Posts Tagged With: Cyril

Quirky, yet Popular names in France

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.

Garance (#129)

The French name for a plant, it appears as a character name in the film Les Enfants du Paradis.

Lison (#114)

In a similar style to the more popular Manon, Lison is a French pet form of Elizabeth.

Zélie (#88)

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!)

Bertille (#360)

The French form of the slightly outdated Bertha, a name which derives from Old German and means bright.

Cyrielle (#298)

The French feminine form of Cyril, a name that means lord.

Louison (#274)

Another name like Manon, Louison is a French pet form of Louise and is also popular for boys.

Aliénor (#444)

The original Provençal form of Eleanor.

Alizée (#208)

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.

Ludivine (#301)

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.

Agathe (#58)

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.

Nesrine (#251)

A rather fascinating French form of the Turkish name Nesrin, a name which derives from Persian and means wild rose.

Tiphaine (#303)

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.

Philippine (#458)

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.

Athénaïs (#496)

This name is the French form of Greek name Athenais, which itself derives from Athena.

Categories: French Names, Name List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Marks&Sparks

Father Ted logo, from fatherted.org.uk

Marks&Spencers have re-opened an outlet in France this week, which makes my standard M&S chocolate box gift to any French friend feel somewhat threatened. The store is also colloquially named Marks and Sparks, and was predictably founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer. Marks originally came from the area now known as Belarus and Spencer married a lady named Agnes. The last time I was in M&S was over the summer, when I was served as the till by a lovely lady named Hettie.

There are several models which M&S use on a regular basis for promotion; the one with my favourite name is also French. Her name? Noémie Lenoir, who has a son named Kelyan Makélélé.

I’m sure you’re all probably aware by now that the mascots for London 2012 are called Wenlock and Mandeville, but another recent sporting find of mine is that one of the leaders of the failed Qatar bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships was called Aphrodite. Speaking of sporting events, how is this for patriotic? A guy in my littlest sister’s maths class is called Churchill.

In what a former teacher of mine called ‘webby-land’, I somehow ended up looking at Yahoo’s article on Where do the best baby names come from?. Whilst most of the comments weren’t perhaps the best examples of how to wield the English language, there were several fascinating names brought up by a few of the commenters:

  • Britannia
  • Brook-James
  • Bryn
  • Cashel
  • Christy
  • Elyon
  • Hebe
  • Kailua
  • Lilac
  • Maeve
  • Rosalind
  • Rudi
  • Sorrel
  • Talia
  • Ted

Speaking of Ted, I watched an episode of Father Ted quite by chance the other day, in which Dougal spelt his name sans g. The character of Dougal is played by a man named Ardal, who has also appeared in the comedy series My Hero, in which he was the father of Apollo ‘Ollie’ and Cassandra ‘Cassie’. The name of some of the backing characters from the Father Ted series are notable, however:

  • Assumpta
  • Concepta
  • Cyril
  • Danita
  • Fintan
  • Imelda
  • Ned
  • Noel
  • Polly
  • Romeo

Another religion-based sitcom in the UK is called Vicar of Dibley, for which script contributions were made by a man named Kit Hesketh-Harvey – but Kit is short for Christopher. The lead character in Vicar of Dibley is a female vicar called Geraldine.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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