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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    French names, are they wearable or weird?


    I just wanted to have your opinion on these French names. Are they useable in an english speaking country or is it better to avoid them and for what reason? (too weird, too uncommon, difficult to pronounce, too old, etc). They are all wearable in France and some of them are really trendy/old-fashioned names, but I don't know about America/England. I would love to hear if they are vintage, boho or completely out there. Be honest, I need to reduce my list anyways!

    Airelle "Air-L"
    Alma "Ahl-ma"
    Automne (Autumn in French)
    Avril "Ah-vreel"
    Boheme "Bo-em"
    Brune "broon" or with a french u /y/
    Brunille "bruny"
    Castille "Cas-Tea"
    Dune "doon" or with a french u /y/
    Junille "Junie"
    Marthe "Mart" or Martha
    Prune "proon" or with a french u /y/
    Rosamée "Rosa-Mae"
    Ysée "Ee-zay"
    Yselle "Iz-L"

    Thank you
    If parents decide to choose a name from a certain culture, they must respect that culture and the gender for which the name was historically given

    ✯ A. forever in our hearts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I think some are. Though, personally, if there was an English version (such as Autumn) I'd use that. But I know someone called Avril, and there is no French connection to her family (that I know of anyway) and it goes fine
    Violet Genevieve (22.6.2019)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Cair Paravel :)
    I love Rosamee, Ysee, and Yselle/Ysella. Automne is a nice alternative to Autumn, which I'm getting tired of. And I think Alma and Avril are fine, although I think most Americans would say Avril like Avril Lavigne. I flipflop either way, because I grew up when Avril Lavigne was popular, but I also took several years of French and attempted to teach it to myself after I got out of school, too. But I'm not sure most people would say it the French way?

    Augustine is okay, and I know it goes both ways, but I just think of St. Augustine, so I see it as more of a boys' name, but it does work for a girl.

    I would avoid Prune, though--it's adorable in French, but there's a big difference between Prune and Plum in English, for me. Plums, lovely. Prunes, I hate to admit, I shudder over. Here, they're dried plums and, in my mom's case, the best laxative, lol. I don't think they taste good at all, hence the shuddering.

    I think most people would assume Airelle would be a misspelling of Arielle, even if it's not, and I'm not a huge fan of most Brun- names. Bruna and Bruno are okay, but beyond that, they sort of feel a bit clunky to me, unfortunately.

    I like Pia, but it doesn't feel very French to me? I don't think the -ille names would be said the way you want them to be, but they're fine. Marthe sounds odd to my English ears, but might be nice in a French speaking country?

    Suzie and Thelma just aren't my thing, but I can understand why someone would like them. I like Zuzu and Elsa much more, personally.

    I'd love to meet a Rosamee or an Ysee, though!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    I'm coming at this with an American perspective so I cannot speak for English folks but here are my thoughts.

    Airelle: I agree that this looks/sounds like a misspelling/mispronouncation of Arielle.
    Alma: sounds old and Southern
    Augustine: Masculine.
    Automne: nice alternative to Autumn, but how is it pronounced? I'd be hesitant to put "Auto" in a girl's name.
    Avril: this is surprisingly popular where I live. I guess Avril Lavigne fans are having babies?
    Boheme: I hate this as a first name. It's too literal if you're going for boho
    Brune, Brunelle, Bruneve, Brunille: Brun is a harsh prefix for a girl's name, to me. I don't care for any of these names.
    Castille: Beautiful, but she's going to have to spell it or correct mispronouncations every time.
    Dune: makes me think of the scifi novel/movie. Also sounds like doom.
    Junille: I like this a lot. It's unique but accessible when spoken. The only problem would to me is that Americans would likely read it Isa Jun-i-elle.
    Marthe "Mart" or Martha: these are pretty dated.
    Pia: not particularly French. More Italian/Latin. It's a cute name though but it means small, so I'm not sure how she'd grow with it.
    Prune, Prunelle: hard pass. The fruit comes to mind immediately.
    Rosamée: this is my favorite. Lots of nickname options and it's classic.
    Suzie: Sounds like a nickname.
    Thelma: Same as Alma, seems old and Southern.
    Ysée, Yselle: both beautiful names but again, she'll probably have to spell it out.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Alma, Augustine, Pia, Avril, Suzie, and Thelma are all common names in English.
    Now posting as @thelittlefairywren!
    ...felt the need for a fresh user...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Airelle "Air-L" - sweet, earthy and cool, could totally work

    Alma*"Ahl-ma" - vintage, charming and warm! Could work

    Augustine -interesting, strong but nice!

