French vintage names by a French person

Here is a list of French names that have been actually used by French people, from nobles to commoners. Most of them are go-to if you want a safe French vintage name, though some are more uncommon than others. If you want a 'poshy' name, just tie two of them together, like Louis-Emile, or Marie-Amélie. Most common typings are Marie-OtherName and Jean-OtherName. Three names and more are for hardcore bourgeois. Also look up for the pronunciation or else you'll never get it right.
  1. Adelaide
    • Origin:

      Variant of Adelheidis, German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility"
    • Description:

      Adelaide is now heading straight uphill on the coattails of such newly popular sisters as Ava, Ada, and Audrey, and in the company of Adeline and Amelia. It was chosen by actress Katherine Heigl for the name of her second daughter.
  2. Albert
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, bright"
    • Description:

      Albert has acquired a new gloss as one of the top royal baby boy names, a considerable upgrade from its serious, studious image (think Einstein, Schweitzer).
  3. Alice
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  4. Alphonse
    • Origin:

      French from German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, ready for battle"
    • Description:

      Rarely used, and for good reason. Alonzo is a preferable choice.
  5. Amelie
    • Origin:

      French variation of Amelia
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Emily gets a Bohemian spin and a French accent when it becomes Amelie. This favorite among French girl names has been gaining notice here thanks to the charming 2001 French film Amelie; it entered the American popularity list in 2002 and is now solidly established in the Top 1000.
  6. Andre
    • Origin:

      French and Portuguese variation of Andrew
    • Meaning:

      "strong and manly"
    • Description:

      Andre is one of the international forms of Andrew that has been familiar in the English-speaking world for decades without any need to be overly Anglicized - though round the world, it is more likely to be written as André.
  7. Anh
    • Origin:

      Vietnamese
    • Meaning:

      "various meanings"
    • Description:

      This simple unisex Vietnamese name has multiple possible meanings, including "hero", "petal", "brave", "bright", depending on the characters used to write it.
  8. Anne
    • Origin:

      French variation of English Ann and Hebrew Hannah
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      The name of the sainted mother of the Virgin Mary was among the top girls’ names for centuries, in both the original English Ann spelling and the French Anne. Both left the Top 100 around 1970 but Anne is still among the most classic names for girls, although others are more likely to choose the original Hannah, the Anna variation, or even Annabel or Annabella.
  9. Antoine
    • Origin:

      French variation of Anthony
    • Meaning:

      "priceless one"
    • Description:

      Antoine is a venerable French name that is still stylish in its native habitat, where it is in the Top 30. In the US, it was most popular in the 1970s and '80s, reaching Number 262 in 1985.
  10. Antoinette
    • Origin:

      French feminine diminutive form of Antoine
    • Meaning:

      "priceless one"
    • Description:

      This feminization of Anthony, like other early French forms, such as Babette and Nanette, is not heard as often as it once was, but it could be time for a reappraisal of this delicate Gallic choice.
  11. Augustin
    • Origin:

      Greek variation of August
    • Description:

      This form and its German variant Augusten are moving up fast as the preferred long forms of the trendy Gus.
  12. Babette
    • Origin:

      French, diminutive of Barbara
    • Description:

      A less common relic of the Claudette-Paulette-Annette era.
  13. Baptiste
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "baptist"
    • Description:

      Traditionally used by the ultrareligious, the French boys' name Baptiste comes from the Greek word meaning "to dip". Baptiste is one of the Top 100 Boy Names in France.
  14. Beatrice
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness; blessed"
    • Description:

      Beatrice is back. Stored in the attic for almost a century, the lovely Beatrice with its long literary (Shakespeare, Dante) and royal history is being looked at with fresh eyes by parents seeking a classic name with character and lots of upbeat nicknames, like Bea and Bee.
  15. Benoît
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "blessed"
    • Description:

      A French form of Benedict that makes a smooth and elegant choice, although the pronunciation may trip people up in an English speaking environment.
  16. Blanche
    • 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.
  17. Camille
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "young ceremonial attendant"
    • Description:

      Camille is a unisex name in France, where it's in the Top100 for both boys and girls. It is certainly one of those names whose gender identity is culturally specific: In the US, more than 1100 baby girls were named Camille last year, and only five baby boys.
  18. Casimir
    • Origin:

      Polish, Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "destroyer of peace"
    • Description:

      Casimir, a traditional name of Polish kings, could do quite well these days as we see the rise of Caspian, Cassius, Castiel, et. al. Like Leopold and Laszlo, Casimir is strong and worth considering if you've got an adventurous streak — and bet your son will too.
  19. Charles
    • Origin:

      French from German
    • Meaning:

      "man, free man"
    • Description:

      Charles derives from the Germanic name Karl, meaning "man" or "freeman", and is a royal name in multiple European countries. A famous early bearer is Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and then Roman Emperor in the 8th-9th centuries.
  20. Charlotte
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlotte, the name of the young Princess of Cambridge, is the latest classic name to join Sophia, Emma, Olivia, and Isabella at the top of the popularity list. It is now among the most popular girl names in many English-speaking and European countries.