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One of the most important and fun reasons to learn French is so that you can hold conversations with native French speakers and gain new friends!
One of the best ways to make friends is to show a genuine interest in the people you meet and one of the first ways to do so is to get their names and learn how to use these names correctly in conversation.
Learning someone’s name and using them properly, can help you keep a friendly conversation going. It makes people think that you are sincere and are really paying attention to what they are saying.
To help you in your quest to have conversations in French and make some new French friends, we’ve compiled a list of common French names and meanings for you to learn.
Here are eighteen beautiful and interesting female French names and meanings. To help you memorize and use these names, we’ve added a brief punctuation guide as well as their meanings.
Pronunciation guide: alo-die
This French name for girls is similar to the Spanish girl’s name “Elodia” which means riches or wealth.
Pronunciation guide: e-me
This is a common French feminine name that originated in French and is where the English language got the name “Amy”.
Pronunciation guide: an-hah-EES
This French name for girls supposedly originated in Provence and Catalan. It’s supposed to be the equivalent of “Anna”, which was originally the Latin form of the Hebrew name “Hannah”.
Pronunciation guide: bell
This simple French feminine name is basically the French adjective for “beautiful” or beauty.
Meaning: Power, Strength, Vigor, Virtue
Pronunciation guide: b-ri-gitte
This is the French version of the Irish female name “Bridget” or “Brigid”. To the early Celts, Brigid was the goddess of agriculture and healing, a powerful figure. The name has come to mean “exalted” or “noble” one.
Pronunciation guide: suh-LYN
Some people say that this French female name is taken from the Greek goddess Selene, the moon's goddess. The Greek word “selas”, which means “brightness” is also associated with Selene.
Pronunciation guide: koh-LET
This is a French derivative of the Greek name “Nicholas” or “Nicola”, which means victory of the people. A variation of “Colette” that is also very popular is “Cosette”, pronounced koh-ZETT. This name was created by author Victor Hugo, in his novel Les Miserables.
Though many baby name books will say “Colette” and “Cosette” mean the same thing, Hugo has said that he created the name “Cosette” from the French word “chosette” which means little thing. “Cosette” is actually a nickname for his character, whose real name is Euphrasie.
Pronunciation guide: del-pheen
This French name for girls is of Greek origin. It is derived from the Greek word for “dolphin” and is connected with the city of Delphi, which the ancient Greeks considered the center of the world and the home of an important holy woman, the Oracle of Delphi.
Pronunciation guide: flur
This French feminine name is also the French word for “flower”. The French wizard in Harry Potter is called “Fleur”.
Meaning: Pure or holy
Pronunciation guide: e-ness
This is the French variation on “Agnes”. It’s also a popular girl’s name in Portuguese and Spanish.
Meaning: Young or Downy
Pronunciation guide: juli-et-te
This French feminine name is derived from “Julie” which is the feminine form of the Latin masculine name “Julius”. It can be considered the diminutive of “Julia” or “Julie”, something like “little Julia”.
Pronunciation guide: Li-la
This name is derived from the French word for the flower known as the “lily” in English.
Pronunciation guide: m-Aar-guh-rEEt
This name comes from the Old Persian word “margarita”, which meant pearl. It’s also the French name for the ox-eye daisy flower.
The English name Margaret is a version of Marguerite. There are also two popular French nicknames or shortened versions of Marguerite: Margaux and Margot.
Meaning: Mighty in battle
Pronunciation guide: mah-TILD
This is the French version of the English girl’s name “Matilda”, which is a version of the Germanic female name “Mahthildis”.
Pronunciation guide: mee-rah-BELL
This French name has its origins in the Latin word “mirablis” which meant “of wondrous beauty”. It actually used to be used for both males and females in the Middle Ages but is now mostly considered a girl’s name.
Meaning: Pleasant and lovely
Pronunciation guide: no-A-my
This is the French variation of the Hebrew name Naomi.
Pronunciation guide: aw-se-an
The French girls’ name is also the French word for “ocean”.
Meaning: Spirit of the wood
Pronunciation guide: SEEL-vee
This is another French girl’s name that originates from Latin. In Latin, “silva” means forest.
