Spot of the Week: French Presidential Elections

You may or may not be aware that voting is underway for the next French president. In France, there are usually two rounds of voting: the first is between all candidates; the second for the top two candiates of the first round. In the last presidential elections in 2007, the final two were eventual winner Nicolas Sarkozy and a lady named Marie-Ségolène Royal – her former partner François Hollande is one of Sarkozy’s major rivals this time around.

Now, my point. I’ve done several posts on the subject of French names, and read many more, but I’ve never come across the name Ségolène before, yet she sounds so French. A possible theory of the names origins is that she is the French form of the Germanic name Sieglinde, which means gentle victory.

The Voice UK has entered the second stage, the battle rounds. But it’s not the names of the contestants that have me thinking, but of the male co-presenter: Reggie Yates. Admittedly, Reggie has been around for a couple of years – but those who aren’t familiar with him may be surprised to hear Mr Yates is only 28, not 78. It’s also worth noting that in the current trend of nicknames-for-first names, Reggie isn’t just a Reggie, he’s a Reginald who goes by the name Reggie professionally. With dapper nicknames such as Alfie and Archie both inside the Top 50, the name Reggie does seem like he could be their less-popular but equally dapper playmate.

And finally, a picture from 2010 to end:

I came across this picture a few days ago, and it struck me as interesting because all the names on this piece of paper are not the names of the kids at my local nursery, rather, those of my friends and I. I’m sure you’ll agree that quite a few of these names are often tooted as emerging or current favourites for babies born circa 2012 on a regular basis; this despite all 20-or-so of us being born in the early 90s.

It’s an interesting snapshot, no?

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Categories: Spot of the Week | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Spot of the Week: French Presidential Elections

  1. Sebastiane

    I went to Lycee in France and one of my classmates was named Ségolène. I don’t think it that unusual of a name over there, however, she was the only one with that name in the school among a sea of Paulines and Maries. It is a French form of Sieglinde.

    Its an ok name. I neither like or dislike it.

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  2. Oh my, Ségolène is fabulous!

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  3. How is Ségolène pronounced? I’m thinking ‘seh go lain’ or ‘seh go lehn’ or ‘seh go leen’ or possibly ‘seh go lay nah’/’seh go lee nuh’. I like all of those possibilities. It’s wonderful. Very fanciful. Mira Ségolène (mear uh) or Ségolène Georgette (zhor zhett)

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  4. was going to add, our state flower here is the sego lily and that name reminds me of it.

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