French Words From Loup to Robinet

A popular brand of coconut-flavoured yoghurts from France, from androsrestauration.fr

Many moons ago, I translated some of our favourite word names in English into their French equivalents. This post acts as a late follow-on, which I’d originally forgotten to finish (oops!) Either way, since the big arrival of GGC’s twin daughters, now seemed an apt time to return to the subject of French words which may not translate to a ‘usuable’ word name in English, but sound fine in their own right.

On the subject of what R&B’s names mean, according to my much-thumbed English-French dictionary: Reverie (with a circumflex on the first e) is the French word for daydreaming, whilst Boheme (grave accent on the first e) can be translated as either happy-go-lucky, unconvential or just simply bohemian.

Working one’s way through the rest of one of my much loved possessions, what other word names ‘shout out’ to me? I’ve also tried to select words whose pronunciation is not difficult.

Acajou

My French essays are always happier for using this word, which means mahogany in French. Fun to say, and an entirely plausible pick.

Balade

Initially, one may think this is the word ballad ‘frenchified’, but it always means walk or drive, coming from the verb se balader, which means to go for a walk.

Crépescule

In Un long dimanche de fiançailles Mathilde’s fiancé, Manech, is sent to a trench named Bingo Crépescule. The word itself can mean either twilight or dusk.

Dactylo [daktilo]

The French word for typewriting, and the verb dactylographier means to type (out).

Éclaircie

Since the name of a rather yummy bun in English is eclair, we’re opting to suggest a slight variation of the word which means bright or sunny intervals, rather than flash of lightning meaning of éclair.

Franco

The French phrase, Franco de Port, means postage paid.

Grelot

In French, this word means little bell and the final t is silent.

Hélice

This means propeller in French, and is pronounced with the h silent.

Ivoire

A slight cheat since the English word Ivory has seen use as a name.

Jacinthe

A Floral-inspired word which either means hyacinth, or bluebell if part of the phrase jacinthe des bois.

Kermesse

The French word for a Village Fair.

Loup

Loup means wolf, whilst the slightly different loupe means magnifying glass. Trivia point is that the phrase Loup de mer means old sea dog.

Mirabelle

The French word for plum, whilst Cassis is the French for blackcurrant.

Noix

This word can mean a variety of things, depending on which phrases it appears in. On it’s own, it means walnut and it means coconut if paired as noix de coco, whilst noix de cajou means cashew nut. As for it’s pronunciation, the x is silent, so it’s said nu-ah.

Ombre

The French word for either shadow or shade.

Pépin

The French word for pip, or maybe even used to mean snag.

Robinet

The French word for tap, or faucet. There’s also a type of grape in France named Robinet. It’s said like the name of the English bird, Robin, with an ay sound tagged on at the end.

Sable

This is the French word for sand, and I know of occasions where we English speakers have already used the name.

Tempe

The French meaning of the word is temple.

Verrou

This means bolt, in the sense of a lock, not lightning.

Zona

This rather snazzy name which ends our list means shingles.

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Categories: French Words | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “French Words From Loup to Robinet

  1. namemuststay

    I can see Franco rising. James Franco’s pretty cute, but the name benefits from a similarity to more outrageous picks like Draco and Falco (singled out in your last post!)

    Mirabelle/bella is of course the next big thing to come from the Isabella/Arabella wave.

    I’ve seen Sable on some people my age, even. It was the name of Alex James’ most recent daughter, yes?

    Jacinthe is a relatively well-known name for girls in Quebec, and was the name of a French-Canadian popstar who charted in the late ’90s.

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    • I scheduled a post last Tuesday, which should appear in the next few day, that covers Alex James, so yes, his youngest is indeed named Sable. As for Mirabella, Bryan Adams recently welcomed a daughter named Mirabella Bunny.

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      • namemuststay

        Which was an adorable name, especially as she was born at Easter. I’m curious how she’ll feel about the mn later on, though.

        “LOTS of things remind people of Easter without you picking Bunny, dad…”

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  2. I thought Mirabella Pascale would have sounded a bit classier, but I seem to recall that week/month, celebrities were picking cutesy names like Bear for their babies, and Bunny seemed to fit right in with that trend. Maybe it was the Easter season – everything had to be snuggly and babyish.

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  3. Pingback: The Tide is High at Mer de Noms | Waltzing More Than Matilda

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  5. Ceew

    Hello, just joining in from over at Waltzing mt Matilda! I’m an American living in the midlands with roots of some description in France, Holland and the Middle East (not to mention US and UK!) with one child and another one on the way so these ocean-spanning naming sites are my cup of tea!

    Anyway, I was wondering – what do you think of Miette? Is it really a French word for “crumb” or “(sweet) morsel [of cake]”. And is it name worthy? Hmmmm!

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  6. Ceew

    That (appellation mountain) might be where I picked her up. Funny, it’s also where I picked up a current frontrunner as well! (A true front frontrunner- Miette is in my top middle names list, so a middle frontrunner?).

    I posed the same Miette question to a (French) relative (we have our own, non-language induced conversation barriers at the best of times!) and her answer didn’t fill me with confidence (“I don’t know if I know that word…”), so it is good to get another opinion.

    My main worry is that, although a term of endearment, it could get a little racy. I don’t want to name my daughter Tart!

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