perhaps more in tune with the times, but Louise has more edge. Louise has been on the rise lately, and reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time in a quarter century in 2016.

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.

DarcyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or French
  • Meaning:

    "dark one, or from Arcy, or from the fortress"
  • Description:

    Delicate ballerina name with grace, charm, and heft courtesy of Jane Austen's Mr.

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.

MaevaHeart

  • Origin:

    Tahitian
  • Meaning:

    "welcome"
  • Description:

    Though it sounds like a variation of the Irish Maeve, Maeva actually hails from Tahiti, and is currently enjoying a wave of popularity in France, where it ranks in the Top 100, possibly via popular French folk singer and actress Maeva Meline.

MargauxHeart

  • Origin:

    French spelling variation of Margo
  • Description:

    Yes, it's pronounced with a long o sound at the end, just like Margo and Margot. This spelling was popularized by supermodel, actress, and tragic Hemingway granddaughter Margaux, whose name spelling came courtesy of a bottle of French wine. (The original spelling of her name was Margot; she changed it when she heard her parents were drinking a bottle of Chateau Margaux the night she was conceived.) Margo itself is a diminutive of Margaret, which means "pearl" or, in its French version, "daisy." Margaret or Marguerite would be more stylish variations now.

CosetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French literary nickname
  • Meaning:

    "little thing"
  • Description:

    Cosette is best known as the heroine of Les Miserables. In the Victor Hugo novel, Cosette was the nickname given to the girl named Euphrasie by her mother. Although Hugo invented the name, some etymologists believe it's a spin on Colette, originally a female short form of Nicolas.

LeonieHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lion"
  • Description:

    Leonie is a chic French and German form of a name that exists in a range of variations from Leona to Leonia to Leon to Leo to Lionel, all newly fashionable after a couple of generations in style limbo.

LouHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Louise
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Lou is usually a short form of Louise, Louisa, or Lucy in English-speaking countries, when Lou is used for girls at all. But in France and Germany, it's a fashionable choice all on its own, sure to gain even more widespread style credibility since Heidi Klum and Seal chose it for their daughter.

NadineHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Nadia, Russian
  • Meaning:

    "hope"
  • Description:

    Part of the vogue for French-sounding names in the 1920s and 30s, Nadine has been replaced by the Russian sound of Nadia and Natasha.

ManonHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Marie
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Manon is an endearing French pet name for Marie or Marianne; it has the international yet straightforward feel that makes it a viable import. Manon of the Spring was a gorgeous French film, Manon Lescaut a 1731 novel by Abbe Prevost, set in France and Louisiana, that was controversial in its day. It formed the basis of operas by Puccini and Massenet, and several films and TV series.

SabineHeart

  • Origin:

    French and German form of Sabina
  • Description:

    This slightly more compact version of Sabina has ties to France and Germany. Unlike its sister name, Sabine has never charted in the United States Top 1000.

SeraphineHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "burning ones"
  • Description:

    Seraphine is the Gallic version of the angelic name Seraphina. But while Seraphina has been rising rapidly since Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck chose it for their second daughter, Seraphine has been largely ignored, though we believe the French vowel-sound ending will soon be more stylish than the a-endings that have predominated in girls' names for years.

SalomeHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "peace"
  • Description:

    A soft and interesting Hebrew name long popular in France, where it has ranked in the Top 400 since 1986 (as Salomé). Ex-ER star Alex Kingston named her daughter Salome Violetta.

LilouHeart

  • Origin:

    Occitan pet form of French Liliane
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    Lilou is a charming, rarely heard import. Occitan is a language spoken in Provence, in the south of France, in which the suffix "ou" denotes a pet form — thus, Lilou as a short form of Liliane or its Occitan form Liliana or Liliano. Its popularity in France--where it's currently Number 12--can be traced to the 1997 film The Fifth Element.

MarcelineHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminization of Marcel, French
  • Meaning:

    "little warrior"
  • Description:

    Balancing femininity, vintage charm, and fantasy nerdiness, Marceline is one to watch. Marceline the Vampire Queen from the 2010-2018 animated TV series Adventure Time brought her elaborate French name back into public consciousness. It re-entered the Top 1000 in 2020, after an 86 year hiatus. Nicknames Marcie and Marcy are rising in popularity as well. Marceline may appeal to parents who like frilly, traditional, and sophisticated names such as Josephine and Genevieve.

MargueriteHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Margaret; also a flower name
  • Meaning:

    "pearl; daisy"
  • Description:

    Marguerite is a classic French name with a remnant of old-fashioned Gallic charm; and is also a variety of daisy. Chic again in Paris, it's definitely ripe for revival here.

ThaisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "beloved, bandage"
  • Description:

    A paramour of Alexander the Great and the heroine of a Jules Massenet opera based on the life of a fourth century Egyptian saint, this name is nothing if not dramatic. Often spelled with a diaeresis or umlaut -- aka two dots -- over the letter i, Thais is a Top 100 girls' name in France and is also popular in Spain.

ZelieHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "noble"
  • Description:

    A cute, zippy French saint's name that's picking up in popularity there, and starting to in the US as well. Zélie originated as a short form of Azélie, thought to derive from Adelaide via the Occitan form Azalaïs. Saint Zélie was born Marie-Azélie.

MaelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French or Breton
  • Meaning:

    "chief or prince"
  • Description:

    This feminine form of Mael has the distinctive "aelle" ending found in Brittany. Usually spelled in its native France with a diaeresis or umlaut -- two dots -- over the first e, Maelle is a Top 100 girls' name in France.

OttolineHeart

  • Origin:

    French and English, diminutive of Ottolie
  • Meaning:

    "prospers in battle"
  • Description:

    Curiously appealing, in a hoop-skirted, wasp-waisted way, Ottoline has recently entered the realm of modern possibility, especially since Sienna Miller chose it as the middle name of her daughter Marlowe.

ZephyrineHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Zephyr, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "west wind"
  • Description:

    Zephyr may not be a name often heard in the U.S., but its variations are used throughout Europe. Zephyrine, a cousin in sound and feel if not in fact to such lovely names as Severine and Seraphina, has distinctive possibilities.

RouxHeart

  • Origin:

    French From Latin
  • Meaning:

    "russet"
  • Description:

    Roux, a color name meaning russet or reddish brown, is a possible middle name for your little auburn-haired babe, though a post-Hunger Games child would more likely be called Rue. Roux is also a culinary term for a mixture of fat and flour used in French cooking to make sauces.

EulalieHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Eulalia, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sweetly speaking"
  • Description:

    Eulalie hasn't ranked in the US Top 1000 since 1899, but its French roots might make it more appealing to modern ears than its sister Eulalia.

LeaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Lee or Leah
  • Meaning:

    "meadow; weary"
  • Description:

    While traditionally pronounced as a homonym for Lee, Glee actress Lea Michele pronounces her name like Leah, and it may also rhyme with Freya. Regardless of your preferred pronunciation, it's interesting to note that Lea has always charted in the US Top 1000, despite coming close to the bottom a few times, making it one of the girl names starting with L that both fits in and stands out.

CleaHeart

  • Origin:

    Literary name
  • Description:

    An attractive and unusual name that may be a variation of Cleo, Clea was possibly invented by Lawrence Durrell for a character in his Alexandria Quartet.

ApollineHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Apollonia
  • Description:

    Apolline is a luscious French name chic in Paris and ripe for the plucking in the English-speaking world. Derived from the mythological name Apollo, the name may mean strength; Apollo was the god of sun and light. Apolline is a perfect choice for those attracted to the name Apple who don't want to go quite that far.

CybeleHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "the mother of all gods"
  • Description:

    Cybele, the name of a Greek goddess of fertility, health, and nature, would unfortunately and undoubtedly be confused with Sybil.

LucienneHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine variation of Lucian
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucienne is a soft and ultra-sophisticated French-accented option in the Lucy family, one that could provide a fresh alternative to such fatigued Gallic choices as Danielle and Michelle.

SeverineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine variation of Severus; Latin
  • Meaning:

    "stern"
  • Description:

    This long-popular name in France sounds fresh, elegant and unusual here. Severine is the name of the most recent gorgeous James Bond Girl in the film Skyfall. Students of film history will associate the name with the complex character Catherine Deneuve played in the 1967 Bunuel classic, Belle de Jour..

EmmanuelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine variation of Emanuel
  • Meaning:

    "God is with us"
  • Description:

    The female version of Emanuel could become more prominent, though for some it still carries a steamy image dating back to a then sensationally erotic French film. Singer and Shameless star Emmy Rossum's full name is Emmanuelle.

MarielleHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch and French diminutive of Mary
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    Mariel Hemingway made us aware of the more abbreviated spelling of this charming name, which dates back to the nineteenth century.

OceaneHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "ocean"
  • Description:

    Oceane (oh-see-EN) has been one of the chicest names in France for several years, ranking in the French Top 50. This is a sophisticated name that could easily cross the ocean, and is much more stylish than the English Ocean or Oceana.

IsabeauHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Isabel
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    With Isabel getting so popular, parents are searching for new varieties of the name, and Isabeau is one that makes a lovely French twist.

SolangeHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "solemn"
  • Description:

    This is a soft, soignée French girls' namethat has become familiar here via singer Solange Knowles, younger sister of Beyonce.

SidonieHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from Sidon "
  • Description:

    Sidonie is an appealing and chic French favorite that is starting to attract some American fans as a fresher alternative to Sydney. Also spelled Sidony, Sidonie was the birth name of the French novelist Colette.

    In the old form Sindony, it was a common name in Tudor period England, the 'n' being dropped in the seventeenth century, leading to Sidony, Sidonie and Sidney.

MelisandeHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Millicent, German
  • Meaning:

    "strong in work"
  • Description:

    This old-time fairy tale name is rarely heard in the modern English-speaking world, but it's so, well, mellifluous, that it would make a lovely choice for a twenty-first century girl--a romanticized tribute to an Aunt Melissa or Melanie.

ClemenceHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine variation of Clement
  • Meaning:

    "mild, merciful"
  • Description:

    Calm, composed, and chic.

MathildeHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Matilda
  • Description:

    Mathilde is even more popular in France than Matilda, a hipster favorite thanks to Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger, is here. And the French pronunciation, while confusing to English speakers, makes it softer and prettier than the version we're more familiar with.

PomelineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, related to "apple"
  • Meaning:

    "apple"
  • Description:

    A rarely heard--even in France--name, most prominent as the third name of Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi, the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco and granddaughter of Grace Kelly.

JeanneHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Jean
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Pronounced just like Jean in the English-speaking world, but as the more unusual zhahn in France, this has sailed away with the first wave of French favorites: Denise, Michelle, et soeurs.

CapucineHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "nasturtium"
  • Description:

    Capucine was a chic French actress half a century ago and has been one of the most fashionable girl names in France in recent decades, although it is now slightly off its peak. to Americans and other English speakers, this name still feels fresh.

MaelysHeart

  • Origin:

    French or Breton
  • Meaning:

    "chief or prince"
  • Description:

    Another feminine form of the old saint's name Mael.

EponineHeart

  • Origin:

    French literary name
  • Description:

    Eponine is attracting new notice via the movie of Les Miserables, based on the book by Victor Hugo. Eponine is the spoiled daughter of Cosette's foster parents whose name, according to the story, was lifted by her mother from a romance novel. As in a romance, Eponine redeems herself by becoming a martyr to love.
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