Posts Tagged With: Clemence

Sibset of the Week: The Hollandes

from telegraph.co.uk

Did you here the news? François Hollande has kicked Nicolas Sarkozy out of the Élysée Palace, well, not literally, but he’s the new Président de la République française. To be honest, I’m not surprised Hollande won, given the fact that I’ve heard quite a few French people rant and rave about how much they dislike Sarkozy.

But, rather unbelievably given recent posts, we’re not here to discuss politicals. We’re here to talk names and with former partner and former candidate for the French presidency, Segolène Royale, he has four children:

Thomas

Clémence

Julien

Flora

It’s worth noting that the French almost never pronounce the final s on words and names unless the following word begins with a vowel, so Thomas’ name is pronounced to-mah.

It’s also a good enough moment to mention my love of the French name Françoise, the female form of François, pronounced fran-swawz; both are the French form of the name Francis.

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Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Medieval Musings

from getting-medieval.com

I love it when I come across names I’ve never heard of before, which you’d think would become more and more difficult for a name blogger such as myself. I personally think that it’s all in inventive google searchs. Right now I’m thoroughly excavating all names medieval. Abby at Appellation Mountain recently transported several popular female names back to the era, and Zeffy at Baby Names From Yesteryear has served up a selection of both male and female names from Medieval France.

Some names used in medieval times which you may have heard of before:

Alix

Amaury

Belsante

Clemence

Melisente

Roupen

Sybilla

Some names I’ve never come across include:

Amalric

Bertrade

Fleury

Foulque

Lithuise

Richilde

Sancho

Scholastique

Tancred

Theobald

I’m particularly taken with Lithuise and Fleury from the second list.

Categories: Medieval Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Home

Du pain.

I spent a good deal of my France trip snowed-in, but that didn’t hold me back when it came to spotting some interesting tidbits and names to share. Truth be told, I actually got home last night, but opted to save this post until today.

One of the first names I want to mention is Cocatrix. In between snowstorms I managed to make it to a chateau, in which a mini-artsy area resides. One of the rooms revolves around a creature called the Cocatrix. It’s meant to be an investigation into seeing how much information one needs to throw at someone before they come to believe in an imaginary creature. It was an interesting concept, although I’m still a fan of the whole pretty-paintings style of art. As a name, it’s worthy of thought. Nameberry ran a post this week featuring Cora. In this name she is very much smooshed with another darling-of-the-moment: Beatrix.

Then we have Beyly. Before you all rush to comment on how horrified you all are to see Bailey mutilated in such a way, I ask you to consider the following information: I saw it as someone’s surname, not firstname. Speaking of differing spellings, I also came across a Jheni, a Devid and a Dorine – the latter had a sister named Clémence and both were under 6 years of age.

Moving swiftly to French names, since they’re at their most abundance in France. I managed to meet no less than 4 ladies named Mireille; a Cécile; an Alfre; a Muriel; a Nathalie; a Gilles; an Olivien and a Sandrine. Actually Alfre doesn’t really belong to this set of names since I’m thinking it could be a slight variant of Alfr, which is a name from Norse mythology and means elf. The name Alfie derives from Old English, but too shares the elf meaning. Either way, to me Alfre feels French, but that may be because I’ve spent all week speaking French, where one of the major groups of French verbs are ones ending -re (the other two being -er verbs and -ir verbs): mettre (to put/place), prendre (to take), vivre (to live), suivre (to follow) – to name just a few popular verbs oft heard. There’s an actress called Alfre Ette Woodard.

Not so much a name, but in the time there I came across the French word Pomélo – rather reminds me of Pomona and Pomeline, but it has no relations to apples, rather it’s the French word for a type of grapefruit.