    Automne - nice sounds but the spelling might throw people. I dont think it's unusable

    Avril*"Ah-vreel" - sharp and cool, it works

    Boheme*"Bo-em" -quirky and intetesting sounds!

    Brune*"broon" or with a french u /y/ - i enjoy the sounds. I think it could work

    Brunelle - this reminds me of a hair colour, sorry

    Bruneve - i find it a little awkward

    Brunille -same as above

    Castille - i got the pronunciation wrong but i think people could learn it! I really like the sound

    Dune - as a middle, i think it would be great!

    Marthe*"Mart" or*Martha*- these feel international and versstile

    Pia -i like the sweet, gentle feel.

    Prune*"proon" or with a french u /y/
    Prunelle -not a fan of these. The imagery isn't great, sorry

    Rosamée "Rosa-Mae" - i like this! Familiar but distinct

    Suzie -sweet, vintage feeling

    Thelma* - a little clunky but in a good way

    Ysée "Ee-zay" -i think it could grow on me though it does sound a lot like easy?

    Yselle "Iz-L" - pretty, familiar but different
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Airelle "Air-L", might get mis-read and pronounced like Ariel, but I can see it working
    Alma "Ahl-ma", pronouncable, but makes me think of alma mater
    Augustine, usable, but seems like a boys name to me
    Automne (Autumn in French) - I'd prefer the English spelling. The start makes me think of cars
    Avril "Ah-vreel" - definitely usable, due to the singer Avril Lavigne
    Boheme "Bo-em" - doesn't feel like a name to me, and I'd imagine a lot of people would pronounce the h. Makes me think of Bohemian fashion
    Brune "broon" - I would pronounce it thos way, though I would assume from the look and sound that it was a boys name.
    Brunelle - Reminds me of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, so seems like a boys name
    Bruneve - I'm assuming it's pronounced broon- eve. Not a fan myself
    Brunille "bruny" - I'd imagine the L's would be frequently pronounced. Sounds similar to Bunny
    Castille "Cas-Tea" - I would say this to rhyme with Bastille. The sound is nice though
    Dune "doon" - definitely usable, though you may get the dj sound at the start
    Junille "Junie" - Looks pretty, will get mispellt though
    Marthe "Mart" or Martha - Martha is familiar, so is usable. The e spelling isn't too difficult
    Pia - I've hear of this name, so should be fine
    Prune "proon" - easy to pronounce, but heavily linked to dried plums. Makes me think of wrinkles and shrivelled skin. Not a nice association
    Prunelle - same as above
    Rosamée "Rosa-Mae" - This is really pretty. Fits in with Rosalie and Rosemary, and the rest of the flower trend
    Suzie - easy to spell and pronounce, I like it
    Thelma - fone to pronounce and spell, it just doesn't appeal to me
    Ysée "Ee-zay"- sounds like 'easy'whoch could not be nice for a teen girl
    Yselle "Iz-L" - I like this one. Reminds me of Giselle. Spelling is awkward, but its lovely
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Thank you for your very detailed answers! I enjoyed reading them.

    Alma can be All-ma or Ahl-ma, Avril can be Avr-uhl or Avreel, the intonation doesn't really matter to us. It bothers me a little more when the pronunciation is different from what we want. For example "Castile" for " Cas-tea". But I could get used to. I just don't want to make my child's life difficult haha.

    About Ysée, I know that people could hear "easy", but is it really that bad? Would the other kids tease her? I came across a girl named Izzie and I didn't even think about "easy" at first. She seemed to like her name.

    It's crazy because Augustine is only feminine in France. Augustin is masculine, but they don't have the same pronunciation.

    @theashdreamer, your comment about Prune made my day lol! I guess we will avoid that one.
    If parents decide to choose a name from a certain culture, they must respect that culture and the gender for which the name was historically given

    ✯ A. forever in our hearts

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