The following eighteen names are commonly used as French given names for boys. Alongside this list of French names and meanings, we’ve also included a brief pronunciation guide.
Pronunciation guide: blai-z
This French masculine name is of Latin origin, coming from the word “blaesus”.
Meaning: Friend or Hurricane
Pronunciation guide: kaw-rahn-ten
This is a French name of Breton origin. It’s also the name of a saint, Corentin of Quimper. He was the first bishop of Quimper. He’s considered one of the seven founding saints of Brittany, missionaries who established Catholicism in Brittany. He’s also the patron saint of seafood.
Meaning: Good light
Pronunciation guide: EH-loo-an
This is another masculine French name that is of Breton origin.
Meaning: Garland or Crown
Pronunciation guide: ay-tee-en
This popular masculine name is the French equivalent to the English name “Stephen” or “Steven”.
Meaning: Generous lord
Pronunciation guide: ga-el
This is another French masculine name that is of Breton origin.
Pronunciation guide: zhahk
This is the French equivalent to the English name James.
Meaning: Downy bearded or youthful
Pronunciation guide: zhoolz
This French masculine name is derived from Latin. It was used to refer to someone with a “downy beard”, in other words, a youth who had yet to grow a full beard.
Pronunciation guide: LEE-on
This name is of Greek origin and it was their word for the king of the beats, the lion. It’s now a relatively popular French masculine name, which’s also commonly used in Italy and Spain.
Pronunciation guide: luy-sien
This name is probably derived from the Latin name “Lucius” which comes from the Latin word “lux” which means light. This is also probably where the common Italian and Spanish name “Luciano” comes from.
Pronunciation guide: ma-el
This name was originally a Celtic name, from Ireland and Wales. There is a Bredon saint by this name who became a hermit in Wales during the fifth century.
Meaning: Little warrior or warlike
Pronunciation guide: MAR-so
This French boy’s name is derived from the Latin name “Marcellus” which meant “of Mars the god of war”.
Meaning: Gift of the lord
Pronunciation guide: mat-tew
This is the French version of the English name “Matthew” which derives from the Hebrew name “Matityahu”. The name rose in popularity in many cultures with the rise of Christianity as, Matthew the Apostle, was a follower of Jesus Christ and an author of one of the Gospels.
Pronunciation guide: pyair
This French masculine name is derived from the Greek name “Peter”. “Peter” came from the Greek word “petros” which means stone or rock. This is also the nickname that Jesus Christ gave the apostle originally known as “Simon”. He called him the “rock on which he would build his church”.
Meaning God has healed
Pronunciation guide: rah-fye-EL
This name is of Hebrew origin and its enduring popularity has a lot to do with French Catholicism. Raphaël is an archangel and a saint.
Pronunciation guide: RAY-mee
This French name is sometimes spelled with an “i” instead of a “y” at the end.
Meaning: Gift of God
Pronunciation guide: THEE-oh-dor
This is the French version of “Theodore” which is of Greek origin.
Pronunciation guide: tee-bawld
This name is derived from the Germanic name “Theobald”, which combines translated to “bold people” or, brave.
Meaning: The fifth
Pronunciation guide: KWEN-tun
This is another French masculine name that has its roots in a Latin word. In this case, “Quentin” came from “quintinus” which is a diminutive of “quintus”.
If you want to learn how to hold a conversation in French, one of the first things that you will need to do is learn how to make a proper introduction.
A big part of introducing yourself in French is knowing how to finish the phrase “je me’appelle” and to ask the question “Comment vous appelez-vous?”
Of course, after someone gives you their name, it’s only proper that you memorize their name and use their name properly in conversation. To that end, it’s probably smart to know some common French names and their meanings, like the ones we’ve listed here (here too is a PDF file of these names that you can download).
To better know how to use French names properly in a conversation, we suggest that you study the names we gave here with an online native French-speaking tutor. Your tutor can help correct your pronunciation and accent so your sure to use the names correctly in conversation when the time comes.
Don’t forget to ask your tutor about other interesting French names and nicknames!
Alodie, Aimée, Anaïs, Belle, Brigitte, Céline, Colette, Delphine
Blaise, Corentin, Elouan, Étienne, Gaël, Jacques, Jules
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