Originally this post was dubbed Names like Capucine, a perhaps more zippy title than the one it was eventually bestowed. The name Capucine was in the French top 100 in 2010, but isn’t the most well known of French names, comme Angelique et tout ça.
That is, essentially, the brief for all the names in this list: names which are popular in France, but ones which you may remain unfamiliar with.
For the purposes of this post, I used Behind the Name’s list of the Top 500 names in France in 2010. I also made a point to only include names of legit French origins, i.e. names like Clelia (Italian), Manel (Spanish), Sakina (Arabic) and Enola, whilst remarkably popular in France, sadly had to go.
The French name for a plant, it appears as a character name in the film Les Enfants du Paradis.
In a similar style to the more popular Manon, Lison is a French pet form of Elizabeth.
An intriguing name of multiple possible origins. The name could be a diminutive of either Solène or Azélie. Equally, the name could be the French form of the name Zelia, which itself could either derive from Zillah or Celia. The name Zillah is a Hebrew origins and means shade, whilst Celia is of Latin origins and means sky (almost the complete opposite!)
The French form of the slightly outdated Bertha, a name which derives from Old German and means bright.
The French feminine form of Cyril, a name that means lord.
Another name like Manon, Louison is a French pet form of Louise and is also popular for boys.
The original Provençal form of Eleanor.
Although this name looks to be a variation of Alice, it is in fact a modern French name. Alizée derives from the word alizé, which means trade winds.
Possibly derives from Leutwin, which means friend of the people, but that’s not certain by any means. It’s popularity in France is most likely due to the French TV series Les Gens du Mogador, which was on air in the 1970s.
Mostly on the list because who’d have thought the French form of Agatha could be so popular? Remember the French taxi girls I mentioned the other day? One of them was called Agathe, said a-GAHT, and her names means good.
A rather fascinating French form of the Turkish name Nesrin, a name which derives from Persian and means wild rose.
In french folklore, Tifaine was said the be the mother of the fabled Three Kings. The name is closely related to Tiffany, and both are said to derive from Theophania, a Greek name meaning a vision of God.
A rather elaborate French feminine form of Philip, which also just so happens to coincide with the name of the country, The Philippines. The name Philip means friend of horses.
This name is the French form of Greek name Athenais, which itself derives from Athena.