The Thing About French Surnames…


Jennifer Ayache, lead singer of pop-punk band Superbus, from

Is it me, or would French surnames make for some unexpected first names? I was thinking about this the other day, whilst watching yet another French film, this time the cutesy documentary about some primary school kids – Avoir et être.

Let’s start with a classic example, the famous French thinker Francois-Marie Arouet – better known as Voltaire – and Arouet feels to me like a fresh take on Erin/Aaron. Then we have another thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from what I can tell the French can’t get enough of naming roads after this guy. Rousseau could be an alternative to Russell.

And the list goes on:

Alesi. Technically he should be disqualified, since the French F1 driver was of Italian origins, but Alesi sounds great in a French accent.

Ayache. The surname of the lead singer of French band, Superbus.

Camus. A French writer, known for penning L’Étranger.

Cassel. The surname of a French actor.

Lacourt. A French swimmer. The t is silent.

Marchet. Anothe French singer.

Marthe. The surname of French pop singer, Shy’m.

Matisse. The French artist inspired by the Fauvism movement. 

Mazières. The name of a French friend of mine, and a town in the Loire Valley.

Molière. A famous French writer.

Papillon. A French surname, and the word for butterfly.

Rabelais. The French equivalent of Shakespeare.

Renou. Another name of a French friend.

Tambay. A former French F1 driver.

Toulalan. A French footballer who played for France in the 2010 World Cup.

I’ve tried to include some modern examples alongside the historical ones, feel free to shout out other ideas, though.


Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Thing About French Surnames…

  1. There are already babies called Monet – why not Matisse? (Mattie for short).

    Camus also seems like it could be popular.


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