A few more notable names I noticed:

  • Bafétimbi. The name of a French footballer, currently playing for Lyons and the national team.
  • Clovis. Admittedly, the name of the neighbour’s poodle.
  • Edda. The name of a small child’s doll from a supermarket trip.
  • Hannelore. Tween/Teen-aged girl – referred to as Laure.
  • Ludovic. Nicknamed Ludo.
  • Maberly. The name of a lady who served me in a shop.
  • Melhi. Bus driver.
  • Sidse. A half-German female.
  • Thekla. A toddler.
  • Timandra. The name of a lady in the editorial credits for a magazine I read in France. The title of said magazine eludes me.
  • Vicco. 30-something male.
  • Widget. Author of an article I read whilst in France, this was the name given but I could see the argument of it being a nickname.
Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not too French

Christophe Maé, from christophe-mae.fr

We kicked the week off looking at a very modern sounding French sibset, so it seems fitting to return to the topic of French names to end the week. Not French words, just French names. Specifically French names that are not too French, like Thibault is. I love the name Thibault, but chances are that you haven’t a clue how to say him, and neither will the majority of the English-speaking population. He’s likely too French for those who don’t have a grasp of the language. If you’re still musing about how to say Thibault, it’s tee-bo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the second most popular girls name in England&Wales: Sophie – the French form of Sophia. And I recently met a Manon/Matisse sibset at a very British cricket club. Other French forms of popular English names include:

Alexandre

Ambre

Bastien (short form of Sébastien)

Christophe

Émilie

Guillaume

Mathieu

Mathilde

But it’s the middle ground of popularity we’re looking at. Something distinctly French. Like Clement. Meilleur Prénoms put him at #19 in 2009 for France. You may have heard Clementine mentioned more and more often, but it’s the masculine name which has really taken off in France of late. On the same list, Clemence ranked at #34 for girls.

Another male name example is Jules. The only Jules I know who aren’t Julians are French. French singer Christophe Maé and his partner Nadège welcomed a son named Jules in 2008. We seem to spell it differently here in Britain as British chef Jamie Oliver is married to a Juliette ‘Jools’ and we also have the widely popular Jools Holland here in Britain, who was born Julian Miles. Jools Miles sounds quintessentially jazz, doesn’t it?

The name Enzo is hugely popular in France, too. I’ve seen people call him the male equivalent of called your child Porsche. The name reportedly became popular in France following Zinedine Zidane using it for his son. Yes, the Zinedine Zidane who famously headbutted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final. Enzo is a somewhat controversial name in France, given that it’s Italian, not French. Moreover, the Italian short form of Vincenzo and Lorenzo. Enzo is a zippy little name, especially good if you think Ezra is going to the girls – a name Abby recently featured as a re-run.

Another zippy short name popular in Frenchy-land is Axel. To English ears, this may sound like a somewhat rugged name – and that may add to his charm for you. My other favourite French male name beginning with an A is Aurelian, and we can’t forget to mention Rémi. Yes, he has an accent but I’ve seen plenty parents forgoe this. Infact whilst on the subject of accents, I have a friend named Chloé because her Dad became mixed up when he went to register her – she should be a Chloë.

One of the more popular female names in France right now is Clara – currently at #201 in England&Wales, and not strictly a French name per se. A very French invention cooking up a storm in France is Lilou. Yes, I love Lilou, she’s like a Lily/Lucy smoosh that just seems to work. In a similar vein, the French also love Luna, or their slight variant spelling of Louna. They also recognise the rocking-awesomenous of Lou.

Romain and Romane are popular for boys and girls, respectively; Same goes for Leo and Leonie; Valentin and Valentine. Whilst we may consider Agatha still slightly aged for our babes, the French are embracing their version: Agathe. Another A name they love is Amandine: their version of the once popular name Amanda. There’s also Amine for the lads which has origins in Arabic, and means truthful. For me, I think of the organic compounds known as Amines, but that’s by-the-by. The French and Dutch variation of Anna is also popular: Anouk.

Finally, there’s the Mae– group of names to consider: Maëlys;Maëlle;Maeva;Maeline; Maelie. They all sound distinctly French, but the pronunciation may not come naturally to you. For Maëlys, it’s mah-el-EES; for Maëlle, it’s mah-el.

Categories: French Